LEED Positions

The Laboratory for Early Experiences and Development (LEED) is located in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston and is directed by Dr. Johanna Bick. LEED’s work builds off a well established body of research showing that early adverse events are common, and when experienced in the first years of life, can have a lasting impact on cognitive, emotional, and social development.

Our goal at LEED is to delineate the specific impact of these experiences on underlying neurodevelopmental systems related to areas of risk. To test our questions, we use a variety of methods to measure the brain (EEG, MRI, and recently fNIRS) and central/peripheral nervous systems (HPA axis, ANS), and we conduct in-depth assessments of emotional, cognitive and social functioning.

The first years of life represent a period of heightened neurodevelopmental plasticity. For our work, this suggest that the early years of life represent a “window of vulnerability”, in that early adverse experiences may lead to problematic brain and behavioral development. At the same time, these years also represent a “window of opportunity”, such that early intervention may be most effective if delivered during this highly sensitive phase of development. Some of our work shows that intervention programs, especially when delivered early in life, can have a lasting positive impact on children exposed to early adverse conditions.

Our Expectations of New Research Assistants

  • At least a one year commitment
  • A time commitment of 7-10 hours/week
  • Handle the psychophysiology equipment with care
  • Exercise strong organizational and time management skills with an exceptional attention to detail
  • Maintain the adeptness to work independently as well as part of a team with a collaborative approach to problem solving
  • Treat all research participants and lab personnel with respect and courtesy
  • Be available for weekend or evening visits

What You Can Expect to Learn at Each Phase

Initial Phase

  • Coordinate contact with families to include outreach and recruitment
  • Schedule study visits and send reminders
  • Learn and assist in EEG or fNIRS setup when running participants
  • Explaining tasks to participants
  • Data entry
  • Provide support for running sessions (set up, clean)

More Advanced Phase

  • Consent participants
  • Assist in behavioral or neuroimaging task administration 
  • Administer cognitive assessments
  • Behavioral coding
  • Learn how to process neuropsychophysiological data

After One Year
     •Appropriate to ask for letter of recommendation
     •Potential to conduct senior thesis/poster project opportunities
     •Be able to lead larger visits

What the Laboratory for Early Experiences and Development Can Provide You

  • Clinical psychology research experience using psychophysiological measures as well as neuropsychological and behavioral assessments
  • Didactic experience on issues pertaining to neurodevelopmental systems and emotional, cognitive and social functioning
  • The potential for a letter recommendation (one year commitment is required for a high quality letter)
  • The potential for future paid position in the lab after one year of experience

Link to Application: https://forms.gle/nqWyHRhfLSGy8eAL8

We will review your application as soon as we can and try to get back to you within the coming weeks. As a heads up, we only review these applications as space in the lab opens up, so you may not receive an update for a month or more. Please let us know if you have any questions not addressed above, or email uhleedstudy@gmail.com if you have any additional information or supplementary materials you’d like to add to your application that you haven’t already provided in this form.