The Methodology Center, Penn State, Receives Renewal of Major NIH Grant

November 28, 2005

(University Park, Pa)— The Methodology Center in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development has been awarded a five-year, $8.2 million research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The grant is a collaborative effort involving the College of Health and Human Development and the Eberly College of Science, Penn State; the Institute for Social Research and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan; and the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The principal investigators are Linda M. Collins, Stephanie T. Lanza, Runze Li, and Joseph L. Schafer, all of Penn State; E. Michael Foster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Susan A. Murphy, University of Michigan.

The grant provides support for The Methodology Centerís interdisciplinary research. The Methodology Center is devoted to the development and dissemination of innovative quantitative methods. Examples of the centerís work include determining the causal effects of behavioral interventions; developing new statistical approaches for modeling complex behavior and testing related research hypotheses; identifying multiple risks for the onset of problem behavior to inform prevention efforts; developing new methods for designing and implementing intervention programs that adapt to changing needs of the individual; devising efficient and reliable methods for building powerful behavioral interventions; and identifying precise and flexible ways of assessing cost-effectiveness.

This is the second continuation of a grant that was first awarded in 1996. To date the Methodology Center has received approximately $17 million from this particular grant. Since the work of the grant began, the center has produced over 200 scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports; eight books; and over 350 presentations and workshops in the United States and abroad. The center has also produced numerous technical reports and releases of statistical software, all of which have been made available to the public free of charge on their Web site The methods developed by Methodology Center scientists are used by researchers in the United States and worldwide who are engaged in a wide range of research such as studying, preventing, and treating drug abuse and related problem behaviors.

Dr. Collins, director, commented, “The Methodology Center is a unique intellectