Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln | 2014-2015 Report Menu
Dan Hoyt

A new consortium aims to expand UNL’s social and behavioral sciences research.

Launched in spring 2015, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium is connecting researchers campuswide and coordinating research efforts and opportunities.

“We have a lot of talented people on campus engaged in social science research. We need more efficient ways to connect them so they can collaborate with each other,” said sociology professor Dan Hoyt, who directs the consortium.

To encourage broader collaborations, the consortium will identify resources campuswide, build a research and referral network, identify and facilitate collaboration opportunities, provide seed funding, coordinate external funding opportunities and offer new faculty mentoring. The consortium works closely with UNL social and behavioral sciences researchers, centers and initiatives, such as the Minority Health Disparities Initiative and the new regional Central Plains Research Data Center.

Identifying UNL’s social science assets is a key first step. The consortium is developing a comprehensive inventory of who’s doing social sciences research, what they’re studying, who they’re working with and what they’re interested in.

“We know we already have assets,” Hoyt said. “We’re taking a network-science approach to figure out who’s doing what and where capacity is.”

The consortium grew from a faculty-led initiative launched by the Office of Research and Economic Development to explore ways to bolster social and behavioral sciences research.

“Bottom line, the measure of our success will be increased research funding and greater capacity in social and behavioral sciences at our university,” Hoyt said.

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