Opportunities within the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge

The Depression Grand Challenge (DGC) is a campus-wide initiative aimed at cutting the burden of depression in half by 2050. With sponsorship from UCLA, we are conducting a series of studies which will enable us to 1) identify the genetic, biological, cognitive, social and environmental factors associated with depression and 2) implement an innovative and comprehensive treatment strategy. Some of these studies will contribute to an unprecedented 100,000 person genetics study.

We are recruiting members to join our team for the following positions.

Research description:

We are recruiting undergraduate volunteers to assist in conducting ongoing research studies for the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge (DGC). The DGC is a campus-wide initiative aimed at cutting the burden of depression in half by 2050. Focusing on the use of mobile health technology, we are conducting several demonstration projects to understand the genetic, biological, cognitive, social and environmental factors associated with depression. In gaining a more precise understanding of the factors associated with depression, these preliminary studies will enable us to implement an innovative, personalized, and comprehensive treatment strategy, and ultimately will contribute to an unprecedented genetic study of 100,000 people with depression.

For a comprehensive list of current DGC studies, please visit our Studies Landing Page.

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  • Minimum GPA of 3.3.
  • Prior research or clinical experience is a plus, but not required.
  • Must be able to attend weekly lab meetings on Thursdays 11 AM - 12 PM.
  • Must be able to commit to the DGC for at least one full academic year.


The primary role of undergraduate research assistants (RAs) is:

  • Data entry and data quality control procedures.
  • Assist with email and phone communication (e.g. phone screens) to enrolled participants in various research projects.
  • Conduct audio recording transcriptions.
  • Administer neurocognitive assessments with research participants.
  • Assist with MRI data collection.
  • Opportunities to observe diagnostic clinical assessments with different clinical populations.
  • Opportunities to attend weekly clinical supervision meetings and various training seminars.

Applicants must be exceptionally detail oriented, have excellent phone etiquette, be comfortable in working with a psychiatric patient population, and be able to follow instructions precisely and work independently.

All RAs will need to complete official volunteer paperwork and training through the UCLA Health Systems. RAs in our lab may earn SRP course credit after completing one quarter and demonstrating sufficient work ethic and skill.

Hours per week: A minimum of 8 hours per week.

Number of Positions Available: 5.

Contact info:
Principal Investigator: Nelson Freimer, MD & Michelle Craske, PhD
Dept: Semel Institute and Psychology
Address: Semel Institute, 2nd Floor

We are accepting applications on a continuous basis. If you are interested, please send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to all the lab managers listed below in one email:

Name: Madison Schmidt
Email: mrschmidt@mednet.ucla.edu
Name: Lauren Shoemaker
Email: lshoemaker@mednet.ucla.edu
Name: Brett Davis
Email: brettdavis@mednet.ucla.edu

We may have full-time SRA positions available in the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge Human Studies research team. Contact Dr. Congdon at econgdon@mednet.ucla.edu to inquire about open positions.

The Depression Grand Challenge (DGC) offers Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions to graduate students in the Psychology Department to support a number of responsibilities within the DGC.

Depending on background and interests, responsibilities include:

  • Conducting risk assessment outreach calls for DGC research studies.
  • Conducting clinical interviews for DGC research studies (including SCID and rating scales).
  • Training and Supervising Resilience Peers to support the STAND program.
  • Providing psychological treatment to patients in the Innovative Treatment Network (ITN) Clinic, if eligible.

We offer GSR positions ranging from 25%-100% effort depending on your year and PI approval. Unless you have a fellowship that covers tuition & fees, a minimum of 25% is required per quarter.

DGC GSRs are offered throughout the year with the following restrictions:

  • Requests for a GSR position must be made at the beginning of the quarter prior to the requested start date (e.g., if you would like to start in Fall 2020, request and confirm GSR at beginning of Summer 2020 with the DGC and your Department).
  • A commitment of at least two quarters is required (e.g., if you would like to start in Fall 2020, we need a GSR commitment for at least Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.
  • We understand that funding situations may change (e.g., you receive a fellowship) and changes can be made at a later date, but commitments must be made in advance in order to allow sufficient time to transfer funds.

If you are interested in a DGC GSR position, please send the following information to Dr. Eliza Congdon at econgdon@mednet.ucla.edu

  • Quarter to start a GSR, and duration that you are able to commit to (e.g., Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021).
  • Percent effort per quarter (e.g., 25% for Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021; 50% for Summer 2021).
  • Your PI’s name, your PI’s fund manager, and the fund manager’s email.
  • You CV and a summary of any previous clinical interviewing experience or training received

Thank you for your interest!

Please contact Dr. Eliza Congdon at econgdon@mednet.ucla.edu for inquiries about postdoctoral fellowships with the DGC

We are currently looking for an Administrative Assistant for our treatment program, apply at:


Work Study position descriptions are available through myUCLA. Note that the hiring period for a current academic year ends at the end of January. New work study positions will be available starting in Summer.