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CHAMPS: Changing Hearts and Minds In Relationships

Due to physical distancing measures the University is currently taking in response to COVID-19, the CHAMPS project is currently on hold. Thank you for your understanding.

Changing Hearts And Minds in relationships (CHAMPS) is a multi-method, state-of-the-art, and state-of-the-science therapy process research project. Using self-report questionnaires, fMRIs, video recordings, physiologic readings and more, CHAMPS seeks to identify mechanisms of change in Marriage and Family Therapy. Undergraduate Research Assistants should prepare by taking SFL 290. They participate through one of three opportunities:

Opportunity 1: Students participate through a Fall-Winter 403R Research Practicum course series offered by Dr. Angela Bradford or Dr. Lee Johnson. This is an especially good research experience for students deciding whether they would like to pursue a clinical degree.

RA Tasks:

  • Commit to a Fall and Winter series of 403R
  • Learn the conceptual basis of specific observable behaviors
  • Train in observing and coding in-session behaviors
  • Watch and code for specific behaviors in couple therapy sessions
  • Collaborate with a coding partner to establish reliability
  • Enter data (i.e., observational codes)

Faculty Director: Dr. Angela Bradford and Dr. Lee Johnson

To apply, contact Dr. Angela Bradford ( or Dr. Lee Johnson (, depending on which section's topic area, meeting day, and time is of most interest.

Opportunity 2: Students assist in multiple facets of the data collection process. This is a good research experience for students interested in learning the complexities and nuances of clinical data collection. Needs vary but are generally limited to approximately 2-3 students each semester.

RA Tasks:

  • Monitor in-session physiologic data collection
  • Send surveys/questionnaires to study participants
  • Recruit study participants
  • Assist graduate students at therapy session appointments in collecting and monitoring data compliance
  • Miscellaneous tasks as assigned by the project manager or faculty director

Faculty Director: Dr. Angela Bradford

To apply, contact Dr. Angela Bradford (

Opportunity 3: Students assist primarily in cleaning physiologic data. This is a good experience for students who are interested in learning what physiologic data look like and enjoy spending time in the “nitty gritty” of things in front of a computer. Needs vary, and students can sign up for one or multiple semesters.

RA Tasks:

  • Examine files containing readings of skin conductance, heart rate variability, and cardiac thoracic impedance and remove “noise” or areas that are uninterpretable.
  • As necessary, compare physiologic activity to observable behavior in video recordings of marriage therapy sessions.
  • Compile cleaned data and make datasets.

Faculty Director: Dr. Angela Bradford

To apply, contact Dr. Bradford (