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Research Initiatives at the Child Study Center

A central goal of the Child Study Center is to foster and support a productive community of inter-disciplinary scholars who share the commitment of applying developmental science to improving outcomes for children.  The research initiatives of the CSC provide a key mechanism to attain this goal, as they provide a nexus, linking faculty across campus through common research interests. They serve as catalysts for collaboration, fostering the development of collegial partnerships that support project development and the access of funding support.

Currently there are five active research initiatives:

Pathways to Competence

Families At Risk

School Readiness

Human Developmental Neuroscience

Gene-Environment Research Initiative

About 60 faculty affiliates participate in one or more of the CSC initiatives, representing a wide range of disciplines (psychology, human development and family studies, education, special education, communication disorders, and biobehavioral health, among others).

Each research initiative is led by a faculty member with an established research record and international visibility, and each has a core set of participating faculty members.  New members are welcome and can contact the faculty lead to find out more information about joining and participating.

Research initiative activities are varied and include: 1) hosting discussion meetings, providing a forum for faculty to share ideas and receive input and feedback from their peers, and an arena to develop new research ideas, 2) providing focused assistance and feedback on the design of new research proposals, including feedback on grant proposal drafts, 3) sharing readings, references, measures and research methods in areas of shared knowledge, 4) inviting and hosting experts and consultants who participate in the CSC speaker series, and 5) on occasion, supporting trainings and tutorials on topics of shared interest.

In addition to five research initiatives, the CSC is a co-sponsor of Parents and Children Together (PACT), an SSRI-funded research initiative connecting Penn State Univesity Park researchers with community members and organizations in the Harrisburg area. Many CSC faculty are part of PACT. For more information, please visit the PACT website.

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