Each semester, the ADJust Lab evaluates a need for Research Assistants. There are two ways to become involved as an RA:

   1. The Juvenile Risk Assessment study is an ongoing, large scale project, for which new RAs are selected at the end of every spring semester for a full calendar year. The purpose of the study is to test diagnostics to improve treatment and risk assessment for youthful offenders in Ingham County. Research Assistants are primarily responsible for data entry, literature searches and reviews, analyses and presentations for court personnel, and file management tasks.

   2. The Crossroads Mothers study is an ongoing longitudinal project that tracks the mothers/female guardians of juvenile offenders from the time of their first arrest to nearly a decade later. Research Assistants are responsible for managing case files and conducting hour-long telephone interviews with participating women.

   3. Short-term RA positions may arise on an as-needed basis throughout the academic year.

All research assistants must have:

  • Dedication, motivation, and an interest in psychology, criminal law, juvenile justice, and research

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • 10 hours per week to commit to lab, including mandatory bi-weekly meetings

  • Project-specific requirements. For the Juvenile Risk Assessment study, this includes:

    • The ability to devote 12 full, consecutive months (including summer months) to lab

    • The ability to work in the Ingham County courthouse 

We maintain a waitlist for applicants interested in joining the lab, whether or not we are not actively recruiting RAs. Interested in applying? Email Dr. Cavanagh ( You will be notified when positions become available.


Meet the 2018-2019 RA team for the Juvenile Risk Assessment study!

Ema Smith - Ema is a senior at Michigan State University studying psychology. She plans to pursue a Ph.D in the psychology field in order to understand the emotional regulations and mechanisms of thought that influence human behavior. Her ultimate goal is to have a private practice and teach at a university.


Rebecca Flynn - Rebecca is a junior at Michigan State University, double majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice, and minoring in cognitive science. After graduation, Rebecca plans to continue conducting research while getting a Ph.D in clinical psychology. Rebecca’s ultimate goal is to own practice 


Blake Kocsis - Blake is a junior at Michigan State University. He is studying behavioral psychology and criminal justice. He plans on getting his PhD in behavioral psychology with hopes of being a behavioral analyst within the FBI.

Olivia Grennan - Olivia is a junior at Michigan State University studying Psychology. She plans to add a cognitive science minor to learn more about the biological side of behavior and thought. Olivia plans to obtain her Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Her ultimate goal is to conduct developmental research to better understand behavior.


Ashley Anderson 

Kelsey Bees 

Anastasia Machasic 

Jessica Urch