Our Center facilitates community connections for faculty interested in testing their basic or applied research ideas with low-income or other vulnerable populations.  We can also support faculty who wish to move from basic to applied research; a step that can seem daunting.  A wealth of high-quality, rigorous research is conducted across the Pitt campus that is directly relevant to child development, and our Center can help faculty develop research ideas and facilitate connections with community agencies. 

We aim to increase the number of Pitt faculty conducting research with our most vulnerable children and use such findings to inform development of preventive interventions. 

In particular, we want to support early career scientists as well as senior faculty transitioning to a community and/or applied focus within (but not limited to) the following schools and programs: 

  • Schools of Social Work, Education, Medicine (Pediatrics/Psychiatry), Public Health, Pharmacy, Law, Arts & Sciences (Psychology, Economics, Sociology), Rehabilitation Sciences. 

Our expertise includes Dr. Shaw’s large body of research with families in the Pittsburgh community since 1988.  In his research, he has recruited families through a range of service platforms, among them:  Women, Infants, and Childrens Nutritional Supplement Centers (WIC), Pediatric Primary Care, Family Centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Women’s Hospitals, Head Start, and Early Head Start.  

His applied implementation research has also included collaborations with a range of local agencies, among them: Office of Child Development at Pitt, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Northside Christian Health Center, Children’s Hospital, Magee Women’s Hospital, Head Start, Early Head Start, Family Centers, Department of Health, and Department of Human Services, among others. 

Dr. Shaw’s research has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1991, including Federal grants from NIMH, NICHD, NHLBI, and NIDA within the NIH, as well as private foundation support from the Jewish Health Care Foundation, the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, the Grabel Foundation, the Shear Family Foundation, the American Foundation for Suicide, and the Buhl Foundation.  

Dr. Shaw offers research consultation for interested Pitt faculty and affiliated scientists.