Participate in Research

People like you make the difference!

By participating in a research project, you play a part in helping physicians and researchers develop better ways to diagnose and treat people with mental illness. As a research participant, you learn about the causes of specific mental health problems and what can be done to manage these conditions. 

We invite you to use the search tool below to look for studies underway in the Department of Psychiatry. To explore other opportunities, visit the Pitt+Me website to learn about other studies taking place at the University of Pittsburgh.

Find a study to participate in: Enter a keyword below (for example, "depression")

OR

Select keyword(s) from the list below:

Project Title:
The Early Experience and Mind Body Connections (EMBODY) Study
Principal Investigator:
Layla Banihashemi, PhD
For Information Contact:
Rachel San Pedro (Email: bbstress@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-383-2155)
What We Are Studying:
We are examining how difficult experiences in childhood impact vulnerability to mental health symptoms in adulthood through changes in brain circuits and body functions involved in stress responses. The results of this study could contribute to more effective mental health treatments.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adults ages 20-35, right-handed, no metal in the body, including significant, non-removable dental work (fillings are okay) and are not currently taking medication for psychiatric disorders
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals outside of the age criteria, left-handed, ferromagnetic metal in the body and currently taking medications for psychiatric disorders
What Participation Involves:
Visit 1 involves the completion of questionnaires and a diagnostic interview.
Visit 2 consists of a 1-hour MRI scan with two computer tasks and the collection of urine, hair and saliva samples.
Visit 3 involves a 30-minute MRI scan.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Up to $135
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
BREATHE (Brain Regulation of Emotions and Thoughts) Research Study
Principal Investigator:
Danella Hafeman, MD, PhD
For Information Contact:
Contact Jamie Feldman via email (feldmanj3@upmc.edu), or telephone (Office: 412-246-5901; Cell: 412-527-6231).
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this research study is to examine the relationship between cognition, emotion, and mood in children and adolescents at family risk for bipolar disorder in order to identify better ways to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children ages 10-15 years old that have a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or autism spectrum disorder, unable to participate in MRI scanning due to claustrophobia or metal objects in their bodies (e.g. pacemakers, surgical clips or metal plates, screws/pins, cochlear implants, or metal braces), or history of head trauma or loss of consciousness.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves a 1-2 hour intake visit, followed by an fMRI visit that will last 2-3 hours each. An fMRI scan is non-invasive and does not involve radiation. Participants will also complete questionnaires about his/her mood and behaviors.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact Jamie Feldman for details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
BREATHE-Smart Research Study
Principal Investigator:
Danella Hafeman, MD, PhD
For Information Contact:
Contact Jamie Feldman via email (feldmanj3@upmc.edu), or telephone (Office: 412-246-5901; Cell: 412-527-6231).
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this research study is to examine the relationship between cognition, emotion, and mood in children and adolescents at family risk for bipolar disorder in order to identify better ways to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder. We are also testing whether four weeks of regular mindfulness practice can be beneficial for mood symptoms.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children ages 10-15 years old that have a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or autism spectrum disorder, unable to participate in MRI scanning due to claustrophobia or metal objects in their bodies (e.g. pacemakers, surgical clips or metal plates, screws/pins, cochlear implants, or metal braces), or history of head trauma or loss of consciousness.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves an intake visit followed by a fMRI scan. Participants will next engage in a four-week mindfulness program, an introductory session, a booster session, an additional fMRI visit, and a two month follow-up visit. An fMRI scan is non-invasive and does not involve radiation. Participants will also complete questionnaires about his/her mood and behaviors.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact Jamie Feldman for details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
EASE-ID: Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement (EASE) Program in Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-occurring Intellectual Disability (ASD-ID)
Principal Investigator:
Carla Mazefsky, PhD
For Information Contact:
Kaitlyn Breitenfeldt (Email: breitenfeldtk@upmc.edu or 412-578-9407). Alternatively, you may call our general autism research recruitment toll free number at 1-866-647-3436.
What We Are Studying:
The Center for Excellence in Autism Research at the University of Pittsburgh is conducting a research study to evaluate a new treatment for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring intellectual disability (ASD-ID) who struggle with handling their emotions.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with ASD and an intellectual disability who are between the ages of 12- to 25-years-old, with a nonverbal IQ over 50, who have difficulties with regulating their emotions. Verbal ability not required.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder and/or current concerns of suicidality are not eligible to participate.
What Participation Involves:
After assessment and eligibility testing, participants will begin EASE-ID Therapy. EASE-ID therapy involves 16 weekly sessions. Assessments will occur before treatment (baseline), at the mid-point, and at the end of treatment. Assessments will include parent-report and self-report questionnaires (when possible) via paper questionnaire as well as some direct assessment.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation for completing the study assessments and reimbursement for parking or public transportation.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Autism & Developmental Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC)
Principal Investigator:
Carla Mazefsky, PhD
For Information Contact:
Kara Duman, MSW; dumankl@upmc.edu ? 412-529-9429
What We Are Studying:
Through the John Merck Program (JMP) for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychiatry are conducting research to better understand emotional and behavioral problems of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in order to develop better methods for supporting more stable behavior and to reduce stress.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals ages 4-20 years old who have been admitted to the John Merck Unit at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital (WPH) with a possible or confirmed diagnosis of ASD and as well as their parents or legal guardians.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who are not currently admitted to the John Merck Unit at WPH.
What Participation Involves:
Participants and their parents will be asked to provide (a) descriptive information, (b) a blood or saliva sample (for cells, plasma, and DNA), (c) clinical data including medical, diagnostic, and family history. Participants will be given assessments during their inpatient stay that include IQ and receptive vocabulary testing as well as an ASD diagnostic screening tool. Parents will be provided paper form questionnaires to fill out and return to researchers. Participants will also be invited to wear wristband devices for physiological data collection for up to 10 hours during their inpatient stay.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact the project coordinator for information.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Tension, Anxiety and Brain Imaging Study
Principal Investigator:
Neil P. Jones, PhD
For Information Contact:
Please contact the study coordinator (Email: nstem@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-383-7805)
What We Are Studying:
We are examining how the brain functions when individuals are exposed to acute stress in health and in clinical depression.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
30-50 years old individuals suffering from depression.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
If you are not 30-50 years old, work under 20 hours, pregnant, have presence of metal in the body, or have a history of head trauma, seizures or ECT.
What Participation Involves:
Participation includes a screening interview, 2 MRI brain scans while completing computer tasks and a 2 week at home smartphone diary.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will be compensated $640 and will receive a picture of their brain upon completion of the study.
Brochure Location: