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Emergency Department Research Assistant Program

Contact: Lauren Pacelli, Research Program Manager, Department of Emergency Medicine
Location: University Hospital
email: [email protected]
Phone: (315) 464-6201


The Emergency Department Research Assistant (EDRA) program is a research methodology volunteer experience in which participants learn about clinical research and medicine through extensive training, emergency department observation, and assistance with ongoing Department of Emergency Medicine research studies.  As an EDRA, you will work closely with emergency department physicians, residents, and nurses to determine patient eligibility and complete study protocols.  Highly motivated volunteers may have additional future research opportunities as well.    

Studies are conducted within the emergency department in order to promote socially responsible medicine and to study basic human issues in medical care.  These research studies are created and directed by departmental faculty, residents, and 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.  

In order to be considered for the EDRA program, candidates must submit an application (details below).  After all information is received, interviews will be granted to those deemed suitable for the role.  Please read all the information and policies before you apply as the EDRA program has become increasingly competitive and requires a substantial commitment.

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EDRA’s are required to commit to volunteering for a minimum of one full academic year.  Two, four-hour shifts per week will be required as well as monthly meetings as needed.  In general, shifts are scheduled between 8:00am and 12:00am, seven days a week. 

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


  • Identify patients eligible for ongoing research projects and work with emergency department physicians and nurses to confirm patient eligibility.
  • Complete study procedures, which includes, but not limited to, consenting patients, completing case report forms, conducting patient testing as per research protocol, and research related study observations
  • Study administrative support to include review of completed data forms, assisting and training other students
  • Conduct follow-up phone calls
  • Data entry

Required Training

  • Completion of on-line human subjects research training, CITI
  • Completion of Department Specific Orientation
  • Attendance at on going Department training Updates

Application Process

To apply, please complete the Emergency Medicine Research Assistant application and submit electronically.  Applications must be submitted for the following summer/academic year.  Please refer to the table below, which has both deadline and pre-determined dates for each session (could be subject to change). 

The application will require you to provide contacts for two recommendations from non-family members who can discuss your suitability to volunteer in a hospital setting.  Once you have submitted an application, the system will automatically generate an e-mail to your contacts requesting their assistance with the reference.  If you would like to allow your contacts to have more time to complete the recommendation please advise them to visit this page, download the recommendation form, and email the finished form to Lauren Pacelli ([email protected]).  Once you are approved to participate, the Program Coordinator will contact you with instructions on the volunteer processing.  This will include your health clearance, ID badge, online research training, and orientation.

If you are unable to apply before the deadline for any reason, we encourage you to still contact Lauren Pacelli ([email protected]) or Dr. Susan Wojcik ([email protected]) for information on future possibilities.