Clinical Research Internship
Rendever is overcoming social isolation through the power of virtual reality and shared positive experiences. Our resident engagement platform has been installed in more than 450 senior living communities and has provided over 1,000,000 moments to thousands of residents across the world. With Rendever, residents can travel to all corners of the world, check off bucket list items and revisit meaningful places like their childhood home. If this sounds good to you, keep reading!
We are looking for a dedicated part-time clinical research intern to join our research team and conduct studies with seniors and their families as they learn and engage with the Rendever VR platform. Our platform offering is aimed at improving the lives of seniors by enhancing interpersonal connections, reinforcing autobiographical memories, and engaging them in fun social, physical, and cognitive activities. All is supported by an incredible team, and we’re excited to add this role as we begin an exciting new chapter in our research endeavors. The National Institute on Aging awarded Rendever a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II grant to continue evaluating the impact of our VR platform with senior living community residents experiencing various levels of cognitive impairment (MCI, mild to moderate AD/ADRD). This two-year clinical study is being conducted jointly by Rendever and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) across 12 senior living communities: 6 in the Santa Barbara area and 6 in the Boston area and aims to recruit 200 residents along with their adult child living at a distance. The resident and family member will be randomly assigned to either the video conference group or the VR sessions group and will have 4 weekly sessions run by our research team, including you. The resident and the family member in the VR group will both be wearing VR headsets and participating in the experiences together, able to communicate by voice and through avatar-based interactions. All participants will provide feedback continuously via interviews, self-reported measures, and post-session coding of affect and engagement.
The clinical research intern is primarily responsible for collecting the data. This includes obtaining informed consent, getting their family member set up remotely, running the zoom and VR sessions with the residents at the 6 participating communities in the Boston area, then doing the surveys afterwards with each resident, and entering the data. We're looking for individuals who are able to create a positive research experience while driving operational efficiency; we need to collect data in one community while actively recruiting in the next community.
If you’re passionate about working with people experiencing cognitive decline and doing impactful research to combat social isolation, enhance human connection, and increase well-being and overall health, you’ve come to the right place! You’ll be a part of collecting some incredible moments of impact each day, and we can’t wait to see the stories come in.
Roles & Responsibilities
- Train both the resident participants and family members on using the technology prior to the beginning of the first study session and throughout the study sessions as needed. Don’t worry, we will be training you on how to do this first.
- Support the clinical researchers leading the virtual reality and video conference sessions each week with the participants
- Assist the older adult participants as they fill out their pen and paper survey after each session and at a 1-month and 3-month follow-up visit.
- Help participants feel comfortable using a variety of scaling methodologies
- Score and enter the survey data of the resident participants into a database after each session
- Help as needed with communications with communities and families, ensuring we maintain the proactive responsiveness and support for which our brand is known
- Organize the timely delivery of the equipment to the community we’ll be working in that month and to the family members participating with the community residents.
- A desire to gain clinical research experience with people living with dementia
- Respect and compassion for the older demographic
- Communication skills: Excellent listening and verbal communication skills are required to interact with the staff at the senior living communities and the residents and families during the recruitment phase and data collection phase
- Computer skills: Being comfortable setting participants up on our platform will be important for this role. Having prior experience with VR would be a bonus but isn’t required if you are a quick learner. Being familiar with webcams, camcorders, and their interface with computers, is a bonus.
- Data entry: Some data entry skills are a must-have for this role as you must input collected data daily
- Time management: You’ll be managing your own time and the schedules of the participants during the study
You're a good fit if you have...
- A passion for helping the aging community and caregivers
- A love for learning new technologies and teaching others how to use them
- A high level of attention to detail when sticking to protocols
- The ability to work with autonomy and be thoroughly organized
- Comfort working with remote teams and a fast-paced startup culture
- Knowledge about the VR industry
- Fluency in English, it is the universal company language
- A positive & energetic personality
Why join the Rendever family? Rendever’s award-winning virtual reality platform is being used in hospitals, senior living communities, and with individual seniors across America. By joining our community, you will have an opportunity to work with exciting technologies that make a real difference in people’s lives. We’re a small, tight-knit team, but we’re in a unique and exciting position where we’re starting to scale. In order to accelerate this progress, we’re working with health foundations and corporate sponsors to bring the impact of our technology to senior living communities and other in-need populations all over North America.