Research Placement Program

Cynthia Battle, PhD, Coordinator

Research and grant writing are a major activity of many psychologists in academic settings. The training program provides three possible research experiences. Two are optional and one is required. One option is that clinical psychology residents may choose to participate in research that is being conducted as part of the ongoing clinical programs. This could be integrated into part of their clinical duties. A second option is that clinical psychology residents may choose to independently investigate a research question under faculty supervision.

Participation in the Research Placement Program, which is required, provides clinical psychology residents with opportunities to work on programmatic faculty research; typically grant funded projects. Research sites have been developed within each of the four training tracks. Clinical psychology residents are assigned to a project based upon their previous experience in an area, research interests, training needs, and availability of training supervisors. Clinical psychology residents are assigned to a research site for the full internship year and spend approximately four to six hours a week at that placement. Clinical psychology residents may participate in research team meetings and have responsibilities that could include, but are not limited to, research design, data collection, coding and analysis, and manuscript preparation.

View specific Track (Adult, Child, Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine, & Neuropsychology)  for a listing of faculty offering potential research placements this recruitment year.


Adult Track Faculty offering Research Placements

Ana Abrantes: Dr. Abrantes' research is focused on two general areas: 1) improving treatment outcomes of individuals with addictive behaviors and 2) increasing physical activity among individuals with mental health problems  -- with an emphasis on the use of technology to support interventions. Her current projects involve examining exercise for smoking cessation, a Fitbit physical activity intervention for depressed alcohol dependent women, development of a smartphone physical activity app for alcohol dependent patients, tDCS for increasing exercise adherence in depressed individuals, development of a peer-facilitated physical activity intervention delivered in the context of methadone maintenance, and development of a smartphone app to help opioid dependent patients discontinue buprenorphine. 

Cynthia Battle:  Dr. Battle’s research primarily focuses on women’s mental health, including development and testing of novel behavioral interventions for mood disorders and related mental health concerns during the perinatal period. She is currently conducting two NIH-funded randomized trials examining physical activity and yoga-based interventions for women with antenatal depression. Other recent research has focused on evaluation of novel perinatal treatment programs, and evaluating strategies to improve screening and referral of pregnant and postpartum women in need of specialized mental health or substance use treatment.   

Claire Blevins:  Dr. Blevins’ research focus involves developing effective, technology-supported brief interventions for addictive behaviors that are delivered in the moment when risk for substance use/relapse is highest. Her current projects involve promoting medication-assisted treatment for adults leaving a partial hospital program for alcohol use through the use of a just-in-time technology-based psychosocial intervention, prompted by adherence/non-adherence to medication.  Additionally, Dr. Blevins is evaluating a personalized feedback intervention that incorporates ecological momentary assessment paired with a just-in-time intervention for young adults leaving psychiatric care who use substances to cope with negative affective.

Brandon Gaudiano: Dr. Gaudiano is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Senior Investigator in Brown’s Mindfulness Center. Dr. Gaudiano’s research includes psychosocial treatment development, testing, and dissemination/implementation for patients with severe mental illness (psychosis, severe mood disorders, suicide prevention). His interventions frequently focus on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, related mindfulness-based interventions, and mobile technology. Projects for the upcoming year include the development of a novel ecological momentary intervention for patients with psychosis and a telephone-based transitions of care program for patients with comorbid bipolar disorder and substance use disorders.  

Kirsten Langdon: Dr. Langdon's research is centered on two overlapping areas: 1) elucidatingthe interplay of mood/anxiety-based processes and co-occurring substance use disorders throughexperimental paradigms, and 2) developing specialized intervention programs designed to targetthese malleable risk factors to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurringmood/anxiety and substance use disorders, particularly through digital health platforms. Recentprojects involve utilizing EMA methodologies to examine cognitive-affective risk factorsassociated with poor smoking cessation outcomes; development of a combined computer- andtext message-delivered intervention to support stabilization in buprenorphine treatment foropioid use disorder; application of a text-message based program to encourage continuedengagement in medications for opioid use disorder following release from prison; andexamination of a mobile peer-support tool as adjunct to standard treatment for opioid usedisorder.

Maria Mancebo: Dr. Mancebo’s current research interests focus on 1) dissemination of CBT for OCD, compulsive hoarding and anxiety disorders, 2) peer-facilitated interventions for OC-spectrum disorders, 3) long-term course of OCD, and 4) treatment of OCD in the context of comorbid psychiatric conditions. 

