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Welcome to IHDSC

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC) represents a dynamic collaboration among three NYU schools: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Faculty of Arts and Science; and Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

IHDSC supports rigorous research and training across social, behavioral, educational, policy, communication, and health sciences. Through collaborative and interdisciplinary research, IHDSC works to bridge the disconnect between the science of human development and policies and practices that affect children, youth, and families in diverse contexts.

IHDSC is thrilled to announce the six recipients of the 2019-2020 Seed Awards!

This year, IHDSC is pleased to fund six new projects that bridge multiple domains of expertise and further the mission of the Institute. This year, we've prioritized research that aligns with our theme of "Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity" as part of NYU’s Cross-Cutting Initiative on Inequality, funded by the Office of the President.

Learn About Our Seed Award Recipients
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Recent Blogs:

Bilingual Benefits

Dr. Natalie Brito explores myths and misconceptions that accompany bilingual learning in the United States, specifically for children who are learning English as a second language. Through evidence-based, culturally appropriate tools such as Dr. Brito's Háblame Bebé mobile phone app, parents can complete educational modules, receive reminders to incorporate language into everyday activities, and learn about the benefits of bilingualism.

The Obscured Progress of Multilingual Learners

The move to remote learning caused by the COVID-19 crisis has sparked renewed interest in achievement and opportunities gaps for historically marginalized groups. One such group are multilingual learners—students who speak a language or languages other than English at home. Multilingual learners bring a host of assets to school. However, with widespread segregation and inadequate linguistic support, they face many challenges in achieving academically.

Understanding Cash Transfers

The COVID pandemic has created both a public health emergency and a gigantic financial shock. Millions of people have lost their livelihoods. People need cash to support themselves and their loved ones, and this pandemic brings to the fore a policy set of responses that Dr. Lisa Gennetian and Dr. Daniela Del Boca have worked on for many years. Dr. Lawrence Aber recently spoke with Drs. Del Boca and Gennetian about their cash transfer research and the context of their work.

COVID-19 Resources for the IHDSC Community

IHDSC offers a collection of readings and resources we have compiled in an effort to help bridge the disconnect between what we know from research and practice and what we do to support children, families, and communities.

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IHDSC hosts a range of initiatives aimed at catalyzing new programs of multidisciplinary research, linking people across divides to solve social problems, building intellectual community, and disseminating research evidence to policymakers, practitioners, and general audiences.

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Select Projects

Global TIES for Children

Global TIES for Children is an international research center at New York University dedicated to designing, evaluating and advising on programs and policies to improve the lives of children and youth in the most vulnerable regions across the globe.


The CONNECT lab at NYU conducts research to understand and strengthen contexts for learning and mental health in low-income education settings. We study natural opportunities for academic, social, and emotional learning via productive relationships and quality interactions.


For over a decade, IHDSC and faculty from seven NYU academic units have trained incoming and advanced doctoral students from diverse backgrounds to become outstanding researchers in the educational sciences.

Systems Aligning For Equity

The aim of SAFE Spaces (formerly RISC) is to examine the setting-level characteristics and processes that occur in child welfare settings and explore their association with outcomes for youth.


IHDSC's approach to partnership is guided by a set of principles and the aim to create new knowledge of effective policies and practices and their implementation across multiple sectors and settings, and build the capacity to eliminate disparities and foster learning, health, and development for children and youth in our communities.

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