Staff Spotlight: Setting the Groundwork for Research

April 8, 2022

RoseMarie Stevenson makes a significant contribution toward the University’s mission to advance learning through scholarship, research, and teaching of unsurpassed quality. Her role within the Department of Psychology creates a foundation for students to conduct research on people.

By Vanessa Livingstone, Office of Human Resources

RoseMarie Stevenson - Staff Spotlight
RoseMarie's office is always open to students looking for a conversation or seeking advice.

“I feel successful because of how much I like my job.”

Human Subjects Administrator RoseMarie Stevenson sets the groundwork for research in the Department of Psychology. Whether it’s managing subject pools, overseeing department assignments, or facilitating training programs, she prepares students to conduct their research on people.

We work amongst the most brilliant people in the world, and it astonishes me that I provide guidance to them.

When RoseMarie began as human subjects administrator 20 years ago, the role focused primarily on liaising with the Internal Review Board (IRB) and managing the two subject pools: students and compensated participants. Since then, her contributions have expanded to include overseeing department assignments and hosting training sessions on compliance.

Between 400 to 700 undergrads enrolled in psychology-related courses must complete assigned research hours each semester. RoseMarie communicates with these students to inform them of their assignment and acts as a resource for preparation and problem solving. In her training sessions, she reviews the process for students to submit research for IRB approval, recruit subjects, and mediate potential conflicts with participants.

Researchers also attend RoseMarie’s training to learn how to navigate the subject pools’ systems and meet department guidelines. Although their studies are preapproved by the IRB, researchers must also receive department approval from RoseMarie and the subject pool panel. The subject pool panel reviews the research to ensure that it’s appropriate for the subject pool — because students should receive educational value from participating.

Submitting research to the IRB and remaining in compliance with guidelines could seem intimidating to someone who is new to the process. However, with RoseMarie’s efforts to streamline the approach, students and researchers face fewer obstacles during the formative stages of their studies. When the results appear later on, RoseMarie knows she helped create the foundation for that research to thrive.

Nothing makes RoseMarie happier than when students stop by her office to talk or ask for guidance, and leave with smiles on their faces. She’s formed lifelong relationships with different members of the department, and students have even invited her to their weddings and introduced her to their children.

To summarize her approach to work and life, RoseMarie quotes Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

RoseMarie Stevenson makes more impact than you can imagine.

Photos courtesy of RoseMarie Stevenson.

Feedback? Questions? Suggestions for future stories on staff who exemplify Princeton’s mission? Please write to the HR Communications Team.