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Position available: Volunteer in Patient-engaged Psychology and Health Research

by Marie-Eve Carrier | Dec 08, 2023

Dr. Brett Thombs (, a clinical psychologist, and the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN; are seeking a volunteer to contribute to their work on observational studies and novel trials of patient-centered interventions.

The Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN): Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease that causes significant disability and disfigurement. SPIN was founded by Dr. Thombs to bring together people living with scleroderma, health professionals, and scleroderma researchers from around the world to develop, test, and disseminate accessible support tools for people with scleroderma, including psychological, self-management, rehabilitation, and educational tools. SPIN has addressed barriers to research by (1) fostering a high level of patient and community engagement in all aspects of its research; (2) adapting well-tested patient support strategies from other chronic diseases to meet the needs of people with scleroderma and delivering them via the internet to increase accessibility; and (3) utilizing novel trial designs to conduct large, efficient, trials in a resource-starved rare disease environment. SPIN maintains a large cohort of over 1,400 scleroderma patients, recruited by scleroderma clinicians from 50 clinical sites in 7 countries (Canada, USA, UK, France, Spain, Australia, Mexico). Through the cohort, patients complete regular online questionnaires about psychological aspects of living with scleroderma, important challenges they face, and support needs. SPIN uses these data to develop patient tools and help people manage and cope with the disease.

The tasks of the volunteer may include:
• Calling research participants and responding to patient emails
• Assisting with various stages of the systematic review process (e.g., screening articles, data extraction)
• Helping to draft and review ethics and grant submissions
• Proofreading manuscript submissions (e.g., checking formatting, references)

The ideal candidate will meet the following qualifications:
• Must be able to commit to 10-12 hours per week
• Currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in psychology or other health-related field
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a strong capacity for teamwork
• Excellent computer and organizational skills
• Ability to work in French and English is a plus

Location: The SPIN team has offices at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Remote work is also possible.

Start Date: Start date is flexible, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

To apply: Applicants should send (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) an unofficial transcript, (4) a writing sample (English and French, if possible) to Marie-Eve Carrier (


Thombs Research Team:

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