Volunteer Opportunities in Research

One researcher showing 2 observers a test tube

Shadow Opportunities Restricted

Currently, high school students and undergraduates who want to observe clinical operations and/or visit clinical areas must be a part of vetted and approved through established OHSU programs. See a list of approved programs.

PRISM research team performs phase II-IV clinical trials in pulmonary clinics and hospital settings. We have multiple ongoing clinical trials in conditions like pulmonary artery hypertension, COPD, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. We accept highly disciplined volunteers to conduct chart reviews of study subjects/patients using electronic medical records (EPIC) and enter the information in a secure database and support research coordinators. Our offices are located on the 1st floor of Emma Jones Hall, Room 121. Shadowing opportunities will be offered to our volunteers after completion of 6 months of volunteering with PRISM.

  • Primary Duties: Conduct chart reviews of study subjects/patients using electronic medical records (EPIC) and enter the information in a secure database and support research coordinators.
  • Commitment: Volunteers are expected to be available at least two half days (8 hours) a week for a period of 12 months.
  • Eligibility: Intended for pre-medical students interested in gaining research experience before applying to medical school. International medical graduates interested in gaining experience in phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials in pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine may also apply.
  • Interested? Contact: prismvol@ohsu.edu with your resume, and a statement of interest/goals for PRISM.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For more information visit the Pulmonary Clinics website.

The Knight Cancer Institute's Adult Clinical Trials group is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist 30+ research staff in conducting clinical trials. Volunteers will gain useful research experience and will also gain an overall understanding of the day-to-day operation of oncology clinical trials

  • Primary Duties: Will include couriering research drugs across campus, processing blood samples, packing and delivering shipments to the OHSU Shipping Office, research data entry, organizing, scanning, and filing research documents, preparing supplies for upcoming visits, collecting signatures from clinical trial investigators and general office organization. Other duties will be assigned based on needs of the clinical trials group.
  • Commitment: Commitment Requirements: Minimum of 8 hours per week.
  • Eligibility: 18 years of age or older; able to work independently and as part of a team; flexible. Must be able to lift 20 pounds and walk long distances frequently.
  • Interested? Contact: KnightVolunteers@ohsu.edu

The Novel Interventions in Children’s Healthcare (NICH) program serves youth with a range of complex medical conditions and psychosocial vulnerabilities (e.g., insufficient access to resources, mental health issues, involvement with foster care system). The NICH research team, under direction of Drs. David Wagner and Michael Harris, is evaluating the ability of NICH to meet the triple healthcare aim: improving health, improving care, and reducing medical costs. Currently we are looking for research volunteers to help with a new study assessing risk factors of poor health outcomes in youth with type 1 diabetes who would be most likely to benefit from the program. This is a great educational and training opportunity for those interested in pursuing graduate study in psychology, social work, public health, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and related fields.

Primary Duties: Research volunteers will primarily assist with participant recruitment, scheduling and tracking completion of study tasks, and medical chart review. There is also opportunity for volunteers to contribute to scientific posters and complete their own independent research project in a lab-related topic.

Eligibility: Must be a college junior, senior, or post bac. Must be comfortable interacting with individuals with diverse backgrounds in the hospital and community. Previous experience with adolescents and families, as well as access to reliable transportation, a plus, but not required.  

Commitment: Requesting a minimum commitment of 10 hours/week for 9-months.

Interested? Please send Sydney Melnick (melnicsy@ohsu.edu) and Dr. David Wagner, PhD (wagnedav@ohsu.edu) a letter of interest, a resume and/or vita, and the names and contacts of 2 individuals who can provide professional references.

For more information about NICH, go to: https://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/child-development-and-rehabilitation-center/clinics-and-programs/cdrc-portland-programs/nich/

The OHSU NW Center for Voice & Swallowing (NWCVS) provides multi-disciplinary care for voice and swallowing disorders. NWCVS also conducts research in the areas of voice disorders, airway management, head and neck cancer, dysphagia, pediatric voice, teaching and training, augmentative and alternative communication, and communication and aging. We are currently accepting 2 volunteers to assist with various phases of research including participant recruitment, testing and data collection, and scholarly activities.

  • Primary Duties: Duties also may include other general laboratory tasks in support of NWCVS goals. Volunteers work under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
  • Commitment: Volunteers are expected to be available for at least two ½ day shifts (4-5 hours) per week for a minimum of 1 year. Scheduling is flexible. Volunteers also must be available for a monthly lab meeting.
  • Eligibility: Volunteers should be an undergraduate student, a post bac (or have exceptional qualifications), graduate student, or a medical student or resident interested in gaining clinical-translational research experience. Coursework in otolaryngology, communication disorders, human physiology, respiratory physiology, and statistics is preferred/beneficial. Volunteers must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. They must be detail-oriented, organized, timely, and professional. Volunteers with a basic knowledge of computer application software (Word, Excel) are preferred.
  • Interested? Contact Dr. Aaron Ziegler, ziegler@ohsu.edu,  for more information and to submit an application consisting of your resume and a statement of interest/goals. Our offices are located on the 5th floor of Sam Jackson Hall.

