Graduate Programs

HERL offers research fellowships for students enrolled in affiliated PhD graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh.  Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) are students who are hired by faculty to assist in carrying out a particular research agenda and are provided mentorship and training to develop a new area of research and to become independent research scientists. General areas where GSRs can be engaged include:

  • Design, development, and/or evaluation of new assistive technologies
  • Mobile health apps and related technologies
  • Computational biomechanics and movement analysis
  • Wearables for tracking and monitoring real world activities
  • Assistive robotics and intelligent systems
  • Human machine interfaces
  • Outcomes and survey development
  • Adaptive sports, recreation, and exercise programming

GSRs typically work 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters and 40 hours per week in summer terms. GSR appointments offer a monthly stipend, a tuition scholarship, and individual health insurance coverage in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Health Plan at no cost. Appointments are for one year with the option to renew for additional year(s) based on satisfactory performance and availability in research funding.

Minimum qualifications/requirements

  • Academic and/or work experience related to the field of research (e.g. engineering, computer science, physical or occupational therapy, exercise physiology/science, biomechanics, or related fields),
  • Experience with specialized hardware, software or datasets, as required by the research project

Application process

  • Students need to apply and be accepted into an affiliated PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh. A formal agreement to support an applicant’s GSR position by a faculty member is required for the PhD application. Prospective student applicants are therefore encouraged to browse the HERL website ( and reach out to specific faculty that they are interested in working with.

For general inquiries about HERL’s graduate programs, please contact Randy Williams.

HERL’s GSR openings starting Summer/Fall 2020 academic year

Education > Graduates