Social Worker, Clinical Research

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024


BSD NEU - Research

About the Department

The Department of Neurology at The University of Chicago Medical Center has a great history and tradition, having made significant contributions to neurological training, clinical care, and the basic understanding of neurological disease. The Healthy Aging & Alzheimer's Research Care (HAARC) Center, is a new multidisciplinary center at the University of Chicago focused on implementing research on aging, Alzheimer’s and related dementia research focused on optimizing knowledge, care, interventions, and quality of life. This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.

Job Summary

The Communication Bridge Research Program at the Healthy Aging & Alzheimer's Research Care (HAARC) Center is seeking a dedicated and compassionate Social Worker to join our groundbreaking intervention study. This position will deliver the psychosocial education and counseling (PEC) component of the Communication Bridge intervention in a new randomized controlled trial (RCT) launching in 2024. The Communication Bridge intervention aims to maximize communication participation and quality of life for people living with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and their partners.

This innovative RCT will test the efficacy of a dyadic, multi-component intervention that combines speech-language therapy with psychosocial education and counseling delivered by a Social Worker. The intervention is grounded in theoretical models of dyadic change and life participation in aphasia and will integrate PEC with speech-language interventions delivered by a speech-language pathologist to maximize communication participation outcomes by training dyadic communication skills, developing mastery of compensatory strategies, and mitigating caregiving burden in PPA. In this vital role, you'll support participants and their families throughout the intervention, helping them navigate the challenges of PPA and build stronger communication skills.

As part of the HAARC Center, you'll be immersed in a collaborative and dynamic research environment dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias. This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families facing PPA.


  • Conduct comprehensive psychosocial assessments of participants and their families.

  • Provide individual and group counseling to participants, focusing on coping strategies, communication challenges, education, and relationship dynamics.

  • Develop and implement personalized psychosocial support plans in collaboration with the speech-language pathologist and other team members.

  • Facilitate communication and collaboration between participants, their families, and other healthcare providers.

  • Participate in research activities, including data collection, documentation, and analysis.

  • Contribute to the development and refinement of the intervention protocol.

  • Plans own resources to combat social problems, prevent substance abuse, or improve community health and counseling services.

  • Analyzes potential problems in home or work environments of clients.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW).


  • Experience working with individuals and families living with a neurodegenerative dementia diagnosis (e.g., Alzheimer’s dementia, primary progressive aphasia, frontotemporal dementia).

  • Familiarity with telehealth service delivery and technology, including video-chat, smart devices (iPad set up and accessibility settings), communication support web and smart device applications.

  • Strong clinical skills, including dyadic assessment, dyadic problem-based counseling, and dyadic psychosocial education.

Preferred Competencies

  • Research methods (study design, research ethics, data analysis).

  • Familiarity with database entry and documentation management is desirable (e.g., entering data into REDCap or other database system).

  • Familiarity with dyadic theories of behavioral change.

  • Prior experience providing care for individuals with PPA or a related dementia syndrome and their care partners.

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and collaboration skills.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Working Conditions

  • Lab environment.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Healthcare & Medical Services

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

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