Research Intern
Academic year 2016-17

This project will involve assisting with ongoing NASA Johnson Space Center, Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP) Research projects, to include working with the BHP Laboratory’s Senior Scientist and its Scientists to complete tasks toward addressing specific research gaps within the Team, Sleep or Behavioral Medicine (BMed) risks. Understanding these risks and how to mitigate them for long-duration space exploration missions is a key goal for NASA’s Human Research Program and is a key driver for the complement of tasks completed by the laboratory. Interns will initially meet with the BHP Senior Scientist to ensure that we help provide an opportunity that fulfills the intern’s research interests, developmental goals, and career interests for the internship experience. Following that discussion, the BHP Senior Scientist will then assign the intern to an opportunity within Team, Sleep, or Behavioral Medicine research areas. We provide an intern experience that is both relevant and meaningful for the intern’s development and that meets requirements for long duration space exploration.

Examples of tasks include:

  • Assisting with study logistics, data collection, and data analysis on active projects within the laboratory, such as:
    • Running protocols and collecting performance data during robotics simulations;
    • Assisting with a stress management and resilience training project being completed with Flight Controllers in JSC’s Mission Control Center; and
    • Assisting with data analysis collected during a nutrition study regarding the acceptability of food replacement bars for exploration missions.
  • Developing a matrix that outlines different modes of communication expected to be available on a spaceflight exploration mission; identifying the modes that would be most relevant for the type of information being communicated.
  • Completing literature reviews and providing summary recommendations for topics relevant to the BHP risk areas.
  • Assisting investigators complete pre-mission preparations, or conducting mission and post-mission investigations, in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) located at JSC.

*This position is guaranteed to receive course credit through HEDGE and Gateway programs.

Expectations of Student:
Fascination with the multi-disciplinary nature of the BHP Laboratory research opportunities.
All work will be completed on site at NASA Johnson Space Center.
Interns will complete a final report and presentation that includes conclusions and recommendations for applying the results of their work within BHP Research and Operations.

Suggested Prerequisite Training: Prior Research Experience and Research Report Writing; Data Analysis (e.g.., SPSS); Literature Reviews and Synthesis of Research Capability; Demonstrated Excellence in Writing and Presenting Skills.