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Research Centers

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Chapin Hall Center for Children

The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago engages in policy research in child welfare and children’s services. Its primary functions include collecting and reporting data on the condition of children, conducting research and demonstration projects in areas of special interest for children, families and communities, and providing information and stimulating discussion about children’s issues. Chapin Hall also works directly with policy makers to understand and create policies to improve the well-being of children. A number of faculty members from the School of Social Service Administration are associates of the Center and direct research under its auspices. SSA doctoral and master’s-level students form an integral part of many Chapin Hall research teams, and are active participants in seminars and discussions. Please see the Chapin Hall website for more information about the organization’s research, publications, and conferences: .

Center for Health Administration Studies

The Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) supports multidisciplinary research on health policy and politics through a seed-grant program. The initiative is available to University of Chicago faculty and health researchers as well as those interested in pursuing a health-related project for the first time. The supported projects are oriented towards health care policy for poor and vulnerable populations including projects focused specifically on health policy, behavioral health service in community based settings, and school-based health care research. The Center also supports the Michael M. Davis seminar series on “Health and Vulnerable Populations,” drawing on speakers across a wide spectrum of health-related fields. The Davis Seminars are held weekly, during the Autumn and Spring academic quarters.


Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention

The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners and policy makers committed to understanding and reducing youth violence in poor, inner-city communities in Chicago—communities with some of the highest rates of youth violence in the country. The core work of the center is guided by the perspective that the most effective way to combat youth violence is to coordinate empirical "pre-intervention" work designed to understand the risk and development of such violence and to rigorously evaluate preventive interventions conducted both under tightly controlled conditions (i.e., randomized control efficacy trials) and in real world settings (i.e., effectiveness trials). Understanding that context is central to the work of the center is meaningful, in that the characteristics of the neighborhood and community are important in both reducing risk of youth violence and developing effective interventions.

The center's primary aims are to build an integrative approach to address youth violence within poor, inner-city neighborhoods in Chicago. The center will address these issues across developmental periods and with children and families with different levels of risk and involvement in youth violence; promote the use of evidence-based practice to reduce youth violence; develop a comprehensive surveillance system to guide intervention activities and to evaluate changes in youth violence in communities and neighborhoods; provide training and technical assistance to support schools and community agencies in selecting, implementing and evaluating youth violence prevention programs; train new investigators in context-based prevention science; and to disseminate empirical findings regionally and nationally.

Crime Lab

The University of Chicago Crime Lab seeks to improve our understanding of how to reduce crime and violence by helping government agencies and non-profit organizations rigorously evaluate new pilot programs. The Crime Lab began in April 2008 in partnership with the City of Chicago, and has been made possible by generous seed funding from the Joyce Foundation, the University of Chicago Office of the Provost, and the School of Social Service Administration through the Center for Health Administration Studies.


Interdisciplinary Scholar Networks

This year, SSA launched a new initiative that will take its multidisciplinary problem-solving approach to a new level. The new Interdisciplinary Scholar Network initiative will bring together scholars across disciplinary and professional lines to generate innovative and more comprehensive knowledge aimed at addressing some of society’s most intractable social problems. Two networks have been established:

  • Associate Professor Susan Lambert and Assistant Professor Heather Hill created the Employment Instability, Family Well-being and Social Policy Network  (EINet). This research network will enhance the capacity of the field to study employment instability at the lower end of the labor market and to develop and evaluate interventions aimed at reducing employment instability and its effects on children and families.
  • Associate Professor Dexter Voisin and Assistant Professors Alida Bouris and Matthew Epperson created the STI and HIV Intervention Network (SHINE) to conduct research on the biological, behavioral and structural factors that heighten vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and HIV among ethnic minority communities in the United States. The Network will develop and evaluate interventions to alleviate existing STI/HIV disparities.

Information and Application

For further information and application materials, contact the Office of Admissions, The School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago, 969 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637; telephone: (773) 702-1492 or by visiting the SSA website at .