CEHD researchers sought seek feedback from educators to gain their perspective on distance learning.

Research on Campus
CEHD researchers collect detailed thoughts of educators as they weather the pandemic


CEHD faculty and professional staff are active researchers, conducting projects in over 100 fields. The Office of Research and Policy supports CEHD researchers in finding, applying for and managing $48.8 million in externally funded research awards (2021-22), providing seed funding, and connecting research to policy.

Our vision is to advance research, teaching, and community engagement to increase opportunities for all individuals to have a successful start in life and to foster healthy human development, and will provide programs that meet the demands of the 21st century.

High impact research that improves lives

Educational equity and the opportunity gap
Dramatic demographic changes are increasing the number of children who are less prepared for the future. CEHD research contributes to educational success strategies for all children so that they can meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Autism and developmental disabilities
CEHD research focuses on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the community services and supports that help them thrive. Our faculty and staff are leaders in the study of early diagnosis and intervention for autism spectrum disorders.
Children's mental health and welfare
About 110,000 children and adolescents in Minnesota need mental health treatment each year, and many more interact with the child protection system in some way. CEHD research translates basic science discoveries into transformative treatment methods and evidence-based interventions.
Living better, living longer
CEHD research studies individuals’ health and wellness physically, emotionally, and in relationships, with a particular focus on older adults.

What is the opportunity gap?

Long before test scores and graduation rates are in the picture, children can find themselves at a disadvantage. Access to nutritional food, health care, and stable living environments set the youngest behind from birth. Our research promotes healthy development, fosters equitable schools, and drives new insights into how the brain learns and grows.

Explore some of our research areas that connect to making sure all children have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

The opportunity gap among children in our society is growing. Our researchers are changing the conversation from one of achievement to one of opportunity, and we’re improving all aspects of child development to close this opportunity gap.

Research support & services

The CEHD Office of Research and Policy (ORP) coordinates the college's research support activities, including pre-award proposal development, compliance management, RCR training, assistance with large-scale collaborations, and internal funding programs. See a full list of our support services.


CEHD's funding e-newsletter is the best way for current researchers to stay up to date on new opportunities. We also maintain a list of upcoming funding opportunities.

The University of Minnesota offers a variety of tools and resources that enable faculty, students and staff to explore funding opportunities for scholarly activities. The University also subscribes to the funding databases Pivot and Foundation Directory Online, which are free for UMN researchers to use.


Securing peer-reviewed funding is a key part of the academic research process. We maintain a list of grantsmanship resources for researchers, including boilerplate language and a library of funded proposals.

CEHD graduate students have access to grantwriting courses specific to their fields, as well as fellowships, scholarships, and additional financial support through the college and University.

Consulting services

We support CEHD students, faculty, and researchers by offering:

  • Pre-award services, including study conceptualization and proposal writing
  • Post-award services, including study implementation, data analysis, and reporting
  • Assessment design, adoption, and use, and interpretation of assessment data

Research Methodology Consulting Center


CEHD has 20+ research centers
focused on topics ranging from
children’s mental health
to women in sports.

Leadership and staff

Frank J. Symons

Frank J. Symons, Associate Dean for Research
Phone: 612-626-8697 | Email: symon007@umn.edu
Oversees research and sponsored activities in the CEHD and thus is delegated the authority to act on the Dean’s behalf in matters relating to research. The associate dean for research (ADR) reviews and approves proposals for external funding, evaluates appropriateness of proposed cost-sharing and requests for F&A waivers, and reviews conflict of interest disclosure forms and facilitates institutional oversight. The ADR sets the vision for the college's research enterprise and guides new initiatives.

Ellen Freeman

Ellen Freeman, Director
Office of Research and Policy

Phone: 612-625-2708 | Email: efreeman@umn.edu
Coordinates collegiate research development activities, including educational offerings, communications, data reporting, internal funding programs, and MN Agricultural Experiment station funding.

Amber Fink
Senior Grant Coordinator
Email: fink0088@umn.edu

Jeff Zytkovicz
Senior Grant Coordinator
ICD, CEED, Dean's Office
Email: zytko004@umn.edu

Rachel Clevenger
Grant Coordinator
Email: niem0100@umn.edu

Lucy Luu Evans
Pre-Award Support: ICI
Email: luuxx001@umn.edu

Bess Miller
EdPsy and OLPD
Email: bess@umn.edu

When preparing proposals that involve CEHD faculty and staff, please refer to our PRF routing chains and contact the grant coordinator assigned to the investigator's unit with any questions.