Student Research Opportunities

The following positions are for students who are seeking work experience in Early Childhood Research.
At UNL, additional student research opportunities are available from UCARE.


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Nebraska Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Implementation Support Team (IST)

Faculty: Amanda Witte
Susan Sheridan
Contact Email: awitte2@unl.edu
Start Date: 08/30/2019
Position Type: Paid graduate assistantship
Position Requirements: Previous experience with academic or behavioral instruction or interventions.
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: Flexible

CYFS is seeking graduate research assistants for work on Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support that aims to empower schools to support and prepare all students for success by systematically delivering a range of high-quality instruction tailored to meet their needs. Responsibilities include supporting field-based implementation specialists; researching academic and behavioral interventions and summarizing their attributes; developing and refining technical assistance materials; coordinating and collecting data; assisting with data entry and cleaning; providing coordination assistance for teacher professional development training; and other project-related tasks.

CYFS Graduate Research Assistant

Faculty: Gwen Nugent
Contact Email: gnugent1@unl.edu
Start Date: 07/01/2019
Position Type: Paid graduate assistantship
Position Requirements:
Age Group: K-3
Hours per Week: 20

A Research Assistant position is available for a NSF-funded project investigating how computer science instruction is implemented in grades K-8 in Nebraska school districts. Responsibilities include conducting literature reviews, assisting with data collection, data management, running basic statistics, and other research-related tasks. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three professional references to gnugent1@unl.edu. Resume should highlight any relevant experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods/analysis and knowledge or experience with computer science instruction.

Research Intern with SBSRC and LPS

Faculty: SBSRC
Contact Email: phill3@unl.edu
Start Date: 06/01/2019
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: Prefer experience working with data and proficiency with Word, Excel, and statistical software
Age Group: K-3
Hours per Week: 20-40

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium and Lincoln Public Schools are hiring 1-2 graduate student interns for summer 2019. Research interns will work on an NIH Science Education Partnership Award grant that focuses on broadening participation in STEM. Duties will include data exploration, data merging, analyzing quantitative data, writing results summaries, and conducting literature reviews for publication. Interns will receive training and mentorship within the LPS Evaluation & Assessment Dept. and SBSRC. Interns will work with secure data in coordination and collaboration with UNL faculty. To apply, send your CV and a letter of interest to phill3@unl.edu.

Effectiveness of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation on Student Outcomes in Rural Communities: A Follow-Up Study

Faculty: Susan Sheridan
Henry Bass
Contact Email: henry.bass@huskers.unl.edu
Start Date: 03/01/2019
Position Type: Volunteer
Position Requirements: Previous research experience preferred, but not required.
Age Group: Lifespan
Hours per Week: Expect 10 hours per week, althou

This study is focused on identifying whether the effects of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation, an early education intervention, are maintained as children develop into adolescents. We are seeking one to two undergraduate research assistants to assist in the following responsibilities: Contacting and recruiting participants; organizing and preparing participant information; sending out surveys to participants; receiving and coding participant survey responses; and other project-related tasks. The position is currently volunteer only, although opportunities to turn provide funding or course credit are being pursued.

Nebraska Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Implementation Support Team (IST)

Faculty: Amanda Witte
Susan Sheridan
Contact Email: awitte2@unl.edu
Start Date: 02/01/2019
Position Type: Paid graduate assistantship
Position Requirements: Previous experience with academic or behavioral instruction or interventions.
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: Flexible

CYFS is seeking graduate research assistants for work on Nebraska’s Multi-tiered System of Support that aims to empower schools to support and prepare all students for success by systematically delivering a range of high-quality instruction tailored to meet their needs. The position would begin immediately. Responsibilities include supporting field-based implementation specialists; researching academic and behavioral interventions and summarizing their attributes; developing and refining technical assistance materials; coordinating and collecting data; assisting with data entry and cleaning; providing coordination assistance for teacher professional development training; and other project-related tasks.

Getting Ready

Faculty: Lisa Knoche
Chris Marvin
Contact Email: cmarvin1@unl.edu
Start Date: 08/18/2019
Position Type: Paid hourly
Course credit
UCARE
Position Requirements: Interest & experience with young children and families. Native Spanish speakers encouraged
Age Group: Infant
Toddlers
Hours per Week: 10 hrs/week

This large field-based research study has many components and questions. We are seeking research assistants to assist in one or more of the following tasks: 1. Transcribing what children say during 15 minute video-taped play sessions with a parent 2. Coding parent behavior in these same 15 minute play sessions 3. Coding what teachers do/say in video-taped interactions with parents 4. Search, read and summarize articles describing research studies focused on young children’s early speech development in English and/or Spanish, parenting behaviors with infants/toddlers, and quality child care program for young children at risk for school readiness

Elevating Nebraska's Early Childhood Systems

Faculty: Susan Sarver and Kathleen Gallagher
Contact Email: ssarver@nebraska.edu
Start Date: 01/31/2019
Position Type: Paid graduate assistantship
Position Requirements: Data management & basic analysis experience (Excel, SPSS); academic writing exp.
Age Group: Infant
Toddlers
Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: 20

The mission of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute is to transform the lives of young children by improving their learning and development. We are seeking students to assist with early childhood systems projects. Research and project management activities include assisting with development and administration of surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Responsibilities include the IRB application processes, working the Bureau of Sociological Research, literature reviews, data collection and management, meeting preparation, and communication with state stakeholders and project consultants. Previous experience with large projects and/or early childhood care and education systems is desired. This position includes summer employment.

Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children

Faculty: Matthew W. Carlson
Kelli Hauptman
Contact Email: mattcarlson@unl.edu
Start Date: 10/01/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: People skills, independence, documentation and data management, time management
Age Group: Infant
Toddlers
Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: 10

The Nebraska Resource Project for Vulnerable Young Children works to improve professional and personal well-being for those who work with children aged 0-5 in early childhood education and child welfare. We are looking for research assistants to help with data collection in the Lancaster County Juvenile Court and to manage data and ongoing online data collection. Undergraduate research assistants will gain experience collecting data from at-risk populations, entering and managing large databases, interpreting and reporting statistical findings, and coding qualitative data. We are looking for undergraduates that are detail oriented, enjoy managing information systems, are reflective, and are willing to ask questions.

Self-Regulation Development in Preschool and Elementary School Classrooms

Faculty: Jenna Finch
Contact Email: jenna.finch@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/01/2018
Position Type: Volunteer
Course credit
UCARE
Position Requirements: No prior research experience is needed.
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: Minimum: 6 hours

Children's self-regulation of their attention and behaviors are important predictors of their academic and social success. This project seeks to understand what aspects of children's classroom environments support the development of their self-regulation skills. Undergraduate research assistants have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the research process including literature reviews, data collection, data entry, analysis, presentation at conferences, and the writing of academic publications. Currently, we are designing a school-based study to be implemented in 2019. This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in developmental psychology or a related field.

What Works in Early Childhood Coaching?: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Faculty: Dr. Rachel Schachter
Dr. Lisa Knoche
Contact Email: rschachter2@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/01/2018
Position Type: Volunteer
Course credit
Position Requirements: No previous research experience required.
Age Group: Infant
Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: Flexible depending on student sc

The field of early childhood lacks consistent guidance on the best way to train coaches and implement coaching such that it ensures high-quality coaching experiences that result in positive changes for teachers and children (Sheridan et al., 2009). The identification of key coaching practices that are based in the literature and demonstrate evidence of effectiveness in changing teacher and child outcomes is essential for moving the field forward (Mangin & Dunsmore, 2015). This study seeks to address this gap in the field by conducting a mixed-method, systematic review of the EC coaching literature in order to derive a list of evidence-based coaching and coach-training practices.

standardized testing

Faculty: Yingying Wang
Contact Email: yingying.wang@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/01/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: previous experience is desired and must be in graduate study (either mater in SLP or psychology)
Age Group: Toddlers
Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Lifespan
Hours per Week: flexible

Student will help administer standardized testing including Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (KBIT-2) and Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, Third Edition (WRMT-III), meanwhile, you will fill out questionnaires about your child including basic demographic information, StimQ2-Preschool parental report, and Brown EF/A Scales parental report, etc.

Community Population Health Initiative Focusing on Childhood Physical Activity

Faculty: Dr. David Dzewaltowski
Sara Norgelas & Marisa Rosen
Contact Email: sara.norgelas@unmc.edu
Start Date: 09/14/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: Interested in pursuing a masters of Public Health; interested in gaining research & field experience
Age Group: K-3
Lifespan
Hours per Week: 20-30

We are seeking interns to join our team examining community development, physical activity, nutrition and health promotion for children. Interns will be working under the auspices of an innovative 5-year community randomized trial funded by the National Cancer Institute titled Whole-of-Community Systems Intervention for Youth Population Physical Activity (RO1R01CA215420-01A1). Interns will have the opportunity to develop skills such as quantitative data collection (observation and accelerometry); qualitative data collection; and peer review paper, report, and grant writing skills. The work will be under the guidance of Professor and Endowed Community Chair, David Dzewaltowski. Submit cover letter and resume to sara.norgelas@unmc.edu.

Community Population Health Initiative Focusing on Childhood Physical Activity

Faculty: Dr. David Dzewaltowski
Sara Norgelas & Marisa Rosen
Contact Email: sara.norgelas@unmc.edu
Start Date: 09/14/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: Willing to work evenings and/or weekends; skilled in Microsoft Office
Age Group: K-3
Lifespan
Hours per Week: 10-20

Research Assistant(s) will assist with data collection on children in the youth settings in rural communities in Nebraska and assist in subsequent video data coding. The position may perform literature searches, maintain a library of articles for staff, filing, photocopying, running errands and other lab tasks as assigned.

Community Population Health Initiative Focusing on Childhood Physical Activity

Faculty: Dr. David Dzewaltowski
Contact Email: david.dzewaltowski@unmc.edu
Start Date: 07/01/2019
Position Type: Paid graduate assistantship
Position Requirements: Pursuing a masters in Public Health; interested in physical activity, & community population health
Age Group: K-3
Lifespan
Hours per Week: 20

We are seeking Graduate Research Assistants to join our team examining community development, physical activity, nutrition and health promotion for children. The GRA position will contribute to an innovative 5-year community randomized trial funded by the National Cancer Institute titled Whole-of-Community Systems Intervention for Youth Population Physical Activity (RO1R01CA215420-01A1). Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to participate on other projects that target community population health and child development in child care, elementary schools, and middle schools, which are funded by the USDA, NIH, and foundations.

Train the Coach Approach

Faculty: Kelley Buchheister
Rachel Schachter
Contact Email: kbuchheister2@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/15/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Volunteer
UCARE
Position Requirements: Responsible, hard-working, and interest in mathematics, early childhood, or education a plus!
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
Hours per Week: 10

Preschool teachers tend to have limited knowledge of mathematical content and experience obstacles in implementing strategies that support children's mathematical learning. Furthermore, the impact of professional development models are often undermined by the chronically high teacher turnover rates in early childhood (EC), which results in a cycle of less than optimal child outcomes and teacher training. To address these issues in EC, the aim of this project is to design and pilot an innovative professional learning model, "Train the coach" approach, that explicitly targets two critical areas: (a) developing EC teachers' mathematical knowledge, and (b) implementing effective practices that support children's mathematical reasoning.

Circle of Security Intervention Enhanced with Mindful Self-Compassion (COS-MSC): A Mixed Methods Study

Faculty: Dr. Julia Torquati
Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers
Contact Email: thuynh10@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/01/2018
Position Type: Volunteer
Course credit
Position Requirements: No experience required, this will be a learning opportunity
Age Group: Toddlers
Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Hours per Week: 2-10 hours a week (depends on ea

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies is seeking undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in gaining hands-on research experience by assisting in collecting data for a dissertation research project called “Circle of Security Intervention Enhanced with Mindful Self-Compassion (COS-MSC): A Mixed Methods Study.” The purpose of the study is to compare two versions of Circle of Security-Parenting interventions. Please contact Tuyen Huynh (thuynh10@unl.edu) for more information or questions.

Getting Ready Project

Faculty: Chris Marvin
Lisa Knoche, Sue Sheridan
Contact Email: cmarvin1@unl.edu
Start Date: 08/26/2018
Position Type: Course credit
Position Requirements: Fluent in Mexican, Central-American Spanish. Grade point average 3.0 or better. Sophomore or higher
Age Group: Toddlers
Hours per Week: minimum 6, maximum 9

TASK: Transcribe speech of young Spanish-speaking children as they play with their Spanish-speaking parents for 15 minutes of video-taped play. Children are 12 months to 3 years of age. LOCATION AND TIME: Transcriptions will need to be done on computers in Teachers College Hall. Training sessions will be scheduled at set times during the day according to Trainer and Trainee schedules for first 2-3 weeks. Once trained and reliable, student IDs can be programmed for after-hour and weekend access to building and lab and work at times convenient to student.

Superintendent's Early Childhoood Plan

Faculty: Lisa Knoche, Ph.D.
Belle Scheef, Ph.D.
Contact Email: bscheef@unl.edu
Start Date: 08/20/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Position Requirements: Background in ECE, human development, psychology, or a related field experience; billingual optional
Age Group: Prenatal
Infant
Toddlers
Preschool/Pre-K
Hours per Week: 10

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is seeking qualified on-call Early Childhood Research Technicians to help evaluate a project in conjunction with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. The technician’s responsibilities will involve watching videos of home visits and of parent-child interactions. The technician will code the videos according to established coding schemes and document the results in written reports. This requires participating in training, becoming reliable on the coding schemes, and writing professional reports. After training, work schedules are flexible, including evenings and weekends. All work will take place on UNL campus.

Early Literacy and Cognitive Skills Instruction for Bilingual Preschoolers

Faculty: Marc Goodrich
Contact Email: jgoodrich4@unl.edu
Start Date: 09/15/2018
Position Type: Paid hourly
Volunteer
Course credit
Position Requirements: 3.0 GPA, reliable transportation, morning availability. Experience working with children preferred.
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
Hours per Week: 10-12

The purpose of this study is to implement an early literacy intervention for children who are exposed to more than one language at home. This study will involve conducting assessments of academic and behavioral skills with preschool children. Additionally, we will deliver small-group and individualized instruction in early literacy skills (letter knowledge, phonological awareness).

The STEM to Academics is Physical Education- Home School Physical Education Initiative

Faculty: Megan M. Adkins, PhD
JP Rech, Graduate Assistant
Contact Email: adkinsmm@unk.edu
Start Date: 09/21/2018
Position Type: Volunteer
Position Requirements: No experience required, this will be a learning opportunity
Age Group: Preschool/Pre-K
K-3
Lifespan
Hours per Week: 2-5 flexible

Student will have the opportunity be involved in research covering a variety of instructional topics and approaches related to STEM, Physical Education, and the Home-School Population. Responsibilities will include data collection, entry and analysis, including coding of video-recorded instructional teaching sessions using observation software, evaluation of accelerometer activity, and being part of the developmental stages of a STEM/PhysEd Homeschool curriculum for PreK, 1-2 grade, 3-4 grade, etc... Students will learn about educational development and research, and work with faculty from a variety of disciplines, including instructional technology, exercise science, physical education, and 4-H extension.

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