Julia Simkus

Research Assistant at Princeton University


Research Methods, Psychology Theories, Mental Health


Undergraduate at Princeton University


Julia Simkus is a Psychology student at Princeton University. She will graduate in May of 2023 and go on to pursue her doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

In addition to writing articles for Simply Psychology, Julia is a research assistant for Professor Nicole Avena at Princeton University.

Julia co-authored an article on the prevalence of addictive behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic, “Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic and COVID-19-Related Restrictions” which was published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in April 2021.

She has also co-authored 2 other articles, “Sugar Addiction in Animal Models” to be published in 2023 by Oxford University Press as part of a larger publication on addiction and “Food Addiction: Latest Insights on the Clinical Implications” to be published in the Handbook of Substance Misuse and Addictions: From Biology to Public Health in early 2023.

Julia has published over 50 articles for Simply Psychology. Her main areas of expertise are research methods, theories of psychology, and mental health.


  • Avena, N. M., Simkus, J., Lewandowski, A., Gold, M. S., & Potenza, M. N. (2021). Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic and COVID-19-Related Restrictions. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 653674. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.653674

Professional Experience

  • Psychology Research Assistant for Professor Nicole Avena (June 2020 – Present): Currently helping edit and draft sections for Professor Avena’s upcoming book on sugar addiction
  • Researcher and Writer for Simply Psychology (December 2021 – Present)
  • Recovery Coach for BALANCE Eating Disorder Treatment Center (March 2021 – July 2022): Participated in bi-weekly client reviews with the clinical team and maintained patient files.
  • Residential Counselor for Co-Mans Inc. (August 2020 – November 2020): Worked at a supported housing facility for residents with mental illnesses, helping them transition into independently functioning community members. Maintained a caseload of 5-10 residents, ages 18-60, with chronic mental health diagnoses. Planned and facilitated weekly psycho-educational and therapy-based discussion groups and activities with other staff members and professionals to develop effective treatment plans


  • B.A in Psychology, Princeton University (2023).
  • The Lawrenceville School (2017)