Dr. Beatrice Beebe (NYSPI) Two-Year Volunteer Internship

Hours per week





40 Haven Avenue
New York
United States


Dr. Beatrice Beebe –

Two-Year Volunteer Job Description: Mother-Infant Filming Lab

New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University

Recruiting now for Spring, Summer, Fall 2018!

Our Communication Sciences Lab specializes in research on mother-infant

communication. We are housed in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New

York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), 1051 Riverside Drive. NYSPI is a joint venture

of Columbia University and New York State.

The Lab runs a basic research program on mother-infant face-to-face communication,

and its associations with maternal depression/anxiety, infant prematurity, infant

attachment and cognition, and young adult outcomes. After running since 2002 a

combination treatment/research project for mothers who were pregnant and widowed in

the World Trade Center Disaster of September 11, 2001, and their young children, we

are now working on the research component of this project.

We run our lab with volunteers. We usually have about a dozen volunteers from various

schools around the city. A volunteer position in our lab is ideal for students who are

between college and graduate school, who are interested in research experience, and

who want to get into a PhD program in Clinical or Developmental Psychology. We also

consider undergraduates with strong research interests if they can meet our schedule.

Dr. Beebe holds teaching sessions for her volunteers once per month in her home on

Monday evenings, from 6:30-8:15 pm. This is an opportunity to learn the basic research

of the lab, new papers being produced in the lab, and the context of the work in the

field. This is a required part of the volunteer program.

A 2-year commitment is essential, because we need the continuity. Please think

carefully about whether this is right for you.

Our lab runs on Tuesdays from 10am to 6pm and Thursdays from 10am to 6pm. We are

looking for people who can give two full days.

We are now filming on Wednesday afternoons and Tuesday evenings for a follow-up of

young adults who were filmed in our lab 3 decades ago, as infants. These filmings occur

approximately once per month. Lab assistants are trained to give the Adult Attachment

Interview. We are also filming on Wednesday afternoons for a pilot study on

environmental toxins and mother-infant interaction.

We are seeking several volunteers. We try to match jobs with the talents and interests

of each student. We are also specifically now looking for someone who has some

math/statistics background to work directly with Dr. Beebe, and under the supervision of

our statistician.

Volunteers need an easy temperament, the capacity to handle high stress, a warm and

engaging manner with people, good video and audio equipment skills (or able to learn),

attention to detail and the ability to work closely with many other people in a small


9-11 Mothers and Young Children Project

This project involves a mother-child and therapist-child split-screen face-to-face filming

in our lab. We also take sophisticated audio recordings for vocal rhythm analysis. This

project is now in the research phase.

Documentary Film

We are currently creating a documentary film based on the different types of parentinfant

communication patterns. We invite parents to play face-to-face with their infant at

4 and 12 months. Following the parent-infant play, Dr. Beebe also plays with the infant

briefly. We then film an educational viewing session with Dr. Beebe and the parent. In

this session, Dr. Beebe and the parent together view the film that has just been made

and discuss what the parent and the infant may be feeling. Although there are many

studies that examine parent-infant interaction, little video material is available for

educational use. A documentary film about these interactions will be educationally

useful for parents, students, and clinicians. All students are invited to observe these

sessions in progress. Our first of a series of documentary films has just been posted on

the PEPweb site (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing).

Basic Research Program

All our volunteers participate in our basic research program. We are continuing to work

on a study originally funded by NIMH, examining mother-infant interaction, strangerinfant

interaction, and the prediction of infant attachment outcomes and communication

patterns, as a function of maternal depression and anxiety.

In this aspect of the work, volunteers need to be able to work independently, to be

highly organized, detail-oriented and patient; to have excellent computer skills and to

work well with other people. Knowledge of Excel, SPSS, PowerPoint and Endnote are a

plus. Duties include helping to prepare grants, literature reviews for papers to be

submitted for publication, making tables and figures, drawing illustrations of research

findings for lectures, creation of reference lists in papers for publication, organization of

big mailings, and some administration of the office. Students with some math

background work directly with the statistician and Dr. Beebe on the data analyses. All

volunteers work closely with Dr. Beebe on a day-to-day basis, helping her to manage all

research activities.


Administrator The lab administrator works closely with Dr. Beebe to oversee all

aspects of administering and coordinating the lab’s research studies and research

grants. This job is usually shared by at least two students. This is a demanding, detailoriented

job that will quickly expose the assistant to how a lab functions day-to-day. The

administrator handles all IRB submissions and renewals; assembles and submits

research grants to Columbia, NIH, and private foundations; manages the lab’s active

grant accounts through Columbia; corresponds with Dr. Beebe’s students and

colleagues about research matters; orders lab supplies; submits invoices for payment;

oversees the confidentiality of patient data; and, as needed, assists in preparing Dr.

Beebe’s manuscripts for publication, writes literature reviews, serves on the A/V team

for any of our active M-I studies, and completes any other miscellaneous administrative


Writer An excellent writer is needed to write IRB protocols and to develop literature

reviews for grant requests and research papers.

Tech We are seeking someone with computer/technical knowledge who can help

troubleshoot routine computer glitches, maintain software/hardware, and AV equipment.

Statistical Knowledge We are seeking someone with a basic statistical background

(SPSS needed, SAS ideal). This is a pivotal position in the lab and we are currently

seeking someone in this area. This person will participate with the supervision of our lab

statistician in data management, will learn about time-series modeling, and will do some

basic analyses. There is the opportunity to take data analyses and work them up into

APA format tables, to write results sections, and to participate in the interpretation of the

results. This person may also help us in the initial stages of grant writing.

Video A video tech will have everyday contact with our video data and gain an

understanding of nonverbal communication, particularly frame-by-frame analysis. You

will learn about the amazing rapidity, subtlety and complexity of mother-infant

communication and its disturbances, relevant in both the research and clinical side of

our work.

Video Tech Responsibilities include:

-Dubbing between VHS, DVD, miniDV etc.

-DVD authoring (DVD Studio Pro)

-Videotaping of dyad interactions

-Overseeing of all video projects

-Attending to various requests for particular videos or DVD creation

-Ability to use and troubleshoot:

-All AV equipment: VHS/DVD decks, microphones

-Mac computers

-Final Cut Pro, Quicktime etc.

Mother-infant interaction Video Coders This is an essential job in the lab, generating

our data for mother and infant looking patterns, facial expression, orientation positions,

and touch. Coding video second-by-second is a difficult job. Learning to see at the level

of precision required by reliable coding requires a number of skills. The coder must be

clinically perceptive, able to pick up empathically on the nature of the emotional

communication, and interested in a level of detail and precision that most people find

difficult. However, coding video teaches us to see. Learning to see is one of the most

essential skills of our lab. Being able to detect the nuances of behavior is a talent

essential to both the researcher and the clinician.

Please see our website:



Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.

Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry

College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia University


Mailing Address:

NYS Psychiatric Institute #108

1051 Riverside Drive

New York, NY 10032

How To Apply

Please think carefully about whether these jobs fit your own lives right now because we cannot afford to have people drop out of these positions. I am very grateful for your interest. If you are interested please send me your CV and ask 2 people from the academic community to email me with a short recommendation. Do not hesitate to email me with any questions at  beatrice.beebe@nyspi.columbia.edu