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 the development and testing of novel interventions for decreasing relapse risk among individuals with alcohol and other drug use disorders, including nicotine dependence. Her current projects include the use of text messaging, the development of smartphone apps, neurostimulation (e.g., tDCS), and EMA/EMI approaches.  In addition, Dr. Abrantes also conducts research in the area of physical activity promotion for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. This research includes the testing of Fitbit-supported lifestyle physical activity, physical activity apps, and peer-facilitated approaches.

Leslie Brick & Jessica Peters: This research placement involves applying advanced quantitative approaches to intensive longitudinal data in the study of affect regulation, suicide and self-harming behaviors, substance use, and/or other psychopathology symptoms in adolescents and adults. Quantitative approaches include but are not limited to: intensive longitudinal methods (i.e., multilevel, growth curve, time varying effects, and dynamic structural equation modeling), network analysis, and experience sampling methods (i.e., EMA, daily diary, ambulatory assessment, etc.); trainees with at least some experience in advanced methods as well as interest in learning new methods are encouraged to apply. Potential projects may also model biomarkers (genetic/epigenetic), menstrual cycle effects, and/or minority stressors, depending on trainee interest and available data.

Brandon Gaudiano: Dr. Gaudiano works as a psychologist at Butler Hospital and the Providence VA Medical Center. He also is Primary Faculty in Brown’s Mindfulness Center. Dr. Gaudiano’s research includes psychosocial treatment development, testing, and dissemination/implementation work for patients with severe psychiatric disorders (psychosis, mood disorders, comorbid substance use, and suicidality). His interventions frequently focus on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and mobile technologies. Projects for the upcoming year include the development of a novel ecological momentary intervention for patients with psychosis, suicide prevention programs (video- and telephone-based) for patients with leaving the psychiatric hospital, and a 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) elucidating the interplay of mood/anxiety-based processes and co-occurring substance use disorders through experimental paradigms, and 2) developing specialized intervention programs designed to target these malleable risk factors to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring mood/anxiety and substance use disorders, particularly through digital health platforms. Recent projects involve utilizing EMA methodologies to examine cognitive-affective risk factors associated with poor smoking cessation outcomes; development of a combined computer- and text message-delivered intervention to support stabilization in buprenorphine treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD); application of a text message-based program to encourage continued engagement in medications for OUD following release from jail/prison; and use of qualitative methods to evaluate patient and provider perspectives on combined long-acting injectable treatment for HIV and OUD.

John McGeary: Dr. McGeary’s research focuses on the intersection of clinical psychology, neuroscience, and genetics to inform questions of etiology and treatment.  He directs a molecular lab located at the Providence VA Medical Center where he is also a staff psychologist treating Veterans with substance use disorders.  He actively collaborates on 65+ research projects with investigators at Brown, affiliated hospitals, consortia (e.g., Million Veteran Program), and collaborating institutions around the country.  Dr. McGeary’s research interests include: 1) genetic and epigenetic variation associated with psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes (and recently with phenotypes of interest to researchers in Dermatology, Surgery, Infectious Disease, Neuroscience, Computer science, Gerontology, and Public Health); 2) the role of sleep in suicide, addiction, and other psychopathology; and 3) the use of neurostimulation for treatment of addiction. Particular strengths in his research portfolio include studies of addiction, depression, nonpsychiatric behavioral phenotypes (e.g., sleep, exercise, & obesity) and pharmacogenetics (the use of genetic profiles to predict medication efficacy and side-effects). 

Jane Metrik & Rachel Gunn: This placement has several available areas of research focus. The overall aim of this research placement is to provide training opportunities in the area of alcohol and cannabis co-use and related risk behaviors. Our NIH-funded program of research utilizes several levels of data collection including laboratory and field-based methods. Opportunities to collaborate on the following current and recently completed studies are as follows: 1) a human laboratory study examining acute effects of cannabis on alcohol craving and consumption; 2) an ecological momentary assessment study focused on assessing effects of cannabis on driving-related impairment; 3) an ambulatory assessment study of the impact of simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use on alcohol consumption and consequences using alcohol biosensors to measure alcohol use in the field; 4) a mixed-methods (laboratory and ecological momentary assessment) study of simultaneous alcohol and cannabis use, including examination of the impact of multiple cannabinoids (THC versus CBD) on drinking behaviors; and 5) a longitudinal study examining cannabis use and comorbidity with heavy drinking and affective disorders in returning Veterans. Opportunities for learning applied aspects of the human laboratory studies involving cannabis and alcohol administration are a major part of this placement, as well as integration of data from multiple levels (e.g., person- and event-level). Multiple other opportunities are available for collaboration on various projects including data analysis, manuscript preparation, and development of grant proposals.

Robert Miranda & 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.

Lisa Uebelacker: Study of physical activity, yoga, and integrated primary care interventions for depression and/or chronic pain. Specifically, ongoing studies include: a) a study of which components of a yoga intervention help to increase yoga practice in people with opioid use disorder and chronic pain; and b) development of yoga for depressed adolescents. Projects which are currently in a follow-up and data analysis phase 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.

Child Track Faculty offering Research Placements

Clinical Child Psychology:

Jennifer Freeman & Kristen Benito - Pediatric Anxiety Research Clinic (PARC): Assessment and treatment of childhood and adolescent obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders; dissemination and implementation of exposure treatment for anxiety. 

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

Anastacia Kudinova: bio-behavioral mechanisms of youth suicide risk with opportunities for exposure to neuroimaging methods; self-referential cognitive-affective processes (e.g., self-criticism, self-compassion) and youth suicide risk; ecological momentary assessment methodology.

Jacqueline Nesi: The role of social media in adolescents' peer relationships and mental health, with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts and behavior.

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.

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.

Justin Parent: Exploring mechanisms through which families influence child adaptive and maladaptive development with the goal of optimizing intervention and prevention outcomes. Current research involves understanding how enhancing family well-being alters stress-related physiological systems (e.g., epigenetics) among at-risk youth. 

Guilia Righi: 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.  

Anthony Spirito & Jennifer Wolff, - Adolescent Mental Health Collaborative (AMHC):  Assessment and treatment of depression, behavior problems, and suicidality in youth. Current research involves: 1) identifying risk and resiliency factors, 2) translating these findings into treatments, and 3) implementing these treatments in real-world settings (community clinics, juvenile justice, inpatient, and primary care).

Elizabeth Thompson: Psychosis-spectrum disorders in adolescence, with a focus on screening and assessment across settings, intervention development, and co-occurring suicidality.

Pediatric Psychology:

David Barker: Social support and treatment adherence; evidence synthesis using individual participant data.

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

Barbara Jandasek: Treatment development for parents of children with Congenital Heart Disease, Evaluation of Heart Camp, Evaluation of Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Heart Center

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.

Nick Tarantino: HIV-focused interventions for young people in the US and sub-Saharan Africa; mHealth interventions; adolescent risk behavior

Jennifer Wolff: Assessment and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems; suicide prevention; dissemination and implementation of empirically-based treatments for at-risk youth in various settings. 

Juvenile Justice/Behavioral Health:

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. 

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

Sarah Helseth: substance use prevention and treatment in the juvenile justice system; intervention development; digital health; dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments in juvenile justice settings

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

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. 

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.

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

Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine Faculty offering Research Placements

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

Philip Chan, Megan Pinkston-Camp, Brooke Rogers: Behavioral medicine, substance use, and mental health interventions for sexual and racial minorities founded in minority stress and resiliency, HIV prevention among adults.

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

Rani Elwy: Health services research and elements of implementation science that are specific to behavioral medicine interventions. Examining patients’ access to and uptake of mental health care and complementary and integrative health services, and communication between patients, families and providers. 

Carly Goldstein: Behavioral obesity treatment; digital health; optimization designs; implementation science; cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment; interventions delivered through integrated care.

Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher: stress reactivity and acute coronary syndromes; psychosocial determinants of atherosclerotic  cardiovascular disease (ASCVD); heart failure and cognitive dysfunction; mind-body interventions to promote cardiovascular health.

Laura Stroud:  Biobehavioral mechanisms of stress, depression, tobacco & substance use. Women's health & health disparities; Maternal stress, substance use and depression during pregnancy and offspring development; 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: Study of physical activity, yoga, and integrated primary care interventions for depression and/or chronic pain, including in the context of HIV or opioid use disorder.

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

Jennifer Davis and Seth Margolis:  Researching Everyday Activities of Living (REAL) Lab. Drs. Davis and Margolis co-direct the REAL Lab research placement and will be accepting one resident for the 2022-2023 training year. REAL Lab studies center on functional and psychosocial aspects of cognitive impairment in adults and older adults. Current interests relate to neuropsychological and psychosocial aspects of medication adherence, predictors of functional decline and compensatory strategy use in MCI and mild dementia, the ecological validity of cognitive testing, neuropsychological side effects of medications, individual factors related to driving safety, as well as psychosocial adjustment to illness and disability more broadly. There may also be opportunities to get involved in the development of a web-based anti-stigma intervention for people with epilepsy. 

Laura Korthauer: EEG and MRI markers of cognitive risk and resilience in Alzheimer’s disease; novel cognitive paradigms for detection of neurodegenerative disease; pupillometry as an AD biomarker.

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 in diverse ethnoracial groups; Roles of cultural beliefs and stigma in subjective cognitive decline.

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.  

Louisa Thompson:  Novel approaches to cognitive screening in the elderly. Using digital cognitive assessment tools to detect subtle cognitive changes in early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Analyzing associations between longitudinal changes in digital clock drawing performance and MRI markers of neurodegeneration.  

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

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. 

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