The Child Health Study

Study Purpose:

The primary purpose of this study is to learn more about the different ways in which the environment and biology can affect a person's health over their lifetime. Children beginning at the age of 8 along with one of their caregivers spends a day visiting The Center for Healthy Children at Penn State to help us learn about their different life experiences and environments and how these shapes human development. The information we gather during these visits will help us achieve our long-range goal of understanding more about children, adolescents, and their families to improve health outcomes.

Research Assistant Benefits:

  • Independent research credit
  • Valuable, cutting edge research experience
  • Opportunity for a senior honors thesis (based on thesis requirements)
  • CMAS and BBH Internship placement (based on internship requirements)

University Park
Work Setting(s): 
On campus
Communications and Journalism, Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Description of responsibilities: 

Research Assistants (RAs) will engage with our families throughout their visit to our Center and help make it a fun and rewarding day for them. RAs will assist research staff with participant visits such as visit preparation; science, nutrition, and art activities; or data entry. RAs may also be involved with updating our social media as well as creating newsletters to provide up-to-date communication with our 1,800 participants. Eligible undergraduates interested in gaining medically relevant experience may assist with collecting, processing, storing, and transporting biological samples (e.g., blood, urine, and saliva).

RAs will also engage in a weekly seminar with research staff and investigators to discuss best practices and challenges in research, theories supporting the project, and publications by our investigators.

RAs will commit at least 9 hours between 7:45 am and 3:30 pm per week for 2 semesters. There may be an occasional Saturday that RAs will be asked to be available.

Minimum Qualifications: 

Due to the complexity and nature of the study, RAs are required to commit a minimum of 9 hours per week for two semesters to the study. The Child Health Study RAs must be committed, detail-oriented, and reliable. RAs will complete the training sessions and clearances/background checks listed below.


  1. CITI Program Training Course - Protection of Human Research Participants, Social, and Behavioral Human Subject Research Course
  2. Biosafety 101 (through EHS)
  3. Bloodborne Pathogens (through EHS)
  4. Lab safety (through EHS)
  5. Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Child Abuse

Clearances and Background Checks

  1. PA Criminal Background Check
  2. PA Child Abuse Clearance
  3. FBI Clearance
Opportunity Timeframe(s): 
Fall, Spring, Summer
Position Type(s): 
Credit, Variable, Volunteer, Work Study
Number of positions available: 
Application Procedure: 
Posting Date: 
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Last Updated: 
September 20, 2021