Opportunities with OHAIRE

Research and Operations Manager Positions

Now accepting applications


Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Positions

Postdoctoral Fellow - Not currently available

Graduate Student - Applications open for a start in
Fall 2023; Deadline of Nov 1, 2022

Undergraduate Positions

Summer 2022 - Openings soon

Other Opportunities

We welcome applications for visiting scholars or other independently funded applicants

Frequently Asked Questions

Careers in Human-Animal Interaction

Interested in a career in human-animal interaction, but not sure where to get started? Check out these resources!

Research and Operations Manager Positions

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. The OHAIRE lab prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in all work that we do.

Lab Manager

Position Summary

The primary purpose of the position is to coordinate the logistical operations of multiple research projects, facilitate recruitment and training of undergraduate student research assistants and staff, and maintain the laboratory environment. The secondary purpose of the position is to provide administrative assistance to the PI and laboratory team.


Responsibilities and Duties

Although other duties may be assigned as needed, the core duties and responsibilities of this position are:

  • Research: Coordinate and manage operations of a nationwide clinical trial of military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    • Assist in research project design as well as the design of systems to motivate research participation, compliance, and robust data
    • Set objectives and work independently (under general supervision) on facilitation of all tasks related to the clinical trial
    • Refine systems for efficient and effective processes
    • Identify and analyze problems including troubleshooting
    • Implement efficient and organized systems to facilitate the team and task execution
    • Implement project resources, milestones, and timelines
    • Communicate with principal investigators, research team members, and external sponsors on the clinical trial project
    • Assist with providing operational and financial oversight of the research program
    • Monitor research project expenditure records
    • Assist in developing communication materials for research participants and key stakeholders
    • Maintain confidentiality of participant records
    • Oversee team database management (e.g., coordinate team to review data entry and maintain record organization and consistency)
    • Coordinate participant payments (e.g., secure storage, documentation, tracking)
    • Compile, write, update, and track Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) proposals, reports, and other documentation
    • Assist in compiling and preparing graphically effective and compelling written reports for funders and key stakeholders
  • Personnel: Coordinate logistics for and provide guidance, coaching, and training to undergraduate research assistants and paid study staff

    • Post position advertisements, review resumes, and participate in interviews
    • Onboard new team members and train personnel in basic laboratory protocols
    • Maintain systems to oversee and coordinate day-to-day tasks, providing guidance and troubleshooting
    • Monitor rubrics and metrics of performance and motivate team members through guidance and support
    • Coordinate logistical elements of the team (e.g., scheduling, space allocation, supplies and materials management)
    • Foster and maintain an inclusive, productive working environment
  • Laboratory: Maintain laboratory space and equipment

    • Maintain organization of physical and virtual spaces and files
    • Oversee the cleanliness and tidiness of equipment and environment
    • Inventory and order lab supplies and equipment, liaise with suppliers
    • Ensure compliance with lab and safety protocols and cleaning procedures
    • Create, edit, and update laboratory manuals and protocols
    • Complete compliance documentation annually and as needed
  • Online course: Facilitate the OHAIRE Coding System online course

    • Moderate remote students and answer questions
    • Run reliability syntax and troubleshoot issues
    • Update course content as needed
    • Supervise research assistants in working on the course and completing the above tasks
  • Communications: Communicate with individuals on and off-campus on behalf of the lab

    • Create a friendly and professional rapport and communication line with on-campus partners (e.g. business office, purchasing center, administration offices)
    • Field inquiries and questions from prospective students and media outlets
    • Take notes during meetings and distribute as needed
  • Admin: Administrative assistance

    • Book travel (e.g. flights, accommodation), track costs in a spreadsheet, and submit reimbursements
    • Schedule meetings (e.g. requesting availability, establishing dates/times, reserving rooms or setting virtual meeting link, distributing final information)
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications and Skills

  • Education and Experience
    • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, Neuroscience, Education, Public Health, Social Work, Nursing, or related field.
    • 2 years of relevant experience (examples include, but are not limited to: lab manager, research coordinator).
  • Skills
    • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and team skills (in person, writing, and telephone)
    • Professional and amicable communication style
    • Excellent time management skills
    • Ability to set objectives, create timelines, and meet deadlines
    • Ability to guide, supervise, and support students and staff
    • Ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities
    • Ability to work independently on moderately complex projects requiring problem solving
    • Ability to effectively work with spreadsheets to track data, finances, and timelines
    • Ability to take coherent and synthesized meeting notes
    • Ability to write cohesive and organized emails as well as documents for stakeholders
    • Willingness to be flexible in daily tasks (integrate multiple tasks into work day)
    • Ability to work alone or with people with varied backgrounds
    • Ability to work independently under limited supervision
    • Ability to independently develop solutions to problems for PI to review
    • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

How to Apply

Apply through the Purdue University online system here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Maggie O’Haire.

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 several areas of human-animal interaction research, primarily the scientific evaluation of the efficacy of service dogs for military veterans with PTSD and their families. The research will be related to human outcomes primarily, rather than the animals themselves. Thus, an interest in pursuing a human psychology research degree is essential. The degree title will be a PhD in Human-Animal Interaction. This is not a Clinical Psychology PhD program and will not train or prepare students to practice.

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 could include some or all of the following:

  • Research design and analysis
    • Quantitative, experimental studies
    • Clinical trials
    • Qualitative data processing and synthesis
  • 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 (EMA)
  • 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, SAS, R)
    • Survey (e.g. Qualtrics)

Salary and Timeline

The position includes a graduate stipend, partial tuition and fee waiver, and health insurance benefits for up to four years. The student position will start in August 2023. It will be full-time with the expectation of graduation within 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 Julie Lewellen at jlewelle@purdue.edu for application instructions and then apply to the Purdue University Graduate School.

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 Julie Lewellen at jlewelle@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, 2022.


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. A description of the department can be found here: https://vet.purdue.edu/cpb/index.php 

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Undergraduate Positions


The selected applicant(s) will work as Research Assistants on projects exploring the effects of service dogs and companion animals on human health outcomes (e.g., autism spectrum disorder). Research Assistants will work closely with the lab manager, as well as graduate students and other undergraduates.

Research Assistants will be responsible for recruiting participants, preparing research materials, tracking participant progress using online data management tools (e.g., REDCap), entering data, and assisting with other tasks as needed. They will also participate in lab meetings and receive additional mentorship from graduate students.


Applicants must be undergraduate students 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 and/or previous research experience. Conscientiousness and attention to detail are required.

Estimated Weekly Hours and Credits

Research Assistants will be expected to work 10 hours per week for one full academic year. Three research credit hours will be awarded per semester, if applicable.

Application Procedure

To apply, send a cover email and resume/CV 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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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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Careers in Human-Animal Interaction

Interested in a career in human-animal interaction, but not sure where to get started? Check out these resources! Learn about education related to human-animal interaction. This article includes a guide to relevant education and career opportunities. Learn about the centers and institutes focused on human-animal interaction in the United States. These are hubs for research and education. Finally, The Animals & Society Institute has an excellent page full of Resources for Students, including a list of possible jobs.

If you think a research-focused career is for you, consider applying for one of our available positions.

Human-Animal Interaction Careers. Would you like to make working with animals part of your career? Are you unsure what your options are or how to pursue that career? Use this guide to identify your interests, values, & skills that lead to careers & educational opportunities. Humans, animals, or both? Every career with animals also involves humans. Do you prefer to work more directly with humans, animals, or both? Animal-assisted therapists work more with humans. Veterinarians work with both. Wildlife managers work more with animals. What topics do you like? Careers with animals can emerge from many different topicssuch as biology, psychology, or animal science. Additionally, knowledge of law, business, marketing, and more can be valuable skills to this evolving industry. What do you want? Some careers have physical, emotional, mental, and moral challenges. For example, veterinarians work with animals in distress, perform euthanasia, and work long hours. Think about career challenges you may face, and which ones energize you? How do you work best? Certain workplaces are better suited for those who work independently, co-operatively, creatively, or with structure. Do you prefer to work inside vs. outside, city vs rural? Take a strengths assessment to determine the best environments for you.

Education.  Human-animal interaction education is offered in various levels such as certificates, college, or post-graduate. To find different programs visit the Animals & Society Institute or professional webpages such as International Society for Applied Ethology Education Page. Careers.  There are a variety of career options within human-animal interactions. Every career allows for a different amount of human and animal contact, required education or training, salary, working hours, advantages, and challenges. Consider your values in work and life. Gain experience in a few areas via internships or part-time work to help you make a satisfying career choice. Some careers include animal agriculture, wildlife & zoos, animal welfare, education or research, laboratory animal, animal health, animal-assisted therapy, administration, business, or marketing. Want to learn more?  Talk to your career advisor or someone in the human-animal interaction field. Read our paper in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin. Created by Megan LaFollette, Netzin Steklis, Lori Kogan, Dieter Steklis, Phyllis Erdman, and Monique Germone.

Infographic from: Erdman, P., LaFollette, M. R., Steklis, N. G., Steklis, D. H., Germane, M., & Kogan, L. R. (2018). Guide to Human-Animal Interaction Education. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6 (Special Issue), 37-46.

Human-Animal Interactions Programs
      Degrees   Courses
Year Founded University Center Doctoral Masters Bachelors   Campus Course Online Course Certificate Program
1977 University of Pennsylvania CIAS              
1981 University of Minnesota CENSHARE              
1982 Purdue University CHAB
1984 University of California, Davis CAS
1986 University of Tennessee HABIT  
1997 Tuskegee University CSHAIR              
2001 Virginia Commonwealth University CHAI        
2005 University of Denver IHAC  
2005 University of Missouri ReCHAI        
2007 Virginia Tech CENTAUR
2011 Canisius College AMP  
2012 University of Pennsylvania PVWDC            
2013 Oakland University OCHAI            
2014 University of Arizona HAIRI        
2015 Tufts University TIHAI  
2015 Washington State University CSAW


Table 7: Education- Human-animal interaction (HAI) opportunities from: O’Haire, M.E., Bibbo, J., Hoffman, C. L., Mueller, M. K., Ng, Z. N., & Buechner-Maxwell, V. A. (2018). Overview of Centers and Institutes for Human-Animal Interaction in the United States. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6 (Special Issue), 3-22. Note: Table includes only centers/institutes that responded to a survey and is not an exhaustive list.

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