Research Assistants and Volunteers

Research Assistants Positions 

UCLA TIES for Families is accepting research assistants to start Fall 2021! If you are interested in clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and/or public health, then we highly encourage you to apply. We are looking for second- and third-years students. A two-quarter commitment is required and at least 8 hour per week availability. Below is a description of our program and RA responsibilities. 

UCLA TIES for Families      

TIES for Families is an interdisciplinary, university-based program established in 1995 to promote the successful adoption, growth, and development of children with special needs, especially those with prenatal substance exposure who are in foster care. Research assistants will focus on several research projects, including but not limited to:     

  • UCLA TIES for Families Treatment Outcomes Project: Project testing the efficacy of UCLA TIES for Families intervention services available to children and families, including adoption counseling for new families in transition, individual and family therapy, home-visiting, psychological testing, monthly parental and child support groups, short-term weekly therapy groups for children and teens, parenting skills training, infant mental health, and new parent peer mentoring.      
  • ADAPT Research Project: Project testing the efficacy of a manualized psychotherapy intervention aimed at improving outcomes for children adopted from foster care, ages 5-14.     
  • UCLA TIES for Adoption Evaluation Qualitative Study: Project investigating the long-term outcomes of children adopted from foster care through qualitative interviews of young adults adopted as children. 

There are consistently new projects to join and/or support based on interest and availability. Click here for a list of current projects.

Description of Student Responsibilities

Research assistants will help with data organization, data collection, data entry, and interview coding. Research assistants will also be asked to perform basic administrative tasks such as literature reviews, editing documents, and maintaining databases.


To apply, please email our Research Coordinator, Vanessa Perez, at for an application.

Current Research Assistants:

  • Sarah Finch (2021 – Current): Sarah Finch is currently a 3rd year at UCLA majoring in Political Science and Psychology. As a student at UCLA, Sarah has been involved in various organizations: the Undergraduate Student Association Council, Net Impact Social Impact Consulting, Nikkei Student Union, and China Care Bruin. She currently is involved as a research assistant at UCLA TIES for Families where she assists with scoring measures and submitted a poster to the APA titled, "Comparing the Perceptions of Youth Adopted from Foster Care and Their Caregivers on the Impact of COVID.” Sarah is interested in applying for law school with an interest in dependency law. 
  • Melissa Miranda (2021 – Current): Melissa Miranda is a 4th year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in psychology and minoring in global health. She is interested in working with historically underserved communities and exploring mental healthcare accessibility and retainment for individuals within these populations. She hopes to enroll in graduate programs in clinical psychology post-graduation. 
  • Kavya Juwadi (2021 – Current): Kavya Juwadi is a current UCLA undergraduate student who is pursuing a major in psychobiology and a minor in community engagement and social change. She is currently involved with the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge as a part of the STAND (Screening and Treatment for Anxiety & Depression) program. She is passionate about spreading mental health awareness, particularly for communities of color. Kavya also enjoys working with children and wants to pursue a career in child psychiatry.
  • Sophia Jenny (2022 - Current): Sophia Jenny is currently a 2nd year at UCLA majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Applied Developmental Psychology. Sophia is involved in multiple organizations on campus: Cub Tours, Kappa Delta Sorority, PULSE, and is a volunteer tutor with School on Wheels. She is passionate about education and healthcare accessibility. Sophia loves working with and empowering kids and hopes to work in pediatrics in the future. 
  • Clairissa Mangal (2022-Current): Clairissa Mangal is a 2nd year at UCLA majoring in Psychobiology. She has goals of attending medical school or an MD/PhD program on a social science track. Her interests lie in giving back to the community through social work, specifically by studying the efficiency of medical professionals as mandated reporters. This focus has grown from her extensive experience volunteering with children and foster youth, as well as her work as a domestic violence counselor and time assisting with mRNA synthesis research under Dr. Tracy Johnson of UCLA’s HHMI Pathways to Success Program.