Join Our Lab

Our lab conducts research on emotional development and associated neurobiology. Our research focuses on the process of development itself and how early experiences impact emotional behavior and brain development. Students in the laboratory work on projects covering a wide range of topics including neurobiological correlates of early adversity, emotion regulation, face processing, and temperament. We are committed to bringing individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, onto the team.

*As of Spring 2023, we are not currently recruiting additional research assistants. However, we will consider previously submitted applications in the future when personnel needs change. Currently active studies are listed below.

To apply to work in our lab, please fill out the form located at the bottom of this page. At this time, we can only accept students who have valid Columbia affiliated UNIs.

This is an ongoing R01-funded, longitudinal, high-dimensional, multi-modal, phenotyping (neuroimaging, behavior, caregiver report, physiology) study of 350 school-aged children (5-12 years old) with heterogeneous exposures to early caregiving adversities (ECAs) that will prospectively assess neuro-behavioral development. Participants of the PACCT study and their parents/guardians participate in three in-lab sessions (every 15 months). The parents/guardians also complete a brief set of follow-up questionnaires via phone or online (7 months after each in-lab session).

*We are particularly looking for Spanish/English bilingual research assistants who may aid in translating documents and working with our Spanish-speaking families. 

Expected hours per week: 10 hrs/week (with some weekend hours), 1 year commitment with plans to stay in NYC area over summer preferred.

Responsibilities include:

  • Entering data from paper hard copies to online spreadsheets, updating weekly task progress on spreadsheets

  • Keeping track of and managing incoming data

  • Study visit prep and post-visit tasks (prepping materials for lab visits, preparing reports and brain movies)

  • Bi-weekly team meetings

  • After demonstrated commitment, RAs can potentially help run study visits (administering questionnaires and tasks/games, conducting fMRI scans)

Qualifications include:

  • Prior experience working with children, adolescents, and families

  • Enthusiasm for studying caregiving-related developmental processes

  • Ideal candidates for this role will be responsible, detail-oriented, flexible, and good problem-solvers

  • Must be a Columbia University affiliate

We are examining how emotions and emotion regulation processes unfold in the daily lives of early adolescents (ages 11-14), most of whom were exposed to caregiving-related early adversities, and one of their primary caregivers to better understand how, when, and with whom differents aspects of emotion co-regulation and social support are most helpful. This study uses a dyadic experience sampling design, meaning that young teens and their caregivers will complete brief surveys on their phones between 5-7 times per day for 1-week. 

Expected hours per week: 7-10 hrs/week (with some weekend hours), 2-semester commitment 

Responsibilities include:

  • Setting up REDCap surveys for families
  • Creating at-home calendars tailored to each family
  • Daily compliance tracking of parent-child dyads currently enrolled (i.e. tracking whether each of the surveys were completed)
  • Updating tracking spreadsheet and plots using Rstudio with compliance information obtained REDCap on a daily basis
  • Checking in with parent-child dyads at the beginning, middle, and end of the 7-day protocol, as well as when several surveys have been missed
  • Weekly team meetings

Qualifications include:

  • No prior experience with R or REDCap is needed, as training will be provided
  • Enthusiasm for studying caregiving-related developmental processes
  • Ideal candidates for this role will be reliable, hard-working, flexible in adapting to unknown situations (experience sampling can have lots of technical hiccups), and enjoy working with a team


Please fill out the form located at the bottom of this page and the lab managers will reach back out to you. If you have any questions regarding the form, please email [email protected]

Motivated students who are interested in the questions we're asking and are willing to commit time to the research in our lab. No prior experience is needed. 

Generally speaking, the lab requires a 10 hr/week commitment from
research assistants for at least 1 year. Research assistants who complete their 1-year commitment and demonstrate motivation, interest,  and responsibility may be interested in pursuing independent projects. 

For more information, please review this document:/sites/default/files/content/DANLab_IndependentProjects.docx

Research Assistant Application: