Opportunities with OHAIRE

Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Positions

Postdoctoral Fellow - Not currently available

Graduate Student - Applications are open for a start in Fall 2019; Deadline of Nov 1, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate Positions

2018-2019 Academic Year - Available

Other Opportunities

We welcome applications for visiting scholars or other independently funded applicants

Graduate Students

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University values, nurtures, and respects all members of its community and ensures an environment of inclusive excellence where all students, faculty, and staff are inspired and empowered to achieve their full potential. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.


A competitive position is available for a highly motivated and promising individual seeking a Masters or PhD related to the PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTION with Dr. Maggie O’Haire. The successful applicant will be housed within the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. The research program will focus on the scientific evaluation of human animal interaction in one or more of the following areas: (a) SERVICE DOGS for military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and their families, (b) FACILITY DOGS in hospital settings, and/or (c) BEHAVIOR CODING of video-recorded human-animal interaction in various settings. The research will be related to HUMAN outcomes primarily, rather than the animals themselves. Thus an interest in pursuing a human psychology focused research degree is essential. The degree title will be an MS or PhD in Human-Animal Interaction.

The successful candidate will be involved in the development of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and scientific writing related to behavioral, psychological, and physiological outcomes of Human-Animal Interaction. The position involves working with collaborators and supervising undergraduate students assisting with the research.


PhD applicants must have completed either a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. Masters applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s Degree. Degrees should be in a field relevant to human health or human-animal interaction, including but not limited to: psychology, human development and family studies, public health, communication, education, nursing, or medicine.


The ideal candidate should exhibit excellent writing skills. They should also have a high level of organization, professionalism, reliability, interpersonal communication skills, and the ability to work both independently and in a team environment. They should be interested in and motivated to study human psychological outcomes.

Experiences and Skills

We are seeking excellent candidates with a range of skills. Examples may include some or all of the following:

  • Research project management
    • Developing and carrying out experimental protocols
    • Participant recruitment, retention, and communication
    • Writing consent forms and telephone scripts
    • Database management of research data and participation
    • Managing IRB and IACUC protocols
    • Telephone calls and in-person meetings with research participants
  • Psycho-physiology experience (collection, processing, and analysis)
    • Electrodermal activity
    • Salivary Cortisol
    • Daily Actigraphy, Sleep Actigraphy
    • Daily diaries/Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Writing experience
    • IRB and IACUC proposals
    • Peer-reviewed publications
    • Conference abstracts and presentations
    • Poster presentations
    • Grant writing
  • Software experience
    • Database (e.g. RedCap)
    • Statistical (e.g. SPSS)
    • Survey (e.g. Qualtrics)
    • Scheduling (e.g. Google Calendar)

Salary and Timeline

The position includes a graduate stipend, partial tuition and fee waiver, and health insurance benefits for two years for a Masters, with the potential of funding for two additional years for a PhD. The student position will start in August 2019. It will be full time with the expectation of graduation within two years (Masters) or four years (PhD). There may be opportunities to start in a temporary full-time Research Assistant position sooner if interested.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates should send an inquiry to Barbara White at whiteb@purdue.edu and must apply to the Graduate School through the Department of Comparative Pathobiology.  Click here for more information about the application process. 

For this position, you may select to submit the optional additions:

  1. A sample that showcases the candidate’s organizational style (e.g. spreadsheet, excel file, project management document, calendar sample), and/or
  2. A sample that showcases the candidate's scientific writing skills (e.g. manuscript, class assignment, literature review).

Following receipt of these materials, selected short-list candidates will be invited to participate in an interview via Skype or in person. The interview will consist of two components.

  1. A brief presentation by the candidate on a research or relevant project they have worked on, AND
  2. A standardized set of interview questions.

If you have any questions about the application process, you may email Barbara White at whiteb@purdue.edu. If you have any questions about the position, please email Dr. Maggie O'Haire at maggie.ohaire@gmail.com and include your current CV or Resume.

We look forward to receiving your application materials!


Complete applications must be submitted by NOVEMBER 1, 2018.


The position will be located in the Center for the Human-Animal Bond in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Candidates do NOT need to have expertise or experience in biology or comparative pathobiology. The Department of Comparative Pathobiology is a wonderfully interdisciplinary department that hosts the Center for the Human-Animal Bond, including psychology researchers. Click here for a description of its graduate programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Written by current graduate students in the O'Haire Lab

How does work in the O'Haire Lab and Purdue help prepare you for future careers?

Working in the O'Haire lab and at Purdue provides several opportunities to prepare us for the future. In the O'Haire lab you work on skills for communication (oral via presentation and written), critical thinking (data analysis), organization (data management), and more. There are opportunities for mentoring and teaching. Overall, the O’Haire Lab is extremely supportive of professional development for students. Dr. O’Haire will work with you to develop a plan to help prepare you for future careers.

Purdue provides also a wealth of workshops for graduate students on topics such as data management, leadership, success, wellness, identify, communication skills, and teaching. These workshops are provided through the Graduate School, Center for Career Opportunities, and more.

In terms of teaching, Purdue has a Center for Instructional Excellence where you can get Graduate Teaching Certificates and take many workshops on topics such as syllabus creation, learning outcomes, active learning, assessment, the scholarship of teaching and learning, writing a teaching philosophy, creating a teaching portfolio, and more.

In terms of research, Purdue has a range of courses designed to advance research skills, including research methods, statistics, and topic-specific courses. Our lab also participates in external trainings on specific topic areas.

What department will I be in?

Our department is called Comparative Pathobiology, or CPB for short. This department is very interdisciplinary and resides in the College of Veterinary Medicine. A core affiliation will be with the Center for the Human-Animal Bond. Our lab also affiliates with the Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue Autism Cluster, and Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience.

What classes will I take? Do I have flexibility in classes?

As a graduate student, you will get great flexibility in choosing your classes. You decide which classes you will take between your major advisor (Dr. O’Haire) and committee. The classes you choose will certainly contain at least a few statistics courses and other classes related to your dissertation research. The only required classes are an Ethics in Research Seminar (taken once) and a one hour Departmental Research Seminar (taken each semester). You will have to present your own research a few times in this research seminar. You can take classes in departments such as Psychology, Human Development and Family Sciences, Animal Sciences, etc.

I’d like to learn more. What can I do?

We recommend sending a copy of your current Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume to our lab email address (ohairelab@gmail.com). Ask any specific questions you have and indicate your interests. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Undergraduate Positions


The selected applicant(s) will be working on research projects exploring the effects of service dogs and companion animals on human health outcomes (such as autism spectrum disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder).

The student intern will be responsible for preparing research materials, reviewing qualitative data, and conducting data entry. They will assist with other lab tasks as needed. They will also participate in lab meetings and receive additional mentorship from graduate students.


Applicants must be an undergraduate student at Purdue University interested in areas relevant to human-animal interactions, including but not limited to: psychology and human development and family studies. Applicants are preferred to have database experience (e.g., Microsoft Access) or at least Microsoft Excel at a minimum. Conscientiousness and attention to detail are required.

Estimated Weekly Hours and Credits

Applicants will be expected to work 10 hours a week for one full academic year. Three research credit hours will be awarded.

Application Procedure

To apply, send a cover email and resume (if you have one) to ohairelab@gmail.com. If we have open positions, you may be invited to participate in an interview. Otherwise, your information will be stored for potential future openings.


Rolling basis

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