Join Our Team
UWCATS Values Diversity of All Kinds
A primary aspect of the UWCATS mission is to provide supportive space for scientific dialogue and development. We strive to provide enriching opportunities for all members of our lab (volunteer research assistants, study staff, graduate students, and post-doctoral trainees), in which one’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, disability, national origin, and other aspects of our diversity are appreciated and respected. We are additionally committed to increasing diversity in academia and ensuring that clinical science represents the values, perspectives, and experiences of BIPOC individuals and communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting students into your lab for the 2022-2023 academic year?
Yes! Please note that there is no obligation to contact Dr. Zoellner directly via email to express your interest in applying. Due to a high volume of inquiries, Dr. Zoellner is unable to respond immediately to individual emails about graduate student applications.
What are you looking for in graduate student applications?
We are looking for students with an interest in understanding trauma-related psychopathology, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use. Our team is particularly interested in understanding trauma memories and related re-experiencing and more broadly improving our interventions that address trauma-related psychopathology.
We look for applicants with a strong academic background and interest in conducting research, evidenced by passion for this area of study in the personal statement, previous coursework, and publication/academic presentation record. Additionally, we highly value the ability and desire to collaborate closely with other team members. We strive to create a supportive, non-competitive, and fun learning environment, so working well on a team is a crucial quality that we look for in potential lab members.
When reviewing applications, we focus on whether applicants have research interests that are a good fit for the questions we study in the lab as well as prior research experience. Passion for the research of trauma-related psychopathology, prior research experience with prevention and treatment efforts, a demonstrated interest in groups at risk for trauma exposure, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and a track record of independent research (e.g., a thesis project as an undergraduate, poster presentations, or involvement in research publications) are the types of experience that are weighed heavily in the review process.
What kinds of projects do grad students work on in your lab?
Students are involved in many aspects of our current studies and clinical trials including serving as independent evaluators and study therapists, mentoring undergraduate research assistants, performing secondary analyses, and writing manuscripts. Our goal is to prepare our graduate students to have a model for setting up their own programs of research by the time they graduate. Sometimes these experiences can be funded as research assistantships or by training fellowships.
Our graduate students design their own studies and usually collect their own data for their master’s theses, dissertations, or both. Though, students do also design studies using data from our clinical trials.
For a description of our ongoing research studies, please click on the Research Program tab of our lab website.
Any suggestions for improving my application?
Like most doctoral programs in psychology, much of the application is focused on academic record and research experience. However, we highly value demonstrated passion for working with trauma-exposed populations and intellectual curiosity about trauma-related psychopathology and their treatment. Accordingly, we encourage applicants to emphasize these qualities in their personal statements, focusing on previous experiences that demonstrate these interests. Additionally, we encourage students to highlight their capacity to develop novel, creative, and impactful hypotheses that can advance trauma psychology, to the extent possible in the personal statement. We consider each application holistically and encourage applicants with a variety of experiences to apply.
At UWCATS, undergraduate research assistants can expect to gain multifaceted, hands-on experiences in clinical psychological research. We seek to involve undergraduate research assistants in all of our research-related processes, and their contributions are invaluable to our team’s success. Typical responsibilities for volunteer research assistants include administering study questionnaires, running participants through behavioral or memory tasks, collecting and processing biological data, and data management. In addition, undergraduate research assistants participate in weekly, lab-wide discussions about current issues in the fields of post-traumatic stress and clinical psychology. Volunteers gain valuable skills and experiences that aid in preparation for careers in clinical psychological research and practice.
The vast majority of research tasks involving participants are completed during normal business hours. Hours and expectations vary by project, but we do expect a 6 hr/week minimum commitment for at least two quarters. Completion of relevant coursework in Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Statistics, or Research Methods is preferred. If you are a UW undergraduate, you can sign up for Psych 499 course credit while working at UWCATS. This work typically fulfills 2-3 credits per quarter.
If you’re interested in joining UWCATS as a volunteer research assistant, please contact us via our Contact Form. The best time to apply to work with us is before the start of fall quarter. We typically have more limited opportunities open a few weeks before the start of winter and spring quarters. When emailing, please state in 1-2 sentences max, your reason for apply to work with us and when you would like to start.
NOTE: We are no longer receiving applications for the Fall of 2020.