Skip to content

Students

good-lab-teach

Fellowship in Clinical Biobehavioral Research on Mindfulness and Integrative Behavioral Health Interventions

Eric Garland, PhD, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Utah College of Social Work and Director of the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development, is seeking clinically-trained social work PhD students for a fellowship in social work neuroscience and clinical research on behavioral health interventions. Pre-doctoral fellows will assist in Federally-funded research.

Pre-doctoral fellows will support clinical biobehavioral research on mindfulness as a treatment for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse at the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development, which currently oversees more than $17 million in NIH-, DOD-, and PCORI-funded grants. In particular, fellows will help conduct randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and mechanistic research on Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a manualized social work intervention for addiction, stress-related conditions, and chronic pain. For additional information on MORE and current research, see www.drericgarland.com.

Pre-doctoral fellows will assist with the following duties: a) manuscript preparation from existing datasets; b) implementing mindfulness and other behavioral interventions to study participants; c) clinical data collection; d) psychophysiological data collection (autonomic and fMRI measures); and e) data analysis. Pre-doctoral fellows will be trained to implement MORE and other mindfulness-based interventions, and will also have opportunities to coauthor scientific articles from existing primary datasets, as well as to conduct new research studies, leveraging the resources and interdisciplinary connections of the College of Social Work, which extend into Psychiatry, Psychology, Oncology, Anesthesiology, Neuroscience, Internal and Family Medicine, and Nursing, among other departments.

The fellowship comes with a competitive stipend in addition to a graduate research assistantship.

Required Qualifications: Dr. Garland is seeking applicants with a MSW, strong writing and analytical skills, and clinical experience working with persons suffering from mental health problems, addictive behaviors, and/or chronic pain and other health conditions.

Preferred Qualifications: Applicants with a LCSW, previous experience with mindfulness, quantitative data analysis, computer programming, psychophysiological data collection/analysis, and/or previous study coordination experience on Federally-funded studies will be given preference.

College, University, and Environment:  As a major research and teaching university—and the flagship of the Utah System of Higher Education—the University of Utah strives to create an academic environment in which the highest standards of scholarship, professional practice and teaching are observed.  The University is located in Salt Lake City, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, providing ready access to world class outdoor recreational opportunities.

The University of Utah College of Social Work has a number of excellent research facilities, including the state-of-the-art Bridge Training Clinic, consisting of four therapy rooms with one-way mirrors and videotaping capacity for behavioral observation and coding, as well as a Social Work Neuroscience Laboratory for assessment of neurocognitive and neuroaffective mechanisms of therapeutic change.

Application Process: Review of applications will begin immediately and the position will be open until filled. Applicants should provide cover letter, curriculum vitae, list of three professional references, and published writing sample(s). Inquiries regarding the position may be directed to Dr. Eric Garland, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, at eric.garland@socwk.utah.edu, 801-581-3826.

Graduate Courses

I offer semester-long courses in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness for Master’s level graduate students. These courses combine didactic material with group discussion, digital and audiovisual media, experiential activities, and role play. For this purpose, I utilize a clinical teaching and research lab comprised by an interview and observation suite, separated from each other by a one-way mirror. Students practice and demonstrate clinical interviewing techniques while being observed by their peers. Concurrently, I provide real time feedback and instruction through the use of “bug in the ear” technology. Practice sessions may be videotaped for subsequent review and analysis. This interview-observation approach maximizes the learning process through multiple pathways: a) students learn through direct experience and practice of skills rather than solely through rote learning of didactic material; b) students learn by observing and critically analyzing their peers demonstrate skills; c) students learn through group discussion and debriefing the clinical practice experience; and d) students learn by my provision of coaching and active guidance during moment-by-moment interactions as they unfold in real time. This approach provides a safe milieu where students can feel comfortable facing challenging scenarios and experimenting with unfamiliar techniques.

I also offer a PhD-level course in intervention research, that covers: federal grant writing; clinical trial design and analysis; and intervention development, mechanistic considerations, and outcome testing. This course is conducted as a seminar where students critique each others’ work and complete the semester with the finished product of a grant proposal.

Independent Studies

In addition, I have overseen Master’s- and Bachelor’s-level directed independent studies on topics as diverse as:

  • Autonomic psychophysiology
  • Resilience and positive emotionality
  • Strategic therapy and Ericksonian hypnosis
  • Neuropharmacology of prescription opioid addiction
  • Mindfulness and family therapy

I am always happy to supervise committed, passionate, and self-directed students through independent studies, where they can become involved in my laboratory as research assistants while they pursue knowledge and training in subjects of mutual interest. Such independent studies often function as apprenticeships, in which the student learns skills (e.g., data collection and analysis, scientific manuscript preparation, theory construction) under my supervision, and then puts those skills into practice by providing assistance to ongoing research projects.

Students

At present, I am accepting Doctoral, Master’s, and Bachelor’s students to assist me in my research as mentees. Students work in my lab as research assistants (volunteer or paid positions), and/or in Doctoral, Master’s, and Bachelor’s-level directed independent studies on a range of topics. In addition to getting an “insider view” of the research process, students can acquire course credit, volunteer hours, or experience for their resumes.

I am always happy to supervise committed, passionate, and self-directed students in my lab, where they can become involved as research assistants while they pursue knowledge and training in subjects of mutual interest. Such independent studies often function as apprenticeships, in which the student learns skills (e.g., biopsychosocial and psychiatric assessment, data collection and analysis, psychophysiology, scientific manuscript preparation, theory construction) under my supervision, and then puts those skills into practice by providing assistance to ongoing research projects.

If you are interested in joining my lab, please email me or contact me through the form below.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: