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Research Assistant (Undergrad/Graduate) | Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

by Kris Pieper on October 21, 2015

Position: Research Assistant


Site Location: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Somerville Community

Project: Coupons for Healthier Options for Minors Purchasing Snacks, The CHOMPS Pilot Project

CHOMPS is a project designed to see if children and adolescents will buy healthier food items more often if they are given “kids-only” coupons to discount the price of healthier foods at local convenience stores. We know that children, on their own, spend a lot of money buying food when they are outside of school and home, and most of those food items are high-calorie snacks. Our study will explore and understand children’s reasons for buying snack foods outside of school and how important the price of those snack foods is when deciding to buy. We are partnered with Shape Up Somerville to do this work in corner stores of Somerville, MA, Medford, MA, and the surrounding communities. We would like to use the information we learn in Somerville, MA, Medford, MA, and the surrounding communities to help design a larger project that promotes children’s healthy food choices in other communities as well. This project is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2014-69001-21756 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Research Investigators:

Dr. Sean Cash (PI), Christina Economos (Co-I), and Anna McAlister (Co-I – Michigan State University)


  • Collect baseline data in stores located in Somerville, MA, Medford, MA, or Cambridge, MA
  • Assist with the implementation of the coupon intervention in Somerville convenience stores
  • Support the completion of the on-going literature review
  • Complete the IRB training
  • Assist with data entry, analysis and intervention design
  • The primary responsibility will be to work on tasks related to the CHOMPS project, but Dr. Cash may have additional tasks related to other studies.

Commitment: 8-10 hours per week, with the hours being dispersed throughout the week in order to allow for flexibility with study implementation needs.   Data collection will occur in stores on weekdays from 7-8am and 2-4pm (depending on the local school’s dismissal time). You must be available at least two-three days per week for one hour in the morning and afternoon to share the data collection shifts with other research assistants. Travel to Somerville and throughout the community will be required on a weekly basis during study implementation.

Compensation: $10/hour for undergraduate students; $15/hour for graduate students

To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to:

Suzanne Howell


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