Selcuk Sirin's Research Lab

NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project


No matter where we live on earth our lives are more interconnected than ever before. With the advances in communication and transportation technologies, people and ideas move across national boundaries at a pace never seen before in our history.  Universities can play a critical role in preparing their students for this new reality.  With this mission in mind, NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project aims to strengthen research and academic collaborations between American scholars and Turkish scholars through a series of collaborative research projects.

The main goal of NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project is to build research capacity for the region to take advantage of the unique social and economic realities of Turkey as a site for social and behavioral research. At the same time, the project aims to create an opportunity for both Turkish and American students and faculty to better understand each other’s cultures through exchange programs. Specifically, this 3-year projectwill reach these goals through four components:

  1. NYU Research Methods Worshops at Bahcesehir
  2. Exchange Programs
  3. Scholarly Meetings
  4. NYU-BU Youth Research Project

The project is built on a three-year preliminary work that Dr. Selcuk Sirin has led in each of these domains over the past three years. During this period Dr. Sirin had conducted his own pilot study on school climate, carried out three cultural exchange programs, and organized a series of scholarly meetings both at NYU and at Bahceshir University in Turkey.  With the launching of NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project, the previous programs will continue with a new focus to build research capacity through a series of research methods workshops. 

This project is funded by Bahcesehir Ugur Education Foundation (

NYU Research Methods Workshops at Bahcesehir

The goal of this program is to build applied research capacity in social sciences in Turkey and over time, in the region (Europe, Middle East and Central Asia). More than a basic research methods program, participants are able to sharpen and refine their toolbox of methods for social inquiry using mixed methods. They become involved in a local and global community of scholars working at the intersection of policy, research, and practice, developing sophisticated research skills in applied, multiple methods (e.g., experimental, survey, archival, ethnography, focus groups, interviews, mapping) and working on policy-based research projects, and collaborating with colleagues engaged in similar projects in other nations/communities. The program faculty includes a core Turkish faculty of sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists and historians, and international scholars coming from NYU and other US universities.


14-15 January 2012 @ Bahcesehir University
Structural Equation Modeling – SEM
With Dr. Matthew Diemer - Michigan State University

21-22 January 2012 @ Bahcesehir University
Program Assessment
With Dr. Sharon Rallis – University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Dr. Aysen Kose – Yeditepe University

9 June 2012 Introduction to Policy Modeling with CGE Using Gams‚Ä® With Dr. Can Erbil – Boston College

15 July 2012 Meta-Analysis Workshop With Dr. Selcuk R. Sirin – New York University

21 July 2012 Test Item Writing and Test Construction With Dr. Ebru Erberber – American Institute for Research

22 July 2012 Hierarchical Linear Modeling with Taveeshi Gupta – New York University

We would like to happily announce that NYU Research Methods Workshops at Bahcesehir has reached its first year goals. Since the implementation of the idea, NYU Research Methods Workshops at Bahcesehir have offered programs in 16 different disciplines including but not limited to economics, finance, education and social sciences. A total of 224 scholars and 72 professionals have attended the workshops this year. We will continue to offer the workshops during 2012-2013 academic year at Bahcesehir University, Istanbul.

Exchange Programs

Turkey is a unique country to launch this collaboration for a number of reasons. First, it is the only Muslim country that has a secular government. At a time when many scholars argue whether democracy and Islam can coexist or whether Muslim could embrace secular daily life, Turkey presents a rare case where the answer is affirmative. Second, Turkey is geographically located at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Middle East. It is the home of Hitits, Ephesus, Trojans, as well as Eastern Roman and Ottoman Empires and as such it provides an amazing site to visit and study. Finally, Turkey is one of the few emerging markets that has seen its economy double itself in less than a decade. Along with Brazil and India it is perceived one of the top destinations for those who study both South-South trading patterns and the new face of 21st Century economy. Because of these unique factors, understanding Turkey can be a key to our understanding of the new global era both politically and economically. To that goal, this program will include several cultural exchange opportunities for NYU students and scholars at Bahcesehir University in Turkey and for Turkish students and scholars at NYU. 

Over the past three years Dr. Sirin either taught or helped organize three NYU courses at Bahcesehir University for NYU students. During the Spring Break in 2009 he took 40 NYU students to Bahcesehir University as part of the course, titled Identity in Context: Perceptions and Realities. Students in class were assigned Bahcesehir University students as a research partner and together NYU and Bahcesehir students conducted empirical, field-based study about an aspect of identity. The course was considered a huge success for both Turkish and NYU students as reflected with very high remarks in written student feedback. Based on the success of the first course Dr. Sirin taught the same course during the Witner intersession in 2010 once more. In addition to these classes, in January 2011 he helped NYU Gallatin professor Hallie Franks bring her students to Bahcesehir for her course, titled Mapping Istanbul Mapping History. 


For this program, a selected group of students from Bahcesehir University travelled to New York to learn about the media and communication industry. Students stayed at NYU dorms during this exchange program. The program included seminars in the mornings supplemented by site visits, briefings, and field research in the afternoons. The aim of the program was to offer a comprehensive understanding of New York City as a cultural hub for media, culture and the arts, arguably the cultural capital of the world. Site visits included Time Square, Radio City, the Broadway theatres, Madison Ave and modern advertising, the museums of New York, galleries and the art market, and the traditional and digital media.

Scholarly Meetings and Conferences

A number of NYU faculty members conduct research that focuses on global issues. In order to provide a venue NYU faculty to share their work with Turkish scholars this program organizes a series of conferences at Bahcesehir University. In the past, we launched the series with Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco and Dr. Carola Suarez-Orozco who presented their work on immigration and its effects on education at a conference organized on March 17, 2009. The following year Dean Mary Brabeck visited Bahcesehir Campus while NYU students were in Istanbul and on January 10, 2010 she gave a talk to more than 500 scholars on the role of research in teacher education. At different times and for individually organized conferences the following NYU faculty also shared their research findings for Turkish audiences in Istanbul: Dr. Joshua Aronson presented his work on stereotype threat, NYU Teaching and Learning Center Director Robert Tobias presented his work on the role of testing and evaluation in US education system. Dr. Bruce Homer and Dr. Jan Plass presented their work on the use of games in education. Dr. Joe McDonald and Dr. Beth McDonald ran a workshop for teachers about the use of protocols. In addition to NYU faculty, among the invited faculty from other institutions were Dr. Hiro Yoshikawa (Harvard University) and Dr. Veronica Boix (Harvard University), Dr. Cynthia Garcia-Cole (Brown University), Dr. Michelle Fine (CUNY the Graduate Center), Dr. Bruce Homer (CUNY the Graduate Center), and Dr. Matthew Diemer (Michigan State University).

Turkish scholars and officials also visited New York over the past years. In the Spring of 2009, an education round-table was organized for Turkish Ministry of Education directors at NYU with the participation of several NYU scholars, including Drs. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Joe McDonald, Robert Tobias and Dean Mary Brabeck. In the Fall of 2010, another delegation from the Ministry of Education and 7 CEOs of Turkish private schools participated at a conference specifically designed for them where 5 NYU professors presented their relevant work. Among the presenters were Drs. Joshua Aronson, Clancy Blair, Jan Pless, and the Director of Center for Teaching and Learning Mr. Robert Tobias. 

25 June 2012 – Bahcesehir University, Istanbul

How to best educate children is an age old question and the general aim of the meeting is ambitious: bring to bear the best available evidence from developmental psychology, social psychology, and educational psychology on the question of how best to educate children capable of assuming the stewardship of an increasingly complex and competitive world.

Metehan Irak, Bahcesehir University, Moderator
Joshua Aronson, New York University, The nature and Nurture of Intelligence
Scott Barry Kaufman, New York University, Inspiring Creativity
Robert Pianta, University of Virginia, Assessing and Improving Teacher Effectiveness
Joseph Allen, University of Virginia, Effects of the My Teaching Partner Intervention in Secondary School Classrooms

24.11.2011 – Bahcesehir University, Istanbul-TURKEY

Throughout the 20th century, a biomedical framework that focuses on the eradication of disease and treatment of pathogens primarily directed understandings of health, including the prevention and treatment of illness. Yet within the last several decades, it has become apparent that health and well-being are directed by biological, psychological, and social factors, and this person-centered approach provides a more powerful paradigm for maintaining the health of populations. In this holistic approach, health is considered as affecting and being affected by all three domains, and is as appropriate to understanding infectious diseases as chronic conditions. The purpose of this symposium is to fully examine aspects of the biopsychosocial framework as it relates to four particular domains—substance use, obesity and cancer, tobacco use, and HIV/AIDS.  Application of this framework will be viewed in relation to prevention and treatment of illness. The ideas presented in this symposium will help inform the work of medical practitioners, mental health clinicians, public health and policy officials, researchers, educators, and staff of health-based agencies.

Conference Overview: “Understanding Health: Applying a Biopsychosocial Lens”

Perry N. Halkitis, Ph.D., M.S,
Professor of Applied Psychology, Public Health, and Medicine
Associate Dean, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

"Obesity and Cancer: Mechanisms and Potential Interventions among Adults"
Niyati Parekh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Public Health
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

"Patterns, Technologies and Models in Heavy Smokers"
Theodore A. Walls, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Rhode Island

"Psychosocial and Structural Determinants of HIV Prevention and Treatment"
Perry N. Halkitis, Ph.D., M.S,
Associate Dean and Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Health
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

26.03.2012 – New York University

NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project is sponsoring the screening of the award winning documentary film, The Turkish Passport on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 8 PM in Eisner & Lubin Auditorium of the Kimmel Center with the participation of Producer Mr. Gunes Celikcan, Project Director Ms. Yael Habif and Steinhardt Dean’s Council Member, Mr. Enver Yucel, who has supported the production of this film.

The Turkish Passpor tells the story of diplomats posted to Turkish Embassies and Consulates in several European countries, who saved numerous Jewish people during the Holocaust. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.


NYU-BU Youth Research Project

During the next three years, with the grant received from the NYU-Bahcesehir Collaborative Research Project, Dr. Sirin will establish a series of meetings to launch a large-scale, mixed methods study of young peoples’ political and cultural identity in Turkey, a country where more than 50% of the population is under the age of 30. Dr. Sirin, in the past, had conducted one of the largest field-based investigations of Turkish youth with NYU Collaborative Research Grant.  In his previous work, Dr. Sirin gathered data from more than 1500 young people across the country and was able to show that young people find creative ways to hyphenate their political identities despite the efforts to force them into fixed political identities. More than 100 new outlets coverage this work, including New York Times on two separate news analysis. For more on Dr. Sirin’s work on Turkish youth you can read an interview here