Research training begins with the admission selection process. Selected students are matched with research mentors and students are expected to be actively involved in research activities beginning in Year 1. Students obtain supervised experience in aspects of the scientific process such as study design, survey construction, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. They are encouraged to present at local and national conferences and work on publications with their research mentors whenever possible.

Coursework in Research Methods

Students apply the fundamentals of research learned in a required sequence of courses:

  • Analysis of Variance - (1st year, Fall)
  • Regression/Correlational Design - (1st year, Spring)
  • Research Methods - (1st year, Spring)
  • Empirically-Supported Therapies - (2nd year, Fall)

Research Expectations by Year

Students work with their research mentor(s) to develop a research plan for their first two years. This may include involvement in ongoing projects with the mentor and/or beginning to design original studies. During Year 1 planning also begins for students’ second year project or master’s thesis. To assist with this project, students are enrolled in Research Fundamentals in the spring of their first year to work on developing the proposal.
Students are required to complete a second year research project or a master's thesis under the supervision of their research mentor. The second year project or thesis must be submitted, defended, and approved by October 1 of Year 3. Exceptions to the second year project/thesis are made for students who are admitted into the program with a thesis that has been vetted by the Consortium faculty. However, research involvement with the research mentor is still expected of these students.
Students develop an area of focus for an empirical dissertation, a degree requirement, and are required to have an approved dissertation proposal by October 1 of Year 4. Students are also encouraged to continue their involvement in ongoing research projects with their research mentor and/or other Consortium faculty.
Although it is not required, students are urged to complete and defend their dissertations before leaving for internship at the end of academic Year 4.

Recent Dissertations

2021 - Howard, MacIntyre and Schwartz
Lindsay Howard

Investigating the role of denial in interpersonal formulations of binge eating among Black and White college women: An ecological momentary assessment study

Rachel MacIntyre

Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among college women’s social networks: An investigation of perceived changes following a dissonance-based body image intervention

John Schwartz

Sleeping with the Enemy: Examining the Relationship between Sleep and Pain in Post-9/11 Veterans

2020 - Battles, Blanchette, Flannery, Freligh, LaTulip, Preonas, Qualls and Shappie
Allison T. Battles

Morally Injurious Experiences, Trauma-Related Guilt, and Substance Use among Iraq and Afghanistan Combat Veterans

Dominique R. Blanchette

The 23: Racial and Other Demographic Differences in the Assignment of Risk Factors for Individuals Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity in Virginia

Sean M. Flannery

Investigating a Multimodal Approach to Clinical Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease

Charles B. Freligh

Mindfulness and Its Impact on Adaptive Coping and Psychological Well-Being: An Intervention for Undergraduate Students

Stefan E. LaTulip

Improving the Sensitivity of the VRIN-r Scale on the MMPI-A-RF

Peter Preonas

Alcohol Use and Drinking-Related Eating Restriction Behaviors Among College Students

Lydia R. Qualls

Testing a Model of Sexual Minority Orientation in Individuals With and Without the Broad Autism Phenotype

Alexander T. Shappie

A Multi-Dimensional Model of Sexual Stigma and Relationship Satisfaction Among Female Same-Sex Couples: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Rejection Sensitivity

2019 - Panigrahi and Parker
Eva Panigrahi

“The Impact of Diet and Psychosocial Factors Post Bariatric Surgery”

Tiren Parker

“Harsh Parenting in Military Versus Civilian Families: Does Military Culture Moderate the Influence of Socioeconomic Status and Race?”

2018 - Bain, Block, Calhoun, Park and Roberts
Cristina Bain

“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Comorbid Anxiety/Depression in Adults: Impacts on Neuropsychological Functioning”

Jessica Block

“Risk of Unintended Pregnancy in Latina Young Adults: The Effect of Gender Role Beliefs, Acculturation, and Depression”

Denise Calhoun

“Race, Rejection Sensitivity, and Identity Centrality among Young Sexual Minority Women”

Kristoffer Park

“Examining the Measurement Invariance of the MMPI-A-RF Externalizing Scales across Korean and American Adolescent Normative Samples”

Laurin Roberts

“Bisexuality and Motherhood: An Investigation of Psychological Distress, Parenting Efficacy, and Self Esteem Through Identity Theory”

2017 - Bock and Haywood
Sara Davis Bock

“Sense of Belonging, Emotional Regulation, Perceived Social Support and Mental Health among College Students”

Jacqueline Haywood

“Protective Factors against Peer and Social Media Sex Messages: The Moderating Role of Parental Influences on African American Emerging Adult Students’ Sexual Behaviors”