Research Highlights

Research productivity and scholarly influence are a central foundation for the Neag School of Education. Its research portfolio currently averages more than $10 million in annual expenditures, with a mix of federally funded grant projects and state and local contracts. Neag School faculty actively compete for a diverse range of federal awards through the Institute for Education Sciences (U.S. Department of Education), National Science Foundation, and National Institutes for Health, and are regularly rewarded for their high-quality and innovative ideas. The expertise of Neag School researchers is highly sought at state and local levels to advance initiatives and evaluate outcomes. Together, the School’s faculty and departments are highly ranked across national metrics for their research productivity and scholarly influence.

The Neag School academic plan clearly acknowledges contributions to research and scholarship, and defines clear directions for moving into the future.

Engaging in innovative education reform with substantial impact on students and the systems surrounding them requires coordinated work over time to simultaneously implement change, study its effectiveness, and share it widely in ways that have lasting impact. We will accomplish these goals through deepening our transdisciplinary collaborations among educators, policymakers, researchers, and stakeholders across multiple fields to establish the policies, funding streams, and evidence-based practices that will promote achievement of state and national education goals.

We welcome your interest in our scholarly work, and invite you to contact us for more information about our current projects as well as potential for collaboration.

Recent Research in the News

Faculty researchers from across the Neag School are regularly featured in stories and announcements regarding their research. View recent examples below. Learn more about the eight Research Centers affiliated with the Neag School.

Neag School Researchers Developing Computational Thinking Unit for High School Biology Classes

Brain graphic with gears.

As the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) becomes increasingly computational, promoting students’ computational thinking is essential to prepare them for future STEM careers. Neag School of Education assistant professor of learning sciences, Ido Davidesco, has received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a month-long computational thinking unit in high school biology classes. Read more about the project

    College Students With Disabilities on Online Learning Transition

    Young female student studying with laptop.The rapid transition to remote study came with its own learning curve for students and faculty alike. But for many students with disabilities, the shift offered new educational modalities as well as challenges – and the hope that some changes will continue after the threat of the virus subsides. Read more about the recent study

    How Principals Can Help, Not Harm, Learning During COVIDYoung student studying iPad.

    In a newly published research study, Neag School Associate Professor Jennie Weiner and colleagues at several other universities examined the extent to which principals had created the sorts of conditions in their schools that support continued learning and teaching during the pandemic. Specifically, the researchers sought to understand how, and whether, principals were fostering something called “psychological safety” in their schools. Learn more on this study on psychological safety

    Researchers Lead National Effort to Improve Gifted Ed Programs

    Fourth-graders working on experiment with teacher

    The University of Connecticut has been awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to examine and strengthen gifted education opportunities for underserved populations through four studies. UConn’s National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE) will investigate strategies for recognizing and responding to untapped talent and explore the outcomes of gifted education servicesRead more about the $5M grant

    New Grant Funds Effort to Help Schools Integrate Health, Learning

    Think About the Link logo.

    The Neag Foundation has provided the UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH) with a two-year grant to facilitate work in the Think about the Link Project. The project builds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model to fully acknowledge the many interrelated components involved in supporting student well-beingRead more on this project

    Neag School Faculty to Assist With a New Grant to Expand on Neurodiversity Programs

    Joseph Madaus Associate Dean Neag School of Education

    Educational Psychology Professor Joseph Madaus and Literacy Education Professor Rachael Gabriel are part of a team that will provide several resources, workshops, and tools to neurodiverse graduate students to improve their success in graduate programs and give them skills that prepare them for careers in academia and businessRead more the NSF grant

      Online Racism Leads to Real-World Mental Health Challenges

      African American male teen looks at cellphone, fellow teens are in the back.

      For college students of color who encounter online racism, the effect of racialized aggressions and assaults reaches far beyond any single social media feed and can lead to real and significant mental health impacts – even more significant than in-person experiences of racial discrimination, according to a recently published study from researchers at UConn and Boston College. Read more the study led by Adam McCready

      Leveraging Soft Skills to Improve College and Career Readiness

      Jennifer Freeman.

      The transition from high school to college or the workforce is a major one for all students. While high schools work to ensure their graduates are prepared, students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often find themselves lacking the non-academic skills they need to succeed. Through a collaboration with Lehigh University, Neag School of Education associate professor Jennifer Freeman will develop an intervention to improve college and career readiness for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. This $500,000 grant is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Read more about the NSF grant

      $3M NSF Research Grant to Train Students to Build More Resilient Landscapes

      Milagros Castillo-Montoya

      Researchers from UConn and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies have been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program to fund a new program to help train graduate students in risk analysis to build resilient landscapes in the face urbanization and climate change. Milagros Castillo-Montoya, assistant professor, is among the core faculty taking partRead more about the NSF grant

      Understanding the Impact of Ed Tech to Prevent ‘COVID-19 (Academic) Slide’

      Devin Kearns uses Lightboard Technology. (Peter Morenus/UConn)

      “This is essential work for the country: It will help us understand whether technology-driven, evidence-based learning can reduce the harm of this awful pandemic,” says Devin Kearns, associate professor of special education at UConn’s Neag School of Education, and a research scientist for Haskins Labs. Read more about this study