Project Coordinator- “Acculturation and Socio-Cultural Context in Mexican-American Pregnant Women”

Opportunity for student paid-employment as Project Coordinator of NIH-funded study

Job title: Project Coordinator

Project title: Acculturation and Socio-Cultural Context in Mexican-American Pregnant Women

Primary Investigator: Molly Fox, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UC Irvine.
Starting 07/2016: Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UCLA

Eligibility criteria:

  • Enrolled in PhD or Masters program with minimum 2-years of study remaining
  • Interest in research with minority populations
  • Interest in women’s health
  • Fluent Spanish speaker
  • 1 year commitment to this job

Preference will be given to applications who fit the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in PhD program with minimum 3-years of study remaining
  • Native Spanish speaker
  • Experience with human subjects research
  • 2-year commitment to this job or longer

Research description:

Over the next 18 months, this study will work with a population of pregnant Mexican-American women at low-income nutritional supplementation for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics. We will collect extensive questionnaire-based information on acculturation (cultural orientation and post-migration cultural change), neighborhood socio-demographic context, social support, stress, and mental health. This is the first phase of a 5-year study with the purpose of investigating how the acculturation experience may become biologically embedded in ways that affect pregnancy physiology, thereby potentially influencing fetal developmental trajectories and offspring lifelong health. This first phase of the project involves questionnaire/interview data collection (including assessments of mental health), and in 2017 biological sample collection will begin.

Job description:

The Project Coordinator is responsible for the implementation and administration of the study. Duties include:

  • Being physically present at WIC clinics in Orange County, enrolling participants (pregnant women) in the study, answering questions about the study, and administering the questionnaires to participants. For study participants with limited literacy, administering questionnaires as interviews in person at WIC clinics. These duties will be conducted in both English and Spanish, depending on the preferences of study participants.
  • Communicating with WIC administrators and staff
  • Communicating with UCI administrators and staff in the offices of Human Research Protections, Real Estate Services and Strategies, Department of Pediatrics
  • Liaising between WIC, UCI offices, and Primary Investigator (Dr. Fox)
  • Keeping track of IRB approval and amendments
  • Coordinating student volunteers to perform data input into electronic databases

Opportunities for independent research:

There is a lot of opportunity for students to get involved in several different aspects of the project, including data collection (e.g., interfacing with WIC clinics; administering questionnaires/interviews with student participants), study design (e.g., participating in the design of new instruments for the measurement of socio-cultural constructs related to health), and data analysis (e.g., measuring the ways in which cultural change affects stress during pregnancy; investigating whether neighborhood context changes how acculturation affects psychological stress). Also, at the discretion of the PI, students could add items to questionnaires to pursue their own research ideas.

Please contact:

Molly Fox, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Pediatrics

University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine