VURF recipient Nicole Blekhter, Pyschology, presented her work at Villanova University Symposium in September 2017.
On her experience:
“This past summer, I had the pleasure of working as a research assistant for Dr. Roy Wade at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This experience was extremely enriching as it challenged me in many ways and furthered my knowledge on clinical research. Dr. Wade’s research focused on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on health. We worked on several projects as a team, and met regularly for meetings which allowed us to discuss our progress and brainstorm further steps we could take.
Primarily, we focused on a survey for the impact of paternal childhood adversity on health outcomes of offspring, a family medical history project which included creating a codebook, and focus groups to develop a national youth firearm risk and safety assessment tool. These three projects were each interesting in their own ways, and allowed me to learn more about the issues that they dealt with and the types of research that they involved. As a research assistant, I focused on organization and data collection and codebook development. I learned important qualitative research skills such as qualitative coding, processing of a systematic literature review, and conducting focus groups. I was also able to learn how to utilize a research database (specifically REDCap).
Lastly, this experience allowed for me to have close observation of the many roles and responsibilities of a clinical researcher. I was able to engage with many professionals in this field and learn more about their daily lives and how they organize their time on simultaneous projects. Overall, I am extremely thankful for my experience as a research assistant at CHOP as it has allowed me to grow as a critical thinker and expand my knowledge on clinical research.”