Dept of Psychology Research Laboratories

Cardiac Psychology Lab

East Carolina Heart Institute

ECU Cardiac Psychology | Research Assistant Application

Tell a friend about this page.
All fields required.
Can be sent to only one email address at a time.
Share Facebook Icon Twitter Icon

Research Assistant Application

Cardiac Psychology Laboratory
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University

The major purpose of a research assistant position is to provide an opportunity for advanced and qualified students to obtain firsthand, supervised research experience in psychology. As a research assistant, you will assist me with a research project and may work with a graduate student who is doing research supervised by me. You should not expect to be able to conduct an experiment of your own. If you are considering graduate school or are unsure about the direction you want to take with your degree or career, research experience such as this is essential!

I am looking for bright and motivated students to join my research team in the Cardiac Psychology Laboratory. My research focuses on the study of psychological responses to stressful cardiac events including recent diagnosis, shock from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), and difficulties returning to life after receiving an ICD. The bulk of our research centers around patients with defibrillators and their adjustment to the device. This is an especially good opportunity for students interested in health psychology, clinical psychology, or a health-related field.

As a research assistant, you will have some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct basic research: help recruit and retain participants, run participants through study protocol from informed consent to debriefing, enter and analyze data, prepare presentations
  • Be a member of the lab group: attend regular lab meetings in which we discuss relevant literature, research protocol issues, and study progress
  • Conduct library research: conduct literature reviews, write up summaries, and present synthesis to lab group
  • Assist in the lab: help set up and maintain lab equipment and supplies
  • Other: students have the option of adding other skills they wish to learn that are within the scope of the project and its timeline


Serving as a research assistant requires that you sign up for supervised research for credit. Some of the options for this include:
For undergraduate students: PSCY 4501 Psychological Research I for one semester and PSYC 4502 Psychological Research II for a second semester (both are two-credit courses).

For graduate students: PSYC 6519 Directed Research I for one semester and PSYC 6520 Directed Research II for a second semester (both are three-credit courses).


Following are the required qualifications for a research assistant position:

  • A commitment of 6-9 hours per week during the semester
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

Following are a few qualifications that I would prefer but that are not required:

  • A commitment of two consecutive semesters is preferred
  • Experience with SPSS is a plus
  • Preference is given to advanced psychology students, but all students will be considered
  • Coursework in Statistics and Research Methods with grades of C or better


In general, past and current research assistants have found my lab to be an interesting and beneficial place to work. Many of my former research assistants have gone on to graduate psychology programs, as well as medical school, social work, etc. Several students with excellent academic credentials have also conducted their own research in my lab in order to complete thesis work.

Contact information

Samuel F. Sears, PhD
Office: Rawl 215
Phone: 252-328-6118
Fax: 252-328-6283


If you are interested, please complete this application.