Clinical Research Assistant I/II

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Clinical Research Assistant I/II

Date Posted September 28, 2017
Job Type Regular
Hours Per Week 30
PAVIR Job ID ADA1701.17
Salary Range DOE


The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Research Assistant to support a newly funded grant that tests the efficacy of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to improve memory function in older adults with brain injury in a randomized clinical trial (RCT).

Duties include recruiting subjects, using rTMS machine to stimulate designated area of the brain in the RCT after being trained by a professional, entering data in study databases, administering neuropsychological and neurophysiological testing, assisting with data analysis, and other duties associated with the study under the direct supervision of Dr. Maheen Adamson.

This is a regular, 30 hours/week, non-exempt (hourly-paid) position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.


  • Administering Testing: Use rTMS machine to stimulate designated area of the brain in the RCT during the treatment period, after being trained by a professional.
  • Recruit and screen research participants: Recruit, screen and enroll patients and obtain consent forms; Administer neuropsychological tests, questionnaires, and collect medical information according to the study protocols;
  • Assist in Study Coordination: Plan, coordinate, and carry out research activities related to project; Schedule study procedures, which may include EEG, MRI brain scan, PET scans, physician assessment, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood draw, and lumbar puncture; Coordinate schedules with members of research team.  Handle study correspondence; Maintain participants study binders, progress notes, and study logs.
  • Collect and enter data in databases: Monitor the data collection process against protocols; Assist with database entry; Accurately score and enter neuropsychological scores according to defined protocols; Maintain project databases and documentation; Establish procedure manuals for data collection protocols; Prepare periodic reports detailing the progress of data collection efforts; train and coordinate student volunteers.
  • Assist with brain scans: Accompany student volunteers and patients to PET and MRI centers; Coordinate and assist in pre-scan safety screening for participant’s safety, comfort and for research integrity.
  • Facilitate collection of blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers: Accompany study volunteers to clinical research unit for yearly blood draws and for biennial lumbar punctures performed by the study physician.  Handle human specimens including tubes of blood, CSF, and screening urine sample. Package and ship samples for processing per the research protocol;
  • Provide general clerical assistance when needed, e.g. answer phones, greet subjects; photocopy study forms.



  • Required: Bachelor degree (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in Human Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology or a related field.
  • Desired: Master’s Degree in Human Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, or a related field.


  • Required: at least 6 months of related experience; Previous experience with subject recruitment in a research environment;
  • Desired: 1 year or more of related experience. Clinical Trial experience desired.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Highly reliable with demonstrated organizational ability;
  • Accurate record keeping and attention to detail;
  • Experience with elderly, cognitively impaired, anxious, and/or difficult subjects highly desired;
  • Research experience in psychological test administration highly desired;
  • Research experience in clinical trials desired
  • Some knowledge of neuroscience is desired
  • Knowledge of standard concepts, practices, and procedures within the research field gained through education or experience;
  • Ability to understand and follow VA regulations and procedures regarding research;
  • Knowledge of medical terms and abbreviations relevant to obtaining and coding medical history desired;
  • Exposure to brain imaging modalities desired;
  • Effective communication skills, both orally and in writing;
  • Basic math/statistical skills;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel;
  • Experience in database management or experience using statistical programs desired;
  • Familiarity with PowerPoint, FileMaker Pro and Endnote desired.

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

Physical: Frequently stand, walk, and sit to perform desk based computer tasks; meet with study subjects. Must be able to sit and stand for long periods of time. Occasionally lift, carry, push, pull objects that weigh up to 15 lbs. Will encounter occasional patients who are anxious, forgetful and/or difficult.

Environmental: Exposure to office and hospital/clinical environment. Exposure to office and imaging (i.e. MRI and PET centers) equipment. Some exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer for Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Qualified Individuals with a Disability. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact – Human Resources department.


  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term Disability Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Short-term Disability Insurance – paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Holidays
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Commuter Benefits
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