Volunteer will be working with the Administrative OBGYN team to create a website for our Global Women's Health Program. Volunteers will learn about the technical workflow of website development, learn about global women's health projects within OHSU's Global Women's Health program, and will contribute towards supporting the department's ability to communicate, raise awareness of, and support global health missions and educational opportunities.

  • Primary Duties: Volunteers will be working with the Administrative OBGYN team to create a website for our Global Women's Health Program.
  • Commitment: Attend a CommonSpot training after the onboarding process to gain access to our GUI software. At least 2 hours per week until website is up and running.
  • Eligibility: At least 18 years of age. Experience with Graphic User Interface software (GUI). Interest in women's health, global health, and/or website development is preferred.
  • Interested? Please email Angela Espinosa at espinoan@ohsu.edu for application information.

The OHSU Innovation and Commercialization internship program is an educational experience for individuals interested in technology transfer, business development, and/or patent law. Get real-world experience assisting with innovation development and the transition of technology from laboratory to market. Eligible interns can receive a monthly stipend and/or academic credit for program participation. Please note that this program is primarily remote/virtual, but interns in the Portland metro area may have the opportunity for to attend some in-person meetings.

  • Commitment: An average of 8 to 10 hours per week for at least six months time. Intern performance will be assessed every three months. The program length may be extended for interns in good standing, per a formal review process.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a life science, a physical science, and/or engineering; be pursuing or have received a graduate-level degree in science, medicine, engineering, business, or law; and have an interest in intellectual property, technology transfer, and/or business development as a career goal.
  • Interested? Please see the OHSU Innovation and Commercialization Internship website for application instructions. Contact Nicole Garrison (garrisni@ohsu.edu) with questions.

OHSU ThinkFirst Oregon is a non-profit injury prevention program focused on reducing the incidents of brain and spinal cord injury in Oregon's youth. Through innovative classroom presentations and community outreach, ThinkFirst's programs are designed to help young children and teens develop lifelong safety habits to minimize their risk of sustaining brain, spinal cord or other traumatic injuries. Most importantly, ThinkFirst teaches young people ways to avoid behaviors and situations that put them at risk. Our message is that you can enjoy a fun, exciting life and be safe if you "think first" and use your mind to protect your body."

  • Primary duties: Helping ThinkFirst educate the community on brain and spinal cord injury prevention through talking about brain/spinal cord anatomy, through running activities and helping to fit bike helmets.
  • Commitment: 1 shift at our summer events (with benefits for volunteers who volunteer at 3 or more events – a bike helmet to take home).
  • Eligibility: if only volunteering at a couple events, we ask that volunteers be at least 16 years of age. If 14 years of age and under a parent/guardian must be present throughout the volunteer shift. If volunteering at more than 2 events, we encourage volunteers to fill out/register to become an OHSU Volunteer through Research and Academic Volunteer services – There is at least a 1 year commitment.
  • Interested? Fill out this survey to see if you qualify!

The Oregon POLST Registry is a secure electronic record of patient’s end-of-life treatment preferences (POLST- Portable orders for life-sustaining treatment). The Registry relies on the hard work of our generous volunteers to process communication with POLST patients via mailed registration confirmation. Registry confirmation packets include a letter confirming the registrant’s information, medical orders, and other printed materials. The Registry also sends out notifications when a registrant updates their POLST orders and notifications for POLST forms that are about to expire. Volunteers will gain experience handling PHI, diversify knowledge of HIPAA compliance in a non-clinical setting, and support emergency services. The Registry team is truly grateful for the time and energy that volunteers contribute to the Registry’s mission.

  • Primary Duties: Preparation of registrant confirmation packets, update letters, and 10 year expiration letters. Volunteers will additionally verify that the content of the mail is being sent to the correct person.
  • Commitment: Between 2-4 hours a week for a minimum of 3 months.
  • Eligibility: Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. The hours are flexible but must be completed within The Registry’s business hours – Monday through Thursday 7:30 to 4:00 PM.
  • Interested? Contact: polstreg@ohsu.edu for more information.

The Pediatric Nephrology Department is actively involved with many ongoing national clinical trials including longitudinal observation studies, rare diseases, pharmacokinetics, and investigator initiated research.

  • Primary Duties: Volunteers will assist research coordinators with study visits, data collection, data entry, and other scholarly activities with opportunities for networking and participation in publications. We are recruiting volunteers who are enthusiastic about research and would like to gain experience in working with pediatric clinical trials.
  • Eligibility: Completion of bachelor degree in science field is preferred but will consider exceptionally qualified applicants. Pre-medical students are encouraged to apply. Must be detail oriented, organized, timely, and professional. Basic knowledge of computer application software preferred.
  • Commitment: 6-16 hours per week for least 6 months.
  • Interested? Please e-mail Kira Clark at clarki@ohsu.edu with a CV and cover letter.

Description of Opportunity: The Prenatal Environment And Child Health (PEACH) Study, under the direction of Dr. Elinor Sullivan and Dr. Joel Nigg are looking for volunteers to aid in their study. The PEACH Study is a longitudinal research study that will follow mothers from the second trimester of pregnancy until the child is 3 years of age. The purpose of this study is to learn more about how prenatal factors, such as nutrition, influence infant and toddler behavior and risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD. This study will determine which prenatal factors are the strongest predictors of alterations in infant and toddler behavior associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, and set the stage for new approaches to prevent or treat child mental health problems.

For more information: Visit the PEACH Study website at https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-medicine/prenatal-environment-and-child-…

  • Primary DutiesVolunteers may assist the lab with recruitment, eligibility screening, participant visits, data collection and scoring, and other general laboratory and administrative duties in support of the study. Specific responsibilities will depend on each volunteer’s interests and strengths.
  • Commitment: A minimum of 8-15 hours per week for at least 1 year.
  • Eligibility: Must be a junior, senior or post bac (or have exceptional qualifications). Coursework in nutrition, infant and early life development, neurophysiology, and infant and child behavior is preferred/ beneficial. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Must have some availability during the workday with the possibility of working over weekends. Must have strong interpersonal skills, be detail oriented, organized, timely, and professional. Experience working with infants and young children is preferred but not required. Previous experience of behavioral coding if preferred but not required. Basic knowledge of computer application software (SPSS, Excel) is preferred.
  • Interested? Please send your CV, your availability (days/times that you are available to volunteer) and your completed application to tipsord@ohsu.edu. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Tipsord at tipsord@ohsu.edu.

The ADHD Research Study at OHSU is a longitudinal project examining attention, heart rate, brain imaging, and cognitive functioning in children and adolescents. This study is under the direction of Professor Joel Nigg, Ph.D. in the Department of Psychiatry and is an excellent opportunity for students interested in research and future graduate study.

  • Primary Duties: We are currently looking for student volunteers to assist with testing, data collection, and data entry. Students will be in direct contact with children and teens and their parents and will gain useful experience with child and adult cognitive achievement and physiological tests. Students will also gain experience with state of the art software for data entry, cleaning, and analysis. Duties may include administering child and parent cognitive and academic tests (WISC, WIAT, WAIS, WRAT, etc.), conducting physiological readings and computerized tasks, scoring and data entry, and other general laboratory duties in support of the goals of the study.
  • Eligibility: Must be a junior, senior, or post bac (or have exceptional qualifications). Coursework in child abnormal or developmental psychology, physiology, child behavior, and statistics is preferred/ beneficial. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Must have evening and Saturday availability. Must be detail oriented, organized, timely, and professional. Basic knowledge of computer application software (Systat, SPSS, Excel, Eprime) is preferred but not required.
  • Commitment: A minimum of 10-20 hours per week for at least 9 months. Must be available for two lab meetings per month (1st and 3rd Thursdays from 2pm-3pm).
  • Interested? Contact: e-mail mailto:ohsuADHD@ohsu.edu for information or complete the application.

For more information visit the ADHD Study website.

Excellent clinical research volunteer opportunity available for a motivated graduate student or advanced undergraduate student who is interested in learning more about conducting research with children, adolescents, and families. We are looking for a volunteer to start as early as available, work through the summer months, and possibly continue into the next academic year. This position will be directly supervised by Danielle Moyer, PhD, assistant professor in the OHSU Department of Pediatrics and Division of Psychology. Dr. Moyer’s research focuses on the health of transgender and gender diverse youth and their families.

  • Primary Duties: includes assisting with in-person study recruitment and enrollment, data collection, database management, literature searches, and manuscript preparation. An individualized research training experience will be established based on the student’s interests and goals. Publication opportunities available. Observation of clinical care may also be available.
  • Commitment: 8-10 hours per week for least 9 months, possible into the academic school year as well.
  • Eligibility: Must have excellent interpersonal skills. Comfortable working in a professional and clinical environment. Strong writing skills. Preferably detail oriented and organized. Familiarity with psychology, medicine, or public health. Prefer someone who is available on Fridays.
  • Interested? Please email your CV/resume, a brief statement of interest, and a professional/academic reference to: moyerd@ohsu.edu or email or call for more information: (503) 494-6337.

T-RAP provides volunteers with first-hand exposure to clinical research at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), the only academic Level-1 Trauma Center in Oregon.

The focus of our IRB approved study is to compile a prospective registry of complications in critically-ill patients admitted to the Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at OHSU. Our group is seeking to recruit highly motivated individuals who are excited about conducting clinical research within the Department of Surgery's Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery at OHSU.

  • Primary Duties: Our volunteers conduct chart reviews of patients using electronic medical records (EPIC) and enter the information in a secure database. They attend daily rounds in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit, where medical students, residents, and attending physicians evaluate laboratory/imaging results, pertinent exam findings, and treatment plans. Additionally, T-RAP volunteers attend the Trauma Conference or grand rounds to listen to speakers present on topics such as abdominal aortic aneurysms and nosocomial bacteremia.
  • Commitment: A minimum one-year commitment to the program; one four-hour data entry shift every week; monthly T-RAP group meetings.
  • Eligibility: The program invites applications from currently enrolled undergraduate/graduate students and college graduates. Applicants must have a 3.0 minimum GPA and demonstrate a working knowledge of computers, a strong work ethic, and an eagerness to learn in a collaborative environment.
  • ​​​​​​​Interested? Trauma Research Associates Program Mailbox at TRAP@ohsu.edu  For more information, visit the Trauma Research Associates Program website.

Pre-health (pre-nursing, pre-med, pre-PA, pre-pharmacy, etc.) undergraduate or graduate student volunteers are needed to assist the VirtuOHSU Simulation & Surgical Training Center, team in OHSU Simulation. OHSU Simulation is the health care simulation program at OHSU responsible for training a variety of health care providers in controlled and simulated environment, outside of the clinical setting. There are 3 major simulation centers on the OHSU, Portland, campus: VirtuOHSU Simulation & Surgical Training Center and Multnomah Pavilion Simulation on Marquam Hill as well as the Mark Richardson I Simulation Center in CLSB. This volunteer work would be up on Marquam Hill. 

  • Primary Duties: Duties include assisting with lab events, facilitating set up and break down of training sessions, maintenance of simulation models, administrative duties, organization of supplies, and assisting with the outreach events for surgical simulation. Volunteers work closely with medical students, residents, faculty, and OHSU Simulation Staff to accomplish the mission of OHSU Simulation. 
  • Volunteer Schedule: Flexible, Monday-Friday with variable hours between 0800-1700. Estimated 4-6 hours per week, no less than 2 hours for a day. 
  • Eligibility:
    • High School Diploma or equivalent 
    • Must be at least 21 years of age for VirtuOHSU Simulation & Surgical Training Center 
    • Must be able to show current enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student 
    • Must demonstrate excellence in verbal and written, communication, professionalism, motivation, reliability, organization, time management, and customer-service focus 
    • Candidate should be able to work independently and as part of a team, effectively multi-task, be attentive to detail, and possess an aptitude for problem-solving 
    • Individual must be able to lift and move 30 pounds easily as needed 
    • The volunteer will be willing to work within the same lab space as animal and cadaveric tissues occasionally 
    • Professional interest in medicine, health care, simulation, life sciences, and/or medical research 
  • Preferred Qualifications:
    • Course work in pre-health, pre-medicine or life sciences 
    • Professional interest surgery (specifically for VirtuOHSU)  
    • Experience in event planning 
  • Interested? Please email Cover Letter, resume, include current GPA, references, and letter of recommendation to: VirtuOHSU Simulation Center: Elena An, Operations Director OHSU Simulation at bradleye@ohsu.edu 

Additional Details 

  • Parking access on Marquam Hill/OHSU campus is extremely limited. Please be prepared to walk, bike, or use public transit to and from OHSU 
  • See more information at http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/simulation-at-ohsu/ 
  • It is expected that all volunteers dress in business casual attire (collared shirt, no jeans or shorts, no tennis shoes) or clean, well fit scrubs and closed toed shoes.

Please note: In compliance with Oregon law, OHSU’s COVID-19 Immunization and Education policy will go in effect Oct. 18, 2021. Visitors and volunteers who have an in-person experience must be fully vaccinated (14 days after last dose). Exception requests from visitors and volunteers will not be accepted. Please be prepared to provide proof of vaccination, or to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, as a requirement for onboarding for your in-person experience at OHSU. You will not be allowed to participate within OHSU if you are not compliant with this policy.