Relationship Influences on Sleep, Emotions, and Heart Health

Supervising Faculty: Karen Jakubowski, Ph.D.

Contact: Karen Jakubowski,

Area of Research: Health psychology, behavioral medicine

Description of Research: We are studying how life experiences are related to risk for cardiovascular disease and sleep problems. Our research uses a variety of methods, including non-invasive ultrasound imaging of the carotid arteries; mobile devices to measure sleep, mood, and social interactions; and surveys and interviews of trauma, stress, and mood. Our ongoing research is focused on midlife women from the community.

Duties of Students:

  • Assist with in-person research participant visits (including obtaining physical measurements and escorting participants to the ultrasound imaging lab; provide instructions for study questionnaires and weeklong sleep protocol)
  • Support participant recruitment efforts
  • Assist in the development of study materials
  • Program study measures in Qualtrics and/or REDCap
  • Data entry, cleaning, and analysis
  • Data processing (wrist actigraphy)
  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Help schedule participant visits via phone and/or email
  • Conduct participant eligibility screens by phone
  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Help develop study codebook
  • Attend weekly study meetings, lab-wide journal club and educational seminars, and relevant didactics offered during the semester (e.g., diversity, equity, and
  • inclusion brownbags; departmental talks relevant to our research)
  • Attend weekly 1-on-1 meetings with study PI
  • Develop, conduct, and present directed research project with mentorship from study PI


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 1-3

Interested students should complete this survey: