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The Institute of Human Development and Social Change

The Institute of Human Development and Social Change (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 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.

Now Open! IHDSC's 18th Call for Seed Award Proposals

IHDSC is committed to funding new projects that bridge multiple domains of expertise and demonstrate a commitment to “Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity,” including racial, economic, and social inequity across intersecting identities and systems. Applications are due January 20th 2023 by 5:00 PM ET.

Learn about the IHDSC Seed Award Program and Apply
The 18th call for proposals: IHDSC Seed Fund

For Researchers

IHDSC supports rigorous research and training, cultivating research through seed awards, working groups, and individualized grant support from conception through closeout.

Learn about Researcher Support

For Partners

IHDSC partners with researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to conduct research, develop training, and create mutually beneficial opportunities for networking and professional development.

Learn about Partnering with IHDSC

Recent Blogs

NYC’s Salary Transparency Law: What the Research Says

We spoke with Dr. Siwei Cheng, Associate Professor of Sociology in NYU’s School of Arts & Science and IHDSC faculty affiliate, about NYC's Salary Transparency Law's impact on labor market negotiations and improving equity in wage distributions in NYC for this On the Ground blog post.

What’s in the Water? Positive Parenting & the History of Attachment Theory

Many positive parenting practices, core to contemporary parenting programs, are derived from attachment theory. This On the Ground blog post offers insight into attachment theory and its linkage to parenting and child development.

A Message to the Mayor

We tapped the expertise of our faculty affiliates for research insights the Adams’ administration should leverage to inform decisions in New York City.

Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity

Inequality is prevalent in health, education, justice, and technology — in our own backyard and around the globe. Enriching opportunities that engender positive outcomes are distributed inequitably to children and youth in our communities. To bring groundbreaking, rigorous research and collaborative engagement to bear on this challenge, the Institute’s theme is “Unraveling Inequality, Expanding Opportunity.”

What does this mean for the year ahead?
Balls of yarn being unraveled

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.

Latest News & Updates

Citizen Science: A New Study on Understanding the Language of Science through a Participatory Experiment by Sudha Arunachalam

Dr. Sudha Arunachalam’s recent study on ‘citizen science’, an approach to research that involves the public in scientific research and measurement, has been accepted for publication in March’s volume of Language: Teaching Linguistics.

Recent Award Announcements at IHDSC

We invite you to join us in celebrating the recent awards received by members of our community. We are thrilled to provide support to these talented and impactful research teams that share our commitment to unraveling inequality and expanding opportunity.

Disrupting the School-Prison Nexus in New York

Steinhardt researchers partner with NYU Law students to support children experiencing exclusionary discipline.

Path Program Named in NYC DOE Chancellor's Plan to Improve Special Education Programs

DOE School’s Chancellor David Banks has pledged to make a $205 million dollar investment to expand several programs for students with disabilities, including autism, intensive sensory needs, and emotional disabilities. One of the valued programs that will be expanded is the “Path” program.

New Study by Ajay Chaudry on the Link Between Changes to the Public Charge Rule and Health of Mothers and Infants

Ajay Chaudry, research scholar at NYU IHDSC and Wagner, collaborated with Scarlett Sijia Wang, Sherry Glied, and Claudia Babcock on a recently released paper, “Changes in the Public Charge Rule and Health of Mothers and Infants Enrolled in New York State’s Medicaid Program, 2014‒2019,” in the American Journal of Public Health.

Understanding Algorithmic Discrimination: New Resources from the Center for Critical Race + Digital Studies

The Center for Critical Race + Digital Studies (CR+DS) recently released new resources that dispel the overflow of myths about machine learning, its assumed objectivity, and false claims of race- and value-neutral operationalizations in the digital space.

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