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Clinical Neurotechnology Research Assistant

Massachusetts General Hospital

About the Role

The CRC I (Clinical Neurotechnology Research Assistant) is primarily responsible for the performance of clinical neurotechnology research in the homes of clinical trial participants with tetraplegia (quadriplegia). These responsibilities include the careful execution and documentation of research sessions studying the safety and efficacy of investigational medical devices and novel, neurally-controlled assistive interfaces (“brain-computer interfaces”) for people with paralysis or communication impairments.



  • Install complex research computing hardware and software

  • Maintain computer software, tracking all software updates and testing equipment function after such updates

  • Maintain computer hardware by confirming that all cable connections are intact and functioning, troubleshooting equipment components in a manner consistent with safe use of the system, understanding the relationship between hardware components, and anticipating and eliminating hurdles to system expansion and changes (which occur regularly)

  • Perform simple troubleshooting of computer software and hardware

  • Assemble unique systems to perform new, unusual or special tests

  • Conduct a broad range of experiments involving advanced technology; contribute to the design of experimental protocols to achieve the scientific objectives of the research project

  • Arrange, schedule, and execute twice-to-four-times-weekly research sessions, including regular interaction with persons with paralysis and their families/caregivers. These research sessions occur in the homes of clinical trial participants and may involve driving for up to three hours

  • Meet regularly with researchers to plan and practice execution of research sessions.

  • Record neural activity, select appropriate neural waveforms, configure custom software, and document Neural Interface System performance

  • Record HD video of research sessions

  • Redact any sensitive information from videos and create video clips for weekly meetings and publications

  • Back up and archive data daily to servers at multiple institutions

  • Help to evaluate user interfaces and neurally-controlled assistive devices for persons with paralysis

  • Provide vigilant skin care of neurosurgically placed devices

  • Teach participants’ caregivers how to properly clean and care for the skin around the percutaneous device interface

  • Train and sign-off other CNRAs in similar roles at other research sites in study

  • Work closely with Supervisor and with colleagues at other universities

  • Communicate to manufacturers about problems with medical devices; ensure appropriate response

  • Assist with other neurotechnology research projects, as assigned by Supervisor

  • Function as the principal technical specialist for the research unit or for a specific research project

  • Attend weekly lab meetings (in person at Brown University or by videoconference); may present data

  • Enhance web presence for research, including managing website updates and social media accounts

  • Maintain MySQL inventory database to coordinate supplies and equipment used across a multi-site pilot clinical trial and associated research

  • Submit abstracts, present posters, and assist with research manuscripts

  • Assist with participant recruitment efforts

  • Lead some aspects of event planning, such as assembling invite lists or securing a venue




EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required. 



  • Superb organizational skills and ability to multi-task

  • Ability to work independently, take initiative and prioritize tasks

  • Excellent writing and communication skills in the English language

  • Excellent problem-solving skills

  • Extraordinary interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a complex, multi-institutional team

  • Ability to coordinate activities with colleagues at multiple sites primarily in Boston MA and Providence RI; also in Stanford CA , Davis CA, and Atlanta GA

  • Ease interacting with and taking direction from multiple levels including physicians, scientists, and engineers via teleconferences and/or videoconferences

  • Ability to troubleshoot simple computer problems independently

  • Ability to interact with study participants comfortably and sensitively

  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to document research activities

  • Safeguards the privacy of information and keeps appropriate information confidential

  • Ability to travel multiple times per week within a 3-hour radius of Boston.

  • Valid driver’s license required



  • Previous photography/videography experience is advantageous

  • Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Suite knowledge is preferred

  • Basic HTML and CSS knowledge, along with web management experience is advantageous

  • Comfort working with Apple OS and in MATLAB environments is advantageous


EXPERIENCE: 1-2 years of related experience is preferred and experience in neuroscience or electrical or computer engineering is helpful.  


FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:  No direct fiscal responsibilities; however, is responsible for prudent fiscal management of program resources (e.g. supplies, etc.). Assist in the purchasing of clinical research supplies, as well as the preparation and timely submission of expense reports.



  • Locations including inpatient care settings, assisted care facilities, research laboratories, and private homes

  • May work in clinical facilities with exposure to biological contamination, e.g., blood. Occasional lifting of heavy objects, typically not exceeding 75 pounds/person may be requested

  • Travel within a 3-hour radius of Boston may be required two to four times weekly

  • Occasional conference or clinical site travel at least twice per year

The MGH Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery (CNTR) develops, tests, and deploys novel neurotechnologies to improve the care of people suffering from diseases or injuries of the nervous system.

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