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Our Approach

The Center conducts both partner-initiated and center-initiated research and services.

Partner-initiated research and services

Partner-initiated work starts with a request from external funder or stakeholder for assistance conducting research or designing, implementing, or evaluating a program. For example, a service provider may request that we develop a program for seniors or a school may ask us to offer parent or teacher training in youth development. Another example might involve conducting a statewide study of at-risk children and families based on a state agency request.

Center-initiated research and services

Center-initiated work originates with a member of our faculty or professional staff in order to address a gap in knowledge or practice. For example, faculty members may apply for federal support to conduct research on intimate partner violence or the prevention of adolescent substance abuse, or professional staff may seek to implement a program or service, such as a youth development program. The vast majority of center-initiated research or service involves extensive collaboration with community stakeholders.

How partner- and center-initiated work results in collaboration

Once a collaboration is formed, usually with one or more stakeholders, we engage in various activities to determine whether a joint venture is feasible, useful, and sustainable. This process usually involves engagement with community stakeholders, such as funders, the individuals or groups the project is intending to impact, and professional staff, collaborative planning to carry out the work, implementation, and if appropriate, evaluation, and finally, dissemination.