Jane Metrik: Dr. Metrik's program of research is focused on cognitive and behavioral mechanisms that influence the etiology of cannabis use, related problems, cannabis use disorder, and comorbidity with alcohol and affective disorders. Dr. Metrik's recent research examined cannabis’ pharmacological, cue-elicited, and neurocognitive effects in a number of domains including incentive salience, drug expectancy, impulsive and risky behaviors, and processing of affective information. Concurrent projects in Dr. Metrik’s cannabis-administration laboratory at CAAS and at the Providence VA Medical Center examine the impact of acute and chronic use of cannabis in community-based samples and in veterans, development of novel technologies to enable cannabis-related driving safety, and development of innovative behavioral interventions for patients with comorbid substance use and mood disorders.

Robert Miranda and Hayley Treloar Padovano:  The chief goal of our research program is to advance treatment options for adults and adolescents who struggle with alcohol and other substance misuse. Accomplishing this goal involves leveraging human laboratory paradigms and mobile technologies (e.g., ecological momentary assessment [EMA] methods), establishing developmentally sensitive tools for screening medications, and learning how to best translate findings from clinical research to practice. Integrating theories and methods from psychology and cognitive-affective neuroscience, our laboratory uses a translational approach to investigate addictive behaviors, including alcohol and other drug misuse and other health-risk behaviors. Much of our research focuses on elucidating factors that confer liability for addictive behaviors during adolescence and how interventions can leverage these factors to improve treatment initiatives. Clinical residents are afforded the opportunity to learn about and develop new, innovative approaches to studying addiction processes and mechanisms of treatment effects, author manuscripts from existing datasets, and collaborate on new projects. Current funded projects include medication trials for alcohol use disorder, a longitudinal study that pairs human laboratory paradigms with EMA to examine how changes in adolescents’ alcohol cue reactivity and subjective responses to alcohol predict AUD pathology, and a project that leverages EMA methods to elucidate associations between stress, nicotine craving, and use among adolescents who are sexual minorities.

Lindsay Orchowski: Sexual assault prevention, including the development and evaluation of approaches for young adult, college, and military populations; The intersections between sexual violence, substance use and other health risk behaviors; Perpetrator characteristics; Mental health consequences of sexual violence. 

Jennifer Primack: Dr. Primack studies suicide prevention in Veteran populations.

Lisa Uebelacker: This research placement includes study of physical activity, yoga, and integrated primary care interventions for depression and/or chronic pain. Specifically, ongoing studies include: a) a comparison programs to help people with depression increase physical activity; b) study of an integrated behavioral health program for people with HIV, chronic pain, and depression symptoms; c) development of yoga for depressed adolescents.

Lauren Weinstock: Dr. Weinstock’s research is focused on severe mood disorders and suicide prevention, including the development and evaluation of adjunctive behavioral interventions delivered around vulnerable care transitions (e.g., from inpatient to outpatient treatment, across the perinatal period, and from criminal justice to community settings). As a complement to this work, she conducts research with large healthcare datasets to evaluate questions related to routine practices and quality of care for mood disorders and suicide prevention across a variety of contexts. 

Child Track Faculty offering Research Placements

Clinical Child Psychology:

Jennifer Freeman, Abbe Garcia & Kristen Benito: Assessment and treatment of childhood and adolescent obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders; dissemination and implementation of exposure treatment for anxiety. 

Richard Liu: Assessment of correlates and risk factors for depression, suicidal behavior, and non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents and young adults, with a focus on computational modeling of neurocognitive markers of short-term risk, as well as ecological momentary assessment and ambulatory measures of psychosocial stress, sleep, and physiological arousal.

Jennifer Wolff & Anthony Spirito: Treatment development, and implementation for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders.

Stephanie Parade:  Early childhood development in the context of family and social risk; study of community dissemination of evidence-based preventive interventions for young children and families.

Stephen Sheinkopf, Guilia Righi & Daniel Moreno De Luca: Research on autism spectrum disorders, with opportunities for work on risk for autism in infancy, psychophysiologic approaches, comorbidities and severe behavioral presentations, and genetics of autism.  

Christopher Houck & David Barker: Adolescent sexual risk behavior; adolescent partner violence, emotion regulation, behavioral prevention interventions.

Nicole Nugent: Adolescent social context (in person and social media use) following trauma or following discharge from inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for suicidal thoughts/behaviors; gene-environment interplay.

Pediatric Psychology:

David Barker: Social support and treatment adherence in HIV and Cystic Fibrosis; Integrated data analysis in HIV prevention. 

Christopher Houck: Emotion regulation; adolescent sexual risk behaviors; prevention interventions; adolescent partner violence.

Elissa Jelalian: Adolescent weight control; community-based interventions; and weight gain prevention. 

Daphne Koinis-Mitchell: Risk and resilience in urban children with chronic illness; pediatric health disparities in asthma and sleep; asthma and immune function. 

Elizabeth McQuaid: Pediatric food allergies: App development for game-based disease management training; Medication adherence in adolescents with asthma across the high school transition; Cultural factors in asthma management in teens.

Nicole Nugent: Adolescent social context (in person and social media use) following trauma or following discharge from inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for suicidal thoughts/behaviors; gene-environment interplay.

Juvenile Justice/Behavioral Health:

Robert Miranda: Pharmacotherapy and psychosocial intervention development research for adolescents with alcohol, cannabis, and other substance use disorders; ecological momentary assessment methods; psychophysiological and other laboratory-based methods.

Kathleen Kemp & Anthony Spirito: Mental health screening and treatment in the juvenile justice system; suicide prevention with juvenile justice-involved youth; substance use interventions; dissemination and implementation of evidenced-based treatment in juvenile justice settings. 

Christopher Houck: Emotion regulation; adolescent health behaviors; prevention interventions. 

Larry Brown: HIV/STD risk reduction; adolescent sexual risk; using technology for prevention and health promotion; clinical mental health interventions for those living with HIV. 

Christie Rizzo: Dating violence prevention; sexual risk taking behavior; mental health interventions with juvenile justice and child welfare populations.

Charlene Collibee: Dating violence etiology and prevention among juvenile justice and child welfare youth; romantic relationship development; adolescent close relationships and mental health.

Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine Faculty offering Research Placements

Beth Bock:  The use of technology in behavioral interventions and health behavior change, including: Text-message delivered interventions for alcohol risk reduction; Individually tailored and integrated social support networks for tobacco cessation; Development of assessment instruments relevant to the individual’s relationship to technology. 

Dale Bond: Measurement and intervention on physical activity and sedentary behaviors in populations with obesity and related comorbidities; behavioral aspects of bariatric surgery; the roles of obesity, related behaviors and psychological characteristics, and weight loss in migraine and other pain conditions. 

Larry Brown: HIV prevention among adolescents and young adults, especially for racial and sexual minorities; improving medical adherence and the mental health of those living with HIV; the use of technology for dissemination and implementation research.

Maggie Bublitz: effects of maternal history of childhood maltreatment on maternal neurobiology in pregnancy and the postpartum periods; mindfulness interventions in pregnancy; perinatal health.

Mary Carskadon: Psychological, behavioral, social, and biological factors that determine sleep amount and timing for children, adolescents, and emerging adults; impact of alcohol on sleep and cognitive behavior in adults; sleep disparities in urban children with asthma. 

Shira Dunsiger: Advanced statistical methodology for assessing patterns of behavior change; Longitudinal mediators of intervention effects; Effects of Adherence on Behavioral Outcomes. 

Daphne Koinis-Mitchell: Risk and resilience in urban children with chronic illness; pediatric health disparities in asthma and sleep; asthma and immune function. 

Susan Ramsey: Developing and testing interventions to promote the uptake of PrEP among at-risk women during incarceration; efficacy of a smartphone app to improve HIV medication adherence.

Laura Stroud: Biobehavioral mechanisms of stress, depression, & addiction. Maternal stress, substance use and depression during pregnancy and offspring development; prenatal programming; marijuana and new tobacco products (hookah, e-cigarettes); Stress response/HPA stress reactivity in infants/children/adolescents.

Graham Thomas: Technology for health behavior assessment and intervention; mHealth/eHealth; Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA); behavioral obesity treatment; weight loss maintenance; bariatric surgery. 

Lisa Uebelacker: Comparison programs to help people with depression increase physical activity; integrated behavioral health program for people with HIV, chronic pain, and depression; development of yoga for depressed adolescents.

Sara Vargas: Qualitative and mixed methods behavioral medicine research including using mobile applications to support sexual and reproductive health promotion and patient care, and supporting the assessment and management of symptoms and quality of life in chronically ill patients (i.e., post-treatment Lyme disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension).

David Williams: Affective (emotion, pleasure, displeasure) determinants of health behavior, physical activity promotion, health behavior theory.

Rena Wing: Behavioral interventions for obesity and for weight gain prevention; Psychological, behavioral, social, and biological factors in weight maintenance; interventions prior to and during pregnancy; health benefits of modest weight loss.

Neuropsychology Faculty offering Research Placements

[For Neuropsychology, the BOLD descriptions indicate faculty who are potentially able to sponsor research rotations 20-21.  Faculty ability to sponsor research rotations is subject to change.]

Jessica Alber: Biomarkers for the early detection and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, contributions of cerebrovascular disease to neurodegenerative disease, retinal biomarkers of neurodegenerative disease, implementation of AD risk algorithms in clinical practice.

Melissa Buttaro: Mild Cognitive Impairment, vascular risk factors and cognitive functioning in older adults, and lifestyle factors that promote healthy aging.

Steve Correia: Application of diffusion tensor imaging to neurologic populations, particularly aging and TBI.

Jennifer Davis: Behavioral interventions for MCI/dementia, including driving, caregiver programs, and healthy lifestyle; neuropsychological predictors of functional decline in instrumental activities of daily living in MCI/mild dementia (e.g., driving, medication and financial management); psychosocial aspects of living with epilepsy

Margaret DiCarlo: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Driving and dementia.

Laura Frakey: Cognition in Parkinson’s Disease; Apathy in neurological disorders.

Thomas Guilmette: Assessment of effort and malingering; Forensic Neuropsychology; Laypersons knowledge of concussion.

Karen Holler: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, Verbal Dyspraxia, and Executive Control in Inpatient Child/Adolescent Populations.

Melissa Jenkins: Attention and memory disorders, PTSD, symptom validity, forensics, and clinical trials research. 

Beth Jerskey: Autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay; ethical considerations in research and clinical practice

Athene Lee: Identification of preclinical and prodromal Alzheimer’s disease using biological, cognitive, and behavioral markers; Impact of disclosure of Alzheimer's disease risk biomarkers; Cognitive outcome of shunting in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Brian Kavanaugh: Treatment of executive functioning deficits in childhood psychiatric disorders

Katarina Lukatela: Normal aging: effects of lifestyle on age sensitive cognitive functions.

Seth Margolis: Psychosocial aspects of living with epilepsy; neuropsychological aspects of medication adherence; predictors of functional decline in MCI and mild dementia; ecological validity of cognitive testing; neuropsychological side effects of medications; cognitive outcomes following Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Frontotemporal Dementia; case studies of rare neuropsychological disorders and presentations.

Nicole McLaughlin: Functional and structural connectivity after neurosurgical interventions for intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Rebecca McLean: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Influences on typical and atypical child neurodevelopment. For example, a current project assesses environmental (defined broadly) impacts on cognition and white matter development (utilizing MRI) (

Anjali Palav: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Developmental language disorders, oral and written.

Sherri Provencal: Neurodevelopment disabilities, traumatic brain injury, sports concussion, and cognitive remediation.

Gregg Selke: Sleep Disturbance in Children with ADHD, TBI, and Cancer; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Megan Spencer:  Dementia and comorbid psychiatric disorders, particularly PTSD.

Christine Trask: Late effects and quality of life issues related to pediatric cancer treatment.

Geoffrey Tremont: Telephone and App-Based Interventions with Dementia Caregivers; Validity of a Telephone-Based Cognitive Screening for Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment; and Non-pharmacologic interventions for aging and MCI, particularly yoga and meditation.  

Julie Wilson: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Reading Fluency, Phonological Processing, and Dyslexia; and Developmental language disorders, oral and written. 

Additional research rotations may be available in collaboration with non-neuropsychology faculty from other related disciplines:

Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology (CfNN). This VA Center of Excellence is focused on the use of neurotechological interventions to improve outcomes in veterans.  Past opportunities have involved projects focused on mental health outcomes and use of advanced prosthetic devices.  

Jennifer Barredo: Neurocognitive approaches to suicide research using functional MRI and diffusion imaging.

William Curt LaFrance Jr:  Cognitive, behavioral, and imaging markers of CBT response for individuals with TBI and either seizures, non-epileptic seizures, or persistent post-concussion syndrome.

Noah Philip:  Neurostimulation and neuroimaging for depression and treatment of PTSD.

(NOTE:  Other CfNN investigators/projects may be available)

Brown Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences (CLiPS). Past projects have focused on neurocognitive aspects of Alzheimer's disease.

David Badre: Basic cognitive neuroscience of cognitive control and executive function. Behavioral, fMRI, and brain stimulation methods. 

William Heindel & Elena Festa:  Neural mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Methodologies include pupillometry, EEG, and cognitive neuropsychology.

(NOTE:  Other CLiPS investigators/projects may be available)

Bradley Hospital - Pediatric psychiatric hospital

Daniel Dickstein:   The PediMIND Program (Pediatric Mood, Imaging, and NeuroDevelopment; focuses on brain and behavior mechanisms of psychiatric illnesses to improve our diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions.  We have a focus on mood and behavioral disorders--including bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, and suicide/non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; i.e. self-cutting).  We have neuroimaging, behavioral task, and symptom data from children, adolescents, and adults in these conditions for talented interns to work on a mentor-assisted project.