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For Prospective Collaborators

Since 2007 and the launch of the USC Games for Health initiative, the lab director and its members have provided countless consultations on projects, resulting in referrals or partnerships. Here are some things you should know if you wish to work with us:

  • Our lab works like a co-op. Student members choose what projects they want to volunteer or participate in as part of mentored/directed research (CTIN 590) for which they get course credit. The students come from very different disciplines and have complementary skills. The more complex a problem is, the more people it needs for intervention development.
  • Long-term projects usually involve the lab director more intensively and need some form of grant support. The lab director has 17+ years of experience in federal and foundation grant writing.
  • We can engage in independent product/experience evaluation and have an umbrella institutional review board (IRB) approved lab protocol for early/mid-development experiences. We can also consult on protocol development for efficacy/effectiveness for research that is more advanced or summative (e.g., trials)
  • Some lab projects provide direct funding for students through hourly work or research assistantships. If you are budgeting for a project, student hourly rates are $25-40/hour, depending on specialty. Research assistantships typically require eight units of tuition paid and a stipend set annually by USC.
  • USC does not engage in work-for-hire contracts. Our lab can provide a consultation and referral to students and alumni in our network who could work with you directly (outside of USC). Our in-house lab projects involve developing original storytelling experiences, new genres, and novel systems/designs with or without technology. For lab projects, intellectual property is typically owned by the people who worked on it and/or USC, depending on whether a project was sponsored by a grant (usually federal) or not. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Many opportunities compete for the students’ attention, and their studies are their primary obligation. Getting more than 10-15 hours per week from the students’ schedule during the semester is tough. Students also tend to be unavailable during mid-terms and finals. Working with students is most suitable for short-lived projects (3-6 weeks). Students should not be placed on the critical path of deliverables if they are not getting paid for their work.
  • We are frequently contacted by people looking for students to create something far more complex than possible for the budget or timeline. Some projects do not have a budget and get pitched to us as work to be done for “charity” or “impact.” It is essential to understand that art and science are professions, and while we may volunteer on some projects ad-hoc, projects for impact cannot achieve long-term impact without financial support.