Research Groups and Training Centers

The Department's success in research, scholarship, and grant funding is supported through the efforts of student and faculty collaboration in informal research groups (e.g., in early childhood, in autism), and of named centers that faculty members have established or joined.

Addictions Laboratory @ KU

Research in the Addictions Laboratory @ KU combines behavioral science and neuroscience methods to understand causes, consequences, and treatments for addictive disorders and related mental health conditions. Our research examines factors that contribute to pathological decision-making in individuals with substance use disorders, the behavioral and brain basis of motivation to use alcohol and other drugs, and the effects of environmental contexts and physiological states on addictive behaviors. Our hope is that our work will lead to improvement in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these disorders. Affiliated Faculty: Professor Michael Amlung

Center for Applied Behavioral Economics

The Center applies principles of behavioral economics to choice and decision-making associated with issues of social importance. Undergraduate and graduate students are involved in projects to promote, for instance, early melanoma detection, the advancement of sustainable environmental practices, and obesity. Affiliated faculty: Professor Derek Reed.

Center for Applied Neuroeconomics

The Center leverages conducted research with human and non-human subjects using the principles of behavioral and neuroeconomics to understand a range of aberrant mental and physical health issues. Students are involved in projects oriented around substance abuse, gambling, sexual risk behavior, obesity, and the management of chronic health conditions such as cancer and multiple scleroses.  Affiliated faculty: Professors Dave Jarmolowicz and Derek Reed.

Center for Community Health and Development

The mission of the Center for Community Health and Development (formerly the KU Work Group) is to promote community health and development through collaborative research, teaching, and public service. Designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in 2004, one of its projects, the Community Tool Box, is the world's largest source of tools for promoting community health and development. Affiliated faculty: Professors Vincent Francisco and Jomella Watson-Thompson; affiliated courtesy faculty: Professors Collie-Akers and Schultz.

Edna A. Hill Child Development Center (CDC)

The CDC is home to the Sunnyside Toddler Program, the Educare I and II programs, the Little Steps: Early Intervention Program, and the Little Steps: Kansas Early Autism Program. They contribute significantly to undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research. Affiliated faculty: Professors Claudia Dozier, Kelley Harrison, and Pamela Neidert.

Juniper Gardens Children's Project (JGCP)

Located in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas, the JGCP seeks to improve the community's developmental and educational experiences for children, and thus, the children's academic and social achievements. In particular, the Project seeks to develop meaningful solutions to what community members, themselves, view as problems. Affiliated faculty: Professor Brian Boyd; affiliated courtesy faculty: Professors Baggett, Carta, Heitzman-Powell, Kamps, Walker, and Wills.

Performance Management Laboratory

The Laboratory seeks to improve service quality, staff training, and employee performance in organizations. Its research seeks to identify effective and resource-efficient practices to promote behavior change of employees, educators, and volunteers. Undergraduate and graduate students receive instruction, service learning opportunities, and supervised research and clinical experiences in order to provide consultation and support to organizations. Affiliated faculty: Professor Florence DiGennaro Reed.