The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), located in the College of Human Ecology (CHE) promotes translational research (TR) to link CHE’s twin missions of research and outreach. TR is the systematic movement of research findings into the development of innovative interventions, practices, and policies that may ultimately improve health and well-being, and also the use of knowledge derived from interventions, practices, and policies to inform research. The BCTR was named in honor of Cornell’s renowned developmental psychologist and professor of Human Development Urie Bronfenbrenner, who pioneered a multidisciplinary and translational approach to human development and helped create the federal Head Start program. Through CHE extension and outreach, BCTR engage stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels in more effective partnerships with CHE researchers. The director of the Bronfenbrenner Center is HD faculty member Karl Pillemer. HD faculty member John Eckenrode is the former BCTR director. Elaine Wethington, HD, is one of the associate directors of BCTR.
Our mission is to inform those who make important decisions concerning children's lives, to bridge the gap between researchers and those who translate research into practice, and to increase the representation of women, ethnic minorities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds in science education, the Cornell Institute for Research on Children (CIRC) conducts and disseminates multidisciplinary research on questions of significance to children and their families.
Cognitive Science is the study of the mind/brain. The Cognitive Science program at Cornell is an interdisciplinary program, with connections to Psychology, Computer Science, Linguistics, Human Development, Philosophy, Neurobiology, Information Science, Mathematics, computational vision, and computational linguistics.
The Human Neuroscience Institute (HNI), directed by HD faculty member Valerie Reyna, in conjunction with the Cornell Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility (CMRIF) promotes and facilitates neuroscience research and educational programs in the Department of Human Development in order to advance understanding of the neural basis of human behavior across the life span. The institute provides access to infrastructure, tools, and services for neuroscience research, developing opportunities for collaboration in research and for student education in behavioral, cognitive, and social neuroscience. The Institute also communicates and extends the results of the Department's neuroscience research to inform interventions that improve health and well-being. HD faculty members Adam Anderson, Charles Brainerd, Valerie Reyna, Daniel Casasanto and Eve De Rosa are currently conducting research in HNI.
The Institute for the Social Sciences nurtures the careers of Cornell’s social science faculty members by encouraging scholars to delve into interdisciplinary research collaborations addressing some of the world’s most complex challenges and disciplinary concerns. Through three signature programs – Small Grants, Faculty Fellows, and Collaborative Projects – the ISS provides financial support for research, including quantitative, qualitative, and computational social science studies. HD faculty who have benefitted from fellowships and collaborative projects include Jane Mendle, Nathan Spreng, Tamar Kushnir, and Elaine Wethington. Many HD faculty have won pilot grants from ISS.
The Behavioral Economics and Decision Research (BEDR) Center brings together scholars from across the Cornell University campus who share interests in judgment, decision making, and behavioral economics. HD faculty members Valerie Reyna is co-director of BEDR, and Corinna Loeckenhoff is an affiliate. BEDR holds regular seminars and workshops for BEDR scholars across all colleges at Cornell.
The Cornell Population Program (CPP) serves as the intellectual hub for demographic research and training at Cornell University. The CPP supports demographic research relating broadly to four core themes: (1) families and children; (2) health behaviors and disparities; (3) poverty and inequality; and (4) immigration and diversity. The CPP is a university-wide program serving 115 faculty affiliates from 24 different departments and is housed in the College of Human Ecology. Kelly Musick is CPC Director. HD faculty members Gary Evans, Karl Pillemer, Valerie Reyna, and Elaine Wethington are affiliates of the CPP.
Cornell University’s Center for the Study of Inequality (CSI), founded in 2003, is devoted to understanding patterns, causes, and consequences of social and economic inequality. CSI fosters new and cutting-edge research, trains undergraduate and graduate students, encourages the exchange of ideas among inequality researchers, and disseminates research findings to a broader public. CSI has received a 10 million dollar grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to advance inequality research at Cornell University, which is being awarded competitively to social science researchers over the next decade. Several HD faculty are affiliates of CSI and teach courses on health and educational inequalities.
The Center for Health Equity, directed by Monika Safford of Weill Cornell Medicine, is a new center founded in 2017 to bring together health equity researchers across all of the campuses of Cornell. HD faculty member Elaine Wethington is currently serving on the ad hoc organizing committee across the two campuses and has led efforts to involve Ithaca faculty in funding proposals to address health equity issues. The Center is currently supported by seed funds from the Dean of the Medical College and the Cornell Provost’s Office.