Vanderbilt Clinical Research – ICU Delirium

Supervisor(s): Jim Jackson PsyD

Location: Center for Health Services Research, 6th Floor Med Center East, Suite 6100, Vanderbilt Medical Center

Clinical or Research Rotation:  Clinically oriented research

Number of Positions Available: 1

Anticipated Number of Face-to-Face Clinical Hours per Week:  3-4


Description: This rotation takes place within the Vanderbilt ICU Delirium Group (, a large and productive research group that focuses on long term outcomes in survivors of critical illness.  Specifically, we study the impact of medical conditions and surgical events on the development of conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and acquired brain injuries.  To accomplish these goals, we perform a wide array of clinical assessments on patients including assessments of cognitive, mental health, and quality of life related functioning.  These assessments are done in the intensive care unit, in patient homes, by telephone, and at the office.  We also engage in research on cognitive rehabiliation.  In addition to assessment duties (administering and scoring evaluations), responsibilities include consenting patients, performing bedside delirium evaluations, performing literature reviews, assisting in writing manuscripts, and learning to functioning as part of a multidisciplinary team. 

Competency Goals: Interns will learn wide ranging aspects of clinical research.  They will learn how to develop research related assessment batteries and to design research protocols that will assess specific research questions.  They will become adept at administering a wide array of neuropsychological tests as well as screening tools that evaluate depression, PTSD, quality of life, frailty, and daily functioning.  They will learn what an ethical approach to research involves including the particular unique challenges of working with vulnerable research populations such as individuals with cognitive impairment.  They will learn how to write more succinctly and more effectively, particularly in the context of scientific writing.  They will learn how to take ideas and use these to create focused manuscripts.  They will learn how psychologists can function in large research teams of professionals from other disciplines and, in particular, how to take complex psychological concepts and distill them into easily understood concepts to share with non-psychology colleagues.    

Prerequisites: Prerequisites include some familiarity with neuropsychology, rehabiliation psychology, or health psychology.  More importantly, interns most have a willingness to learn and openness to trying new things.

Contact Information: Contact Jim Jackson at 615-936-2822 or at