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Baylor Undergraduates @ VA Center of Excellence Research Program

Baylor Undergraduates @ VA Center of Excellence Research Program (CERP)

The Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans (CoE) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) VISN 17, located at the Doris Miller Veterans' Medical Center (Waco VA campus), annually hosts Baylor University interns for a 2-semester (required minimum) undergraduate research program which begins with the fall semester. The purpose of this training program is to provide current Baylor University undergraduate students with practical research experience in psychology, specifically focused on mental health concerns among post-9/11 Veterans. This program is designed to aid students with preparation for graduate school or to gain a foundation of work experience as they apply for jobs following graduation. Motivated and committed research assistants may be invited to participate in the dissemination of research through presentations at local and national conferences or publication in professional journals. Former graduates of this program have gone on to graduate study at Baylor University, Columbia University, University of Arizona, Kansas State University, University of Houtson, University of Denver, Eastern Illinois University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Other graduates of the program have gone on to positions as research assistants in laboratories to gain further experience as preparation for graduate study, or to clinically focused post-graduation employment.

Current studies at the COE focus on the assessment, functioning, and treatment of mental health problems in returning war Veterans. Investigators have a particular interest in the assessment and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, suicide prevention, substance use disorders, and trajectories of functioning over time. Students will be assigned primarily to one study but may be involved in multiple research projects based on their interests and the COE's needs.

Students will be supervised by doctoral-level researchers and trained in several aspects of research including (but not limited to): data entry, data management, screening participants for eligibility into current research studies, literature searches, reviewing articles, coordination of research materials, and participating in weekly staff meetings. Students will gain experience and familiarity with using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences(SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. Through an educational component, research assistants will learn critical reading and analysis skills in weekly discussion groups on current literature related to COE studies. In addition, interested students can gain mentorship in preparing for graduate school applications by creating curriculum vitas, and writing personal statements. CoE staff also provide mentorship in applying for jobs following graduation (i.e., preparing a resume and writing sample) if desired by the student.

Click HERE for the VA CERP Flier and more info!

This application has CLOSED. Check back with us next year!

Program Timeline (2016-2017):

  • January 15 (2016) - Application to the program opens
  • March 4 (2016) - Applications due
  • Mid-March/Early-April - Candidates will go through an interview process
  • April - Candidates will be selected and notified
  • May through June - Accepted students complete credentialing process and paperwork
  • End of August - Fall classes begin; internship research begins and first research meeting held
  • Beginning of May (2017) - Spring classes end; internship research concludes and 2-semester commitment ends

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Dr. Lianna Evans at Thank you for your interest in being a research assistant at the Center of Excellence.

For more information, view the Baylor Undergraduates @ VA Center of Excellence Research Program Recruitment Flier by clicking HERE.

Acceptance to this program will be based on academic achievements, student involvement, and interest in order to create valuable student/mentor relationships. Eligible students must submit a completed application by the deadline to be considered for this opportunity. Learn more about the required application materials for the Center of Excellence Research Program at There are no student stipends for this program at this time.