Skip to main content

Research Groups and Centers

IPR faculty-led or affiliated labs and research organizations

Center for Advancing Research and Communication

The Center for Advancing Research and Communication (ARC) is an initiative of the National Science Foundation aimed at supporting education researchers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Center is headquartered at the NORC at the University of Chicago. IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges is co-principal investigator.

C.O.A.S.T. (Contexts of Adolescent Stress and Thriving) Lab

The C.O.A.S.T. Lab, led by IPR developmental psychobiologist Emma Adam, studies how everyday life factors such as school, family, and peer relationships influence levels of stress, health, and well-being in children and adolescents. Adam and her colleagues try to trace the pathways by which stress “gets under the skin” to contribute to poor health and to affect behavioral, academic, and emotional development.

Chicago Research Data Center

The Chicago Research Data Center (CRDC) provides an opportunity for researchers to perform statistical analyses on non-public microdata from the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies. The center is a collaboration between the Census Bureau and a consortium consisting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Destin Psychology Lab

Led by IPR psychologist Mesmin Destin, the Destin Psychology Lab investigates how social environments shape people’s identities, and the consequences this has for motivation, behaviors, and trajectories in life. In particular, the lab focuses on how socioeconomic resources come to influence young people’s academic outcomes.

Health, Hardship & Renewal (HHR): A Research Study of the Economic Strategies of Women Living with HIV/AIDS

HHR is exploring how Chicago-area women cope socially and financially with HIV/AIDS. It aims to increase awareness of the issues they face and point to strategies that will help them look after their economic resources and health.  The study's principal investigator, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, is an IPR sociologist and African American studies researcher. The study receives funding from the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Foundations of Health Research Center

The Foundations of Health Research Center at Northwestern University is led by health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller. Their research is aimed at exploring the relationship between psychological stress and physical health in both childhood and adulthood, with a particular emphasis on understanding how socioeconomic status contributes to health disparities.

Global Poverty Research Lab

The Global Poverty Research Lab uses empirical evidence to address the challenges of overcoming poverty and improve well-being in the developing world. Housed at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the lab is co-directed by economists and IPR associates Dean Karlan and Christopher Udry. IPR economists Lori Beaman, Seema Jayachandran, and Cynthia Kinnan are also affiliated with the lab.

Infant and Child Development Center

IPR psychologist and early cognition expert Sandra Waxman directs the Infant and Child Development Center, a developmental laboratory that welcomes parents and their children from birth to age 6. Projects focus on how infants and young children acquire language and how they acquire core cognitive capacities, and how these two come together in the developing mind.

Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern

The Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) was established in 2008 as an umbrella organization to catalyze new science, technology, learning, and policy for sustainability and energy. ISEN meets this challenge through interdisciplinary and transformational education and research coupled with local and global outreach. IPR Assistant Director James Druckman and IPR sociologist Monica Prasad are among ISEN's affiliated faculty.

Laboratory for Human Biology Research

The Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern University houses 1,500 square feet of wet-lab space and data-analysis tools and is led by IPR biological anthropologist Thomas McDade. It is one of a handful in the country that is fully equipped to support high-capacity analysis of biomarkers in human blood, saliva, and urine, as well as assessing body composition, energy expenditure, and cardiovascular function.

National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER)

CALDER, housed at the American Institutes of Research, conducts research on how teacher policies, government policies, community conditions, and socioeconomic conditions affect student outcomes. The center provides information for education policy development through data analysis of individual students and teachers over time. IPR education economist David Figlio is one of CALDER's senior researchers and principal investigator of the research team examining Florida's longitudinal database.

Northwestern University Two-Generation Research Initiative

The Northwestern University Two-Generation Research Initiative examines the implementation and effectiveness of two-generation interventions. These programs link intensive, high-quality education, job training, and career-building programs for low-income parents with early childhood education services for their young children. IPR developmental psychologist P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, policy and program expert Teresa Eckrich Sommer, and their research team are at the forefront of developing two-generation theory and programmatic design, as well as studying the implementation and effectiveness of model two-generation programs. 

Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness

The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) brings together individuals interested in the use of causal inference to improve educational practice. SREE provides a forum to engage with a community of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students united in a desire to advance education research. IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges was a founding president of the society and also co-editor of the society’s Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness (JREE). 

Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS)

Supported by the National Science Foundation, TESS conducts general population experiments for investigators throughout the social sciences. It uses a well-respected, Internet survey platform, which captures internal validity. For successful proposals, TESS is free, allowing researchers to concentrate more on idea production and less on funding. IPR political scientist James Druckman is co-principal investigators.

Urban Education Lab

Housed at the University of Chicago, the Urban Education Lab was founded in 2011 and is currently led by IPR economist Jonathan Guryan and University of Chicago economist Jens Ludwig. It aims to generate knowledge to help improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children growing up in some of the most distressed urban neighborhoods in America and overseas. Several IPR faculty participate in lab research projects.

Young Research Group for Maternal and Child Nutrition

Led by IPR anthropologist Sera Young, the Young Research Group seeks to better understand the determinants of healthy mothers and children across diverse geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts. The group specifically focuses on household water insecurity, food insecurity, and pica—the consumption of non-food substances such as clay.

Northwestern Undergraduate Initiatives 

Roosevelt Institute at Northwestern University

Brady Scholars Program in Ethics and Civic Life