Emergency Department Academic Associate Research Volunteer

Contact: Aimee Goulette, Department of Emergency Medicine
Location: University Hospital
Phone: 315 464-8696


Academic Associates is a research methodology volunteer program in which participants learn about clinical research and medicine through emergency department observation, assistance with research, and a series of lectures. Participants act as volunteers working in the clinical emergency department to observe and identify patients for ongoing research projects. As an Academic Associate, you will work closely with emergency department physicians, residents and nurses to determine patient eligibility and complete study protocols.

These studies are undertaken within the emergency department in order to promote socially responsible medicine and to study basic human issues in medical care. Highly motivated volunteers may have additional future research opportunities.

In order to be considered for the Academic Associates program, candidates must submit an applications. After applications are received, some applicants will be granted interviews. Please read all the information and policies before you apply, as Academic Associates has become an increasingly competitive program and requires a substantial commitment from volunteers.


Academic Associates are required to commit to volunteering for a minimum of one full academic year. The commitment is two four-hour shifts per week plus monthly meetings as needed. In general, shifts are scheduled between 8:00am and 12:00pm.

Please consider that all rules and attendance requirements for the program will be strictly enforced. Failure to abide by the rules will result in a participant’s termination from the program.


  • Ability to take instructions and communicate effectively with staff, patients, and families
  • Good communication skills: oral, telephone, empathetic listening
  • Mature, positive, service-oriented attitude
  • Able to communicate clearly in English; bilingual skills are helpful
  • Show initiative, be flexible and work independently as well as with others
  • Demonstrate good judgment
  • Ability to demonstrate empathy and respect a variety of patients and medical conditions

Required Training

  • Completion of New Volunteer Orientation
  • Completion of annual mandatory volunteer in-services
  • Completion of Department Specific Orientation
  • Completion of on-line human subjects research training, CITI
  • Attendance at on going Department training Updates


The primary function of an Academic Associate research volunteer is to assist with ongoing Department of Emergency Medicine research studies. These research studies, some of which go on to be published in medical journals, are created and directed by departmental faculty, resident and fellow physicians. Each study explores a different topic, but all share a common goal of gaining a better understanding of medical and social issues affecting emergency patients.

The knowledge gained from each research study provides insight into basic human issues concerning patients, and offers answers about how to improve patients' experiences in the emergency department.

Duties Include:

  • Identify patients eligible for ongoing research projects and work with emergency department physicians and nurses to confirm patient eligibility
  • Study administrative support to include review of completed data forms, assisting and training other students
  • Assist physician in completion of study enrollment forms
  • Complete study procedures, to include consenting patients, completing case report forms, conducting patient testing as per research protocol, and research related study observations
  • Conduct follow-up phone calls and data entry

Application Process

Applications will be accepted February 1 – February 15th for the following academic year positions. Interviews will be conducted by invitation only in March. To apply, please complete the Academic Associate Research Volunteer application and submit electronically.

The application will require you to provide contacts for 2 recommendations from non-family members who can discuss your suitability to volunteering in a hospital setting. The application system will automatically generate e-mail requests for these recommendations. The recommendations must be received by March 1st. If you would like to contact your to give them more time to complete the recommendation for you may send them to this page and they can download the recommendation form from the right column, complete the form and e-mail to wojciks@upstate.edu.

Once you are approved to participate in the program, the Program Coordinator will contact you with instructions on volunteer processing. This will include your health clearance, ID badge, online research training, and orientation. All preparation for volunteering must be completed by May 1st to be eligible to participate in summer and/or the following academic year.
Letters of Recommendation
If you have been asked to submit a letter of recommendation for an applicant to the Emergency Department Research Volunteer Program, please download the Letter of Recommendation form, fill it out online and email to wojciks@upstate.edu directly.