Student Research Opportunities



Research opportunities aren’t limited to our faculty at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. From the start of their studies, nursing students are encouraged to build a strong foundation for their practice through our research assistant program.

By offering an opportunity for faculty and students to collaborate on research, our hands-on program advances nursing science while helping students expand their skills and career possibilities.

Student Areas of Research

Our faculty are encouraged to bring on dedicated student research assistants at any time to assist in their work, which can range from data collection and data entry to conducting literature reviews. Due to the popularity of the program, all research studies have students currently working alongside faculty mentors in the following areas:

Research Opportunities for Students

We strive to increase opportunities for successful faculty and student collaboration. Our research assistant program provides students with valuable, hands-on experience in research methodology. Assistants work closely with faculty on major aspects of current research, including recruitment of subjects and data collection. The research assistant program also fosters professional development with possible presentation experience. Research assistants complete training to receive certification to work with human subjects for:

  • Reducing health disparities
  • Improving the health of vulnerable populations
  • Utilizing clinical simulation and outcomes
  • Dissemination and implementation science
  • Community outreach
  • Informatics

Student Research Position Details

Want to become a student research assistant? Each term, students receive an email with information about available research opportunities. After completing initial training, students then pick their top three areas of interest. Since the program began three years ago, every student who has wanted to serve as a student research assistant has been able to be paired with a study.

By getting involved in the research assistant program, students gain long-term benefits, including CITI training for working with human subjects, research skills development and resume-building experiences.

Learn more about the requirements and responsibilities by reviewing the full position description.

Research Assistant Position

The research assistant position is the primary way that students get involved in nursing research. While this position is unpaid, there are occasional opportunities for paid assistant positions when faculty receive grant funding.

“I was interested in becoming a research assistant because I have learned from my classes and through clinical experiences at the hospital that research and continuous learning are essential to delivering the highest quality of care.” – Leora Shachat, Student Research Assistant

Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is proud to offer research opportunities to current BSN and MSN students. If you are interested in becoming a student research assistant, on a voluntary basis, please view the requirements, responsibilities and benefits below.


Research assistants must be enrolled as a full-time student in good standing and attend the initial training session(s) before they are placed with a faculty mentor. In addition, students should possess the following attributes:

  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Teamwork attitude
  • Effective communication skills
  • Basic understanding of or interest in learning the research process


Working alongside faculty mentors, students are expected to:

  • Assist with literature reviews, data collection, data entry and other research activities as assigned
  • Be flexible and responsive, communicating with research team members as appropriate
  • Complete Institutional Review Board CITI training for protection of human subjects
  • Maintain confidentiality of all participant and study data
  • Attend follow-up research assistant training session(s)

Expected Benefits

The student research assistant position is a hands-on learning opportunity that prepares future nurses for lifelong careers. Although an unpaid position, it can be beneficial for students in the following ways:

  • Actively engage in and learn the research process
  • Enhance collaborative teamwork skills
  • Possible co-authorship on presentations or publications
  • Research experience added to portfolio and resume

Featured Student Research

Student learning doesn’t stop in the classroom or the lab. Student research assistants are encouraged to attend conferences and present posters on their research findings — all expenses paid.

At the 2017 Annual Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, several students attended to present their work as research assistants:

  • Matthew Ramirez, Student Research Assistant, with Kenny Johnson and Ben Heckert, Clinical Nurses, and Dr. Jean Davis, Faculty Mentor: “How A Community Hospital Moved to Improve” (Poster Discussion).
  • Leora Shachat, Student Research Assistant and Dr. Judy Frain, Faculty Mentor: “Cognitive Performance in Adults with HIV” (Poster).
  • Joel Brune, Carley Shields, Amanda Rood, Student Research Assistants, with Dr. HS Wu, Faculty Mentor: “Bright Light on Fatigue in Women Being Treated for Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study” (Poster).
  • Joseph Daesch, Student Research Assistant, with Dr. HS Wu, Faculty Mentor: “Chemosensory Alterations in Patients with Cancer” (Poster).

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