NORC researcher at work
How people use prescription medicine determinesif it is a source of the healing or a source of abuse Writing on the whiteboard, NORC Bethesda office
A work session in NORC's Bethesda offices
Open work areas encourage collaboration
An impromptu meeting in the NORC lobby
Bethesda Research Scientist

Academic Research Centers

Seven Academic Research Centers exemplify NORC’s commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and research innovation. The relationships among NORC’s Academic Research Centers and the University of Chicago are mutually beneficial in many ways, applying renowned scholarship to practical social science problems. NORC’s core capabilities support faculty research, and its environmentally friendly offices provide university staff with an open, collaborative working environment.

As part of a learning culture, intergenerational project teams enrich learning, scholarship, and discovery. In particular, graduate research assistants at NORC have the tremendous opportunity to apply what they have learned in practical settings. As the next generation of social scientists, they work with experts in various fields and disciplines to conduct world-class empirical research, and NORC benefits from their fresh perspectives, energy, and insights.

Learn more about the work of the Academic Research Centers:

Center for Advancing Research and Communication in STEM
Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging
Center for the Study of Politics and Society
Cultural Policy Center
Joint Center for Education Research
Ogburn-Stouffer Center for the Study of Social Organizations
Population Research Center

Representative Projects

Analyzing the Relationship Among Early Childhood Conditions, Reproduction of Socioeconomic Inequalities and Adult Health Disparities. This project analyzes the relationship between early health conditions, adult socioeconomic attainment, and adult health. The first goal of this study is to document the impact of early health conditions on adult socioeconomic and adult health outcomes. More

Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity in the United States. This project proposes to investigate why some people manage to survive to extreme old age (100+ years) and what are the biological and social correlates of exceptional longevity. These are important issues not only for demographic forecasts of human mortality and population aging, and the policy implications on health-care and pension expenditures, but also for improving our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of human aging and longevity. The project proposes to explore the effects of early-life living conditions, adult physical characteristics, marriage, and reproductive history on exceptional longevity, and will test a number of related biomedical and social hypotheses.  The project is designed as an interdisciplinary study of exceptional human longevity. To contribute to the research infrastructure for subsequent longevity studies world-wide, a database with integrated, matched information on longevity predictor variables will be developed, and made available to the research community on the Internet. More

Economic Shocks, Neighborhood Food Infrastructure and Very Low Food Security Among Children. Drawing on a recent panel survey of a representative sample of metropolitan Detroit, Scott Allard and U Michigan researchers will explore the extent to which two types of adverse economic shocks experienced by low-income households with children—job loss and parental divorce or separation—are associated with increased risk of very low food security among children. We will further explore the importance of food assistance program participation and access to the local food resource infrastructure as key moderators of these relationships. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationships between economic shocks, access to local food resources, and child food security. More

Enhancing the Rigor of Evidence on Gendered Differences in STEM Persistence. ​This National Science Foundation-funded study is designed to explore how the background characteristics and subjective experiences of computer science students at Michigan State University and the University of Chicago interact to determine their interest and persistence in pursuing a career in these fields.  Given observed patterns of female attrition away from STEM careers, particularly those in the “hard” sciences, NORC is interested in exploring factors that may differentially impact women who have declared interest in pursuing a CS major. In particular, the study seeks to identify modifiable factors that distinguish between women who persist from those that do not, factors that may serve as targets in designing interventions that sustain young women’s interest in science and technology careers. More

Food Assistance During and After the Great Recession in Metropolitan Detroit. Food Assistance During and After the Great Recession in Metropolitan Detroit will use unique panel survey data from a representative sample of working-age adults in the Detroit Metropolitan Area to explore three research questions related to the receipt of SNAP among low-income households: How have low-income families in the Detroit Metropolitan Area bundled SNAP with other types of public assistance, help from charitable nonprofits, and informal social support in the wake of the Great Recession? When controlling for economic shocks and respondent characteristics, to what extent is access to local food assistance resources related to receipt of SNAP assistance? How are receipt of SNAP assistance and economic shocks related to household food shopping behaviors, food security, and financial hardship? More

See all Academic Research Centers projects
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