Student Opportunities

The Optimum Performance Program (TOPP) includes state-of-the-art training for students at UNLV who wish to enhance their professional careers. Students are trained to become competent in the delivery of applied research initiatives, with an emphasis in the development and evaluation of family based interventions and relevant assessment measures.

Populations served in applied research initiatives

  • Athletes

  • Child maltreatment

  • Conduct disorders

  • Drug abuse

  • Family dysfunction

  • Family violence

  • Mood disorders


Qualifications and Expectancies of Students

  • Except in extenuating circumstances, freshman and sophomore undergrads must have a 3.3 G.P.A. and juniors and seniors must have at least a 3.5

  • Maintain G.P.A. as indicated above

  • Team-work and strong work-ethic

  • Innovative regarding the development and refinement of program


Training Experiences
Depending on interests and experiences of the student, training may include any and all of the following:

  • Learning to develop and implement cutting edge family behavior therapies

  • Learning to conduct exemplary scientific literature reviews

  • Learning application and interviewing skills relevant to obtaining prestigious professional positions

  • Learning administrative skills

  • Learning to network within the community to enhance funding opportunities and elicit referrals

  • Learning to write grants

  • Learning to disseminate research through publication of manuscripts and professional workshops

  • Learning to perform statistical analyses

  • Learning to present professional presentations and speeches at state and national conferences, universities, state agencies, elementary schools, etc.

Program Responsibilities

  • Participate in an orientation interview upon acceptance 

  • Attend general program meeting once per week for about 1 hour

  • Attend training related workshops on an "as needed basis" within scheduled hours

  • Join a research team (senior members may initiate their own research after 1 year)

  • Maintain a minimum of 7 hours working on-site per week to conduct their projects (includes on-site meeting attendance)

  • Assist in the improvement of the organization

  • Disseminate > one professional presentation at a professional conference per year (e.g., workshop, poster)

  • Publish a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal (graduate students only)