Join the HJF Team!
HJF is seeking a Senior Research Assistant/ Liaison to support the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) located at Joint Exped Base in Little Creek, VA. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to CNRM.
The Senior Research Assistant (SRA)/ Liaison will support research conducted at JEB Little Creek under the Uniformed Services University, on the Investigating training associated blast pathology (INVICTA) study. The SRA will be responsible for the evaluation of SEAL personnel and SEAL qualifiers, as well as controls, who volunteer to participate in the study. The SRA will be primarily responsible for working with the SEAL community and its leadership to facilitate the recruitment and participation of both blast-exposed and appropriate controls from the community, in clinical research. The SRA will also assist with the administration of study assessments and questionnaires to research study participants, data collection and analysis, and collection and processing of biospecimens (blood, urine and hair).
- Coordinate closely with NSW leadership to ensure that they are cognizant and supportive of the research efforts to better delineate the impact of blast exposures during training upon military service members.
- Arrange meetings between NSW leadership and study staff as required to facilitate access to unit personnel for the purposes of recruitment and subsequent conduct of study assessments.
- Coordinate with NSW leadership to be able to provide them with appropriate feedback on the results of the conducted research, to be able to facilitate ongoing dialogue, including two-way communication regarding the optimal conduct of training to optimize the protection of service members from potentially deleterious blast exposure, while still enabling appropriate unit training to occur.
- After training by the overall study PI, will be able to administer and obtain informed consent from study participants, and appropriately train the study liaison/senior research assistant, and other research assistants, in the proper conduct of informed consent.
- After completing requisite education and training, will help to prepare consented study participants for study assessments, and guide them through the assessment process to include the following measures:
- Collection of demographic information.
- Assessment of visual acuity and hearing.
- Neural Analytics Transcranial Doppler (ultrasound).
- Quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG) or Brainscope.
- Computer-administered ANAM and Brain Gauge cognitive assessments.
- Assessment of neuromotor function (gait) with ACC Walker and i-PAS.
- Assessment of sleep patterns with actigraphy.
- Documentation of lifetime TBI history with OSU-TBI Identification Method.
- Administration of questionnaires to include PCL5, PHQ-9, GAD-7, PSQI, HIT-6, SF-12.
- Help with the tracking of study participants throughout study participation to ensure efficient completion of all study tasks in keeping with study SOPS, while ensuring the safety and comfort of participants throughout each assessment.
- Operate computer- or tablet-based software for study interventions and assessments, with administration of paper assessments as appropriate.
- Obtains vital signs, performs blood draws, and labels specimen tubes collected from study participants in accordance with Good Clinical Practices.
- Performs blood and serum processing according to Federal and State regulations.
- Coordinates collection and transport of specimens, to include generating a log to ensure accountability of specimen movement.
- Coordinate and communicate clearly with study participants and appropriate members of the research team before, during, and after sessions to ensure smooth conduct of study procedures.
- Establish sufficient familiarity with research protocol(s) through reading, training, and practice, in order to be able to accurately and consistently following detailed research protocol(s).
- Prepare and set up study assessment equipment prior to study sessions, and ensure that all elements are in good working order prior to each session.
- Maintain study hardware, to include cleaning EEG leads in accord with study procedures after each session.
- Assist in the design, development and execution of clinical research protocols, associated procedure manuals and other study documents, as needed.
- Assist in the design and dissemination of advertisements for the recruitment of participants in clinical trials, and help with outreach efforts to the SEAL community in order to promote interest in, and referrals to, the active research protocol(s).
- After requisite training, may be asked to consent participants for approved clinical research protocols, and to educate them regarding study procedures.
- Record, enter, and assist with the analysis of study data.
- Assist in the preparation of documents for submission to relevant IRBs for approvals, continuing reviews, and protocol amendments and deviations
- Work with the PI and other study staff on the writing of abstracts for scientific meetings, and corresponding papers for publication in journals.
- Assist the principal investigator and other study staff as needed.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Interpersonal skills, to include communication and listening, as well as ability to interact calmly in a positive manner with, and establish rapport with, individuals who may sometimes exhibit anxiety or irritability. Professional appearance and demeanor important. Multi-tasking capability desirable. Must be attentive to detail and able to adhere closely to study procedures and direction of supervisory staff. Completion of appropriate CITI certification in the conduct of clinical research.
Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in neuroscience, biology, psychology, or a closely related field; or high school or GED diploma, with additional military experience of at least 4 years’ active duty or 8 years’ reserve duty, preferably including experience as a SEAL or in Special Operations.
Minimum Experience: 6 or more years laboratory experience required. Prior military service, or having been a family member of a military service member, highly desirable. Experience with Microsoft Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) highly desirable. Prior biomedical research experience desirable.
Physical Capabilities: Requires ability to be on one’s feet, as well as to bend or kneel, to place and remove sensor leads. May require the ability to work with both individuals and groups of patients, and may require travel to other sites for the conduct of clinical trials.
Work Environment: Requires working in diverse climates to include desert or other hot, dry, and occasionally wet, field environments, with potential noise exposure resulting from the firing or military weapons. Flexibility in work hours, and travel dates, will be necessary at times in order to accommodate the collection of assessments on military field exercises, as unit deployments are highly variable, and some measurements during evening or night hours may be necessary.
Background: Eligibility to obtain a Common Access Card (CAC); eligibility to obtain and hold a Public Trust background.
Employment with HJF is contingent upon successful completion of a background check, which may include, but is not limited to, contacting your professional references, verification of previous employment, addresses, education, and credentials, a criminal background check, drug screening, and a department of motor vehicle (DMV) check.
HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.
Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.