Research Labs

Asking Questions. Generating Knowledge.

Emphasizing rigorous, evidence-based research and effective practice, our students engage with elite faculty to become agents of change with a holistic understanding of how humans learn. 

Among our more than twenty labs, researchers and students are tackling challenging questions about topics ranging from exercise as medicine, the science of reading, mindfulness, youth violence prevention, and more. 

Making an Impact.

The work our students and faculty do in our research labs has an immediate impact.

For example, during her work in the Exercise and Sport Injury Lab, Kinesiology doctoral candidate Cat Donahue created a digitized system for student athlete concussion protocols. Her innovation impacted both the lab's data collection and improved care for student athletes. Ultimately her digital systems were adopted across all of UVA Athletics.

“Being able to digitize [the concussion protocol] allowed us an opportunity to do research more well as allows them to care for the athletes as best they can.”

–Cat Donahue, Kinesiology Ph.D. student




Child & Adolescent Development Labs

  • Research Lab

Motivate Lab

The Motivate Lab is driven to improve people’s lives through rigorous motivation research and to understand the mindsets that promote learning, growth, and well-being.

  • Research Lab

Preventive Interventions Team: Collaborative Research on Engagement and Wellbeing

We are a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research lab with a focus on prevention interventions that optimize implementation of evidence-based practices to improve behavior, classroom, and school experiences for youth and school personnel, and/or reduce risk for behavioral and mental health problems. 

  • Research Lab

Relationships, Ecologies and Activities for Developing Youth Lab

We are interested in how settings and interactions can be optimized to best meet adolescents’ developmental needs. In particular, we are focused on the role that relationships (with peers, mentors, non-familial adults) and activities play in adolescent development.

  • RMS
  • Research Lab

Remaking Middle School

Remaking Middle School is a multi-phase initiative, elevating the innovation that is present in middle schools across the country and soliciting national input on how we ensure all students thrive in, and grow from, their experience in the middle grades. 

  • REAL
  • Research Lab

Research in Education and Learning Lab

The Research in Education and Learning Lab at UVA, directed by Jamie Jirout, focuses on questions related to STEM learning and motivation from a cognitive developmental perspective. 

Visit the Full REAL Lab website.

  • Research Lab

UVA Social Development Lab

The UVA Social Development Lab, directed by Sara Rimm-Kaufman, addresses pressing questions in education science from an interdisciplinary perspective. Learn more at our full website.

UVA Social Development Lab

  • WEB Lab
  • Research Lab

Womanism Empowering Black Women and Girls Counseling Lab

The mission of the Womanism Empowering Black Women and Girls in Counseling Research Lab is to advance knowledge on the experiences, strengths, and wellbeing of black women and girls through womanist frameworks and community-engaged scholarship focused on counseling and counselor education.

  • YVP
  • Research Lab

Youth Violence Project

The Virginia Youth Violence Project is a research group composed of faculty and graduate students in the UVA School of Education and Human Development. We conduct research on youth violence prevention and school safety and provide training and consultation on topics such as threat assessment, bullying prevention, and forensic psychology. Through our work, we have developed strong evidence in support of school threat assessment as a school violence prevention strategy and alternative to zero tolerance discipline.

Teaching & Learning Labs

  • CTL
  • Research Lab

Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab

The Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab applies the contemplative sciences to informing our understanding of life-span development and education.

  • Research Lab

Engineering Design Initiative

The Engineering Design Initiative aims to foster advanced and innovative performance across a range of subjects by integrating engineering design into K-12 classrooms. 

  • Research Lab

Foundations of Cognitive Learning Lab

The FOCAL Lab studies the cognitive processes that underpin learning throughout the school years. The cognitive foundations that are central to our studies include motivation, executive function and self-regulation, sensorimotor and visuospatial processing, phonological skills, and general knowledge of the world. 

  • RADR
  • Research Lab

Reading and Academic Development Research Group

The Reading and Academic Development Research Group examines reading and related areas of academic development across different groups of school-age children. Broadly, the research focuses on meeting the diverse instructional needs of students from specific backgrounds by identifying reading and writing difficulties and developing effective instructional approaches. 

  • SERG
  • Research Lab

STEM Education Research Group

The SERG lab explores how to support all students to understand and engage in practices of science, engineering, mathematics, and computational fields and how to help teachers to facilitate rich and equitable STEM+CS experiences in their classrooms. 

  • Research Lab

Robert H. Tai Research Group

The Robert H. Tai Research Group is a research team based at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.  This multi-institutional team conducts quantitative and qualitative research on major issues in Science Education.  The overarching goal is to produce robust empirical data that targets national policy, with the outcome of developing science students into productive and contributing scientists.

  • SimLab
  • Research Lab

Simulation Lab

In 2016, the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development began a partnership with Mursion to utilize their mixed-reality simulation program that takes the form of virtual school spaces with student and adult avatars. The simulator is used to prepare students for work in K-12 settings and provides a unique opportunity for researchers to measure its effectiveness and impact.

  • Research Lab

The 21st Century Learning Project

The aim of the 21st Century Learning Project is to create a framework of a common language, theory, and operational plan for societies to promote citizens’ learning in the 21st century. This framework will organize an expanding global network of engaged partners collaborating in an iterative process of refinement, application, and expansion.

Health & Wellness Labs

  • APEX Lab
  • Research Lab

Applied Physiology of Exercise Laboratory

The goal of our research is to combine physiological, biochemical and behavioral approaches to understanding the role of exercise, diet and pharmacotherapies on health and athletic performance.

  • DAN
  • Research Lab

Diet and Nutrition Research Laboratory

Our mission is to investigate the effect of diet on health and learning outcomes, especially in children. The lab consists of a metabolic kitchen and a feeding/dining area with a play space for our studies in children. 

  • Research Lab

Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory

The EASIL provides research opportunities for faculty and graduate students in the masters and doctoral degree programs in Sports Medicine & Athletic Training and consists of four distinct testing areas and includes state-of-the-art equipment for the measurement of numerous aspects of human motion and neuromuscular performance. The lab houses measurement systems to assess strength, muscle activation, balance, motion, gait, joint laxity, functional performance, and neurocognitive function.

  • EPCL
  • Research Lab

Exercise Physiology Core Laboratory

The EPCL was established in 1990 as part of the National Institutes of Health sponsored General Clinical Research Center to promote the expansion and enhancement of clinical research that incorporates exercise physiology and body composition into either the research questions or the research design. 

  • iCO
  • Research Lab

Imaging & Communication Outcomes Lab

The Imaging & Communication Outcomes Lab, under the direction of Kazlin Mason, PhD CCC-SLP, is dedicated to improving speech, resonance, and feeding outcomes for individuals born with craniofacial differences.  

Our methodologies integrate imaging technology (MRI and fNIRS), 3D computer visualization, machine learning, predictive analytics, and acoustic and aerodynamic data. These techniques allow us to examine the anatomy and physiology of the speech, swallowing, and velopharyngeal mechanisms which serve to inform clinical practice and support evidence-based interventions for this population. 

Special Education & Disabilities Labs

  • Research Lab

Supporting Teachers Through Coaching, Observations, and Multimedia to Educate Students with Disabilities

Scholars on the STORMED Team conduct research related to the design, implementation, and experimental testing of multimedia-based interventions to support pre- and in-service teachers' knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices on behalf of students with disabilities and others who struggle.

  • Research Lab

Consortium for the Advancement of Special Education Research

CASPER’s mission is to advance open science in special education and related fields by (a) conducting meta-research, (b) providing recommendations and resources, and (c) conducting and disseminating open research. 

  • KID
  • Research Lab

Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities Lab

The mission of the KID Lab is to understand why children and adults with disabilities are or are not physically active, and then creating and studying ways to increase participation for greater health outcomes. 

Virginia Policy Partnership Collaborative

The VPPC is an effort aimed at connecting researchers and students at the University of Virginia with education policymakers to address pressing education problems in the Commonwealth through careful research. 

Blue Ridge LEND

The Blue Ridge LEND works to improve the health and well-being of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

Simulation Lab

In 2016, UVA EHD began a partnership with Mursion to utilize their mixed-reality simulation program that takes the form of virtual school spaces with student and adult avatars. The simulator is used to prepare students for work in K-12 settings and provides a unique opportunity for researchers to measure its effectiveness and impact.