Improving function and quality of life in people with dementia

Volunteer Research Assistant

The Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ) in Persons with Dementia Trial


What’s it about? 

The goal of this study is to determine whether a new integrative exercise program for people living with dementia can help them maintain physical function, cognitive function and quality of life and reduce caregiver burden. There are two ongoing studies that are funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (PLIÉ-VA) and the Alzheimer’s Association (Paired PLIÉ). Go to and click on “Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIE) Program” to learn more about the study.


What’s in it for me?

  • List joint UCSF/SFVA position on CV.
  • Earn university sanctioned hours/independent study credit. 
  • Perform standardized assessments in people with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Receive a small stipend.
  • Learn about clinical research. 

What will I do?

  • Screen potential participants by phone using a standardized script.
  • Schedule visits.
  • Prepare documents for visits.
  • Obtain informed consent, including assessing and documenting capacity to consent.
  • Administer standardized questionnaires to caregivers and individuals with dementia.
  • Check study documents for accuracy.
  • Enter data.

What is the commitment?

  • 1 day per week for 1 year.
  • Call-in for weekly staff meetings.  
  • Driving may be involved. 

What skills do I need? 

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology or related field.
  • Coursework or experience administering questionnaires.
  • Interest in working with older adults, especially those with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Prior research experience preferred, but we will train.

Where is it?

  • The research office is at the San Francisco VA Medical Center at 4150 Clement Street. 
  • The study sites are off-campus (e.g., Santa Rosa, San Francisco, East Bay, Peninsula) 
  • Study participants may live in the greater Bay Area



If you are interested, please email your cover letter and CV to:          

Deborah Barnes, PhD, MPH