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Join the WELL Center

Prospective Graduate Students

For 2023, Drs. Butryn, Forman, and Manasse are planning on taking a PhD student, and Drs. Butryn, Forman, Juarascio, Manasse, Srivastava and LaFata (formerly Schulte) are planning on taking an MS student. Interviews will take place in February and March of 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying to Our Research Labs

WELL Center Projects, Trainees, and Outcomes

Meet Our Current Graduate Students

Prospective Undergraduate Students

The WELL Center has training opportunities for undergraduates from Drexel, University of Pennsylvania and other local universities. The opportunities take the form of research assistantships, part- and full-time co-ops, STAR student sponsorships and supervised honors thesis projects. If you have questions email wellcenter@drexel.edu. Apply using this form.

Research Coordinator – Eating Disorders Research

The WELL Center at Drexel University (drexel.edu/wellcenter) is recruiting a full-time Research Coordinator under the mentorship of Paakhi Srivastava, PhD. The start date is ideally immediate but flexible, and the position duration will be one year (e.g., October 2022 thru September 2023).

The coordinator will oversee one NIH-funded R34 clinical trial designed to examine efficacies of technology-based augmentations for improving treatment adherence and skills utilization in a self-help CBT program for binge eating. Responsibilities include overall coordination of all study elements; implementing an advertisement/recruitment plan; refining and implementing the assessment protocol; scheduling and conducting participant screening and clinical assessments; managing data and databases; maintaining contact and approvals with NIH and IRB.

Dr. Srivastava’s research lab is staffed by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students, providing an environment rich in intellectual stimulation and mentorship. The position represents an excellent opportunity to gain experience in eating disorders clinical research and to be trained in both research and clinical tasks. This position provides excellent preparation for individuals who wish to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology or a related area. Opportunities also will be available, as desired, for grant application preparation, research diagnostic assessment training, additional data analysis, and preparation of poster presentations and/or manuscripts related to the projects. Research coordinator will also have the opportunity to be exposed to treatment provision.

The Project Summary- Self-help cognitive behavior therapies (CBTs) for binge eating are maximally effective when paired with periodic contact with expert clinicians. Clinicians likely improve outcomes because they are trained to utilize specific behavior change techniques for facilitating treatment adherence and skills utilization during self-help CBT program. Given the limited availability of expert clinicians, it is critical to understand how to enhance outcomes from self-help CBTs without clinician involvement. Technological innovations such as Advanced Digital Data Sharing with Coaches and Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) can potentially emulate some of the behavior change techniques used by expert clinicians and improve treatment targets. The proposed project will use a full factorial design, in which 76 individuals with transdiagnostic binge eating will be assigned to one of 4 treatment conditions, i.e., representing each permutation of two intervention factors (Advanced Digital Data Sharing with Coaches, and JITAIs) hypothesized to improve treatment adherence and skills utilization being included or excluded from a base self-help CBT program (delivered via a website and companion smartphone application) without clinician involvement.

Read more about Dr. Srivastava's research here

Click here to complete the official application

Upload supplemental application materials here

Research Coordinator – Obesity Research

The WELL Center at Drexel University (drexel.edu/wellcenter) is recruiting a full-time Research Coordinator under the mentorship of Erica LaFata, PhD. The start date is ideally immediate but flexible, and the position duration will be one year (e.g., October 2022 thru September 2023).

The Research Coordinator will oversee one-to-two NIH-funded or pilot clinical trials. Responsibilities include overall coordination of all study elements; implementing an advertisement/recruitment plan; refining and implementing the assessment protocol; scheduling and conducting participant screening and clinical assessments; managing data and databases; and maintaining contact and approvals with NIH and Drexel’s IRB.

Dr. LaFata’s research lab is staffed by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students, providing an environment rich in intellectual stimulation and mentorship. The position represents an excellent opportunity to gain experience in clinical research related to obesity, food reinforcement, and food addiction, and to also receive training in both research and clinical tasks. This position provides excellent preparation for individuals who wish to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology or a related area. Opportunities also will be available, as desired, for grant application preparation, research diagnostic assessment training, additional data analysis, and preparation of poster presentations and/or manuscripts related to the projects.

Dr. LaFata's research examines how the modern food environment contributes to problematic eating behaviors and obesity. Specifically, she assesses whether ultra-processed foods may be capable of triggering addictive biological and behavioral responses and adapts evidence-based interventions for substance-use disorders to help individuals decrease ultra-processed food intake.

The Research Coordinator will be primarily working on Dr. LaFata’s NIH-funded clinical trial, Project Response, which examines whether fat, refined carbohydrates (e.g., white flour, sugar), or the combination of both is most related to biological and behavioral indicators of addiction. Methodology involves physiological sampling (e.g., serial blood draws, salivation), laboratory eating paradigms, and ecological momentary assessment (EMA).

Read more about Dr. LaFata's research here

Click here to complete the official application (the listing includes details for Dr. Srivastava’s position but is the correct link to apply for Dr. LaFata’s position as well)

Upload supplemental application materials here

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Eating Disorders

The Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center; drexel.edu/wellcenter) is currently recruiting for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Treatment Development and Evaluation for Eating Disorders under the joint supervision of Adrienne Juarascio, Ph.D. and Stephanie Manasse, Ph.D. We are willing to consider a remote position under certain circumstances.

The postdoctoral research position offers ample opportunities for, and training/mentoring in, manuscript writing, grant writing, the use of innovative technology and methodology, and leadership roles. In addition, the research position is flexible depending on the interests of the postdoctoral fellow, and considerable attention will be devoted to developing the fellow’s line of research including the planning and execution of an

independent project. Pilot study funding will be provided. In addition, the postdoc fellow will be mentored in the writing of one or more independent grant proposals.
Responsibilities include assistance overseeing research coordinators, undergraduate and graduate students; monitoring study protocols, conducting statistical analyses; writing scientific manuscripts, and potentially clinical service and/or supervision of clinical service. As a result of fellowship activities, training, and mentorship, fellows will be highly competitive for the NIH Loan Repayment Program and for NIH training grants (e.g., F32s, K23s). Start date is negotiable.

This position entails working on clinical trials examining innovative treatments for eating disorders. These projects include six NIH-funded trials designed to improve outcomes for adolescents and adults with binge eating disorder and bulimia. The position will have both clinical and research components, with approximately 30/70 percent allocation of time for clinical and research tasks, respectively, though this allocation is flexible depending on interests. The fellow will assist in the development of treatment protocols, lead treatment groups, conduct outpatient treatment for adults and adolescents with eating disorders, supervise research staff, provide training to graduate students, and engage in manuscript and grant-writing activities. This training experience is designed to build expertise in clinical research in the area of eating disorder treatment. The ideal candidate will have a doctorate in clinical psychology and have experience treating individuals with eating disorders. Experience with assessment methods (e.g., semi-structured diagnostic interviews), a strong training background in cognitive-behavioral treatments, good statistical skills, and good writing skills (e.g. publications) are required.

The position may involve taking a prominent role in a number of projects that are developing and testing novel treatments. These projects include development and evaluation of: mindfulness and acceptance based treatments for eating disorders delivered in individual treatment formats, a just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) augmentations to CBT for eating disorders, a group lifestyle modification program for adolescents with loss-of-control eating, sleep-focused interventions for adolescent eating disorders, and a novel family-based treatment for adolescent eating disorders. The fellow could assist with development and iteration of the treatments; data processing and analysis; and manuscript write-up. In addition, the fellow will help develop follow-up designs and grant proposals.

Submit application here

Clinical Postdoctoral Fellows – Eating Disorders

The WELL Center (drexel.edu/wellcenter) is currently recruiting for two Clinical Postdoctoral Fellows under the supervision of Adrienne Juarascio, Ph.D and/or Paakhi Srivastava, PhD. The clinical postdoctoral fellowship positions will provide mandated hours and supervision for state licensure purposes. Details for these positions are provided below.

The Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow position entails working as a study therapist on NIH- funded clinical trials examining innovative treatments for eating disorders and/or in the WELL Clinic, an outpatient community clinic for eating and weight disorders. Research projects include but are not limited to a Multiphasic Optimization Strategy (MOST) trial to evaluate the independent efficacy of components of mindfulness and acceptance treatments for transdiagnostic eating disorders and a test of a technology-based augmentation to CBT for eating disorders.

These positions are fully clinical, with 100% of the time dedicated to direct clinical contact, case management, individual and group supervision (2-4 hours per week), and administrative duties related to clinical work. The majority of the fellow's time will be spent in delivering individual, outpatient manualized treatments for eating disorders. The fellows will carry a caseload of approximately 20 individual patients and will gain sufficient hours for licensure after 1 year. This training experience is designed to build expertise in clinical research in the area of eating disorders.

The ideal candidates will have a doctorate in clinical psychology and have experience with CBT and mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments for eating disorders. Training and experience with evidence-based, manualized, and/or cognitive-behavioral treatments for psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, depression, eating disorders) are required.

Submit application here

mPOWER Summer Research Fellowship

The Minority Pipeline for Obesity and Eating Disorder Research (mPOWER) fellowship is designed to provide research experience and mentorship to underrepresented racial/ethnic minority individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in eating disorders and/or obesity research. Click here for the application and more information.

Faculty and Staff Positions

We are currently recruiting an Assistant Research Professor. The ideal candidate has or is completing a Ph.D. in eating disorders/obesity, exhibits strong promise of attaining external funding through high-impact research, and has or shows potential for a high rate of federal/large-scale grant proposal submission and/or receipt of significant awards (including training grants). We are willing to consider a remote position under certain circumstances. 

This position involves roles as a co-investigator, clinician and/or clinical supervisor on existing clinical trials, while working towards attaining principal investigator roles and independent funding. The successful candidate will take the lead in applying for external funding as well as support the grant writing of other WELL Center faculty. 

The position offers ample opportunities for developing the candidate’s line of research including the planning and execution of independent projects. As such, research infrastructure, pilot study funding, and mentoring from experienced R01-funded faculty will be provided. Thus, candidates will be highly competitive for the NIH Loan Repayment Program, training grants (e.g., K23s), and R-level research grants.

Submit application here 

Study Therapist

Applicants are being sought for three study therapist positions beginning winter/spring 2022. Study therapists provide intervention through brief weekly coaching calls and receive weekly supervision and specialized training in evidence-based interventions for individuals with weight concerns. The positions can be conducted entirely remotely, and hours are flexible (4-10 hours/week).

Full posting here (PDF)


 Link to online application: https://careers.drexel.edu/en-us/job/497713/assistant-research-professor