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SMADRC Volunteer Program

The Shiley-Marcos ADRC Volunteer Program provides meaningful hands-on learning activities that are designed to support your professional development and provide you with resume-building experiences and the potential for entry into our professional pipeline.  We have ongoing available opportunities for student volunteers. Volunteers are required to commit to 12 hours/week during our business hours from 8 am until 4:00 pm.  Below you will find an overview of our volunteer expectations/experiences.
  • Volunteers must be able to commit to at least 12 hours a week for one continuous year. We require that you have a set schedule weekly, so we can assign you specific projects/responsibilities. You will be required to go through the university onboarding process, obtain specific training certifications for IRB (CITI, GCP, HIPAA), and attend an ADRC-specific orientation that covers information about normal aging vs. dementia, research initiatives underway, and an overview about the scope and activities of our SMADRC before you can begin your official in-office volunteering.
  • Volunteers at the SMADRC are given a wide array of observational opportunities including: 
    • participant visits (watch clinical interviews
    • neuropsychological testing, neurologic evaluations, lumbar puncture procedures) with seniors with normal cognition and diagnoses of MCI, Alzheimer’s, and other related dementias
    • support groups with persons with early-stage memory loss and caregivers of persons with dementia
    • QOL programs
    • Biweekly core case conference meetings (biweekly) multidisciplinary meeting with faculty/coordinators to discuss all participant cases/diagnoses in the cohort of nearly 500 subjects.
    • Possible brain cutting
    • In addition to the observational opportunities, volunteers will be required to assist with a wide array of tasks ranging from preparation for study visits, outreach and recruitment campaigns/activities, data entry and cleaning tasks, lab support activities such as preparation of shipping boxes, etc.
    • Volunteers are encouraged to undergo as many training opportunities as possible to maximize their ability to actively engage in the center activities.  Highly motivated volunteers that stay with the center for an extended period of time, undergo additional training, and clearly demonstrate a commitment to learning/engaging have been given opportunities to assist with consenting, data collection, administration of memory screening tasks, and pre-screening/eligibility related tasks.  Some volunteers have also worked with faculty awarded small pilot grants to help recruit, track subject enrollment, and even run study visits (serve in coordinator capacity). These hands-on activities are limited but do present in situations where the volunteers are clearly dependable, professional in dress and behavior, independent, highly motivated individuals that are clearly on a trajectory consistent with the central mission.
    • For more information or to apply contact Christina Gigliotti, Ph.D. at cgigliotti@ucsd.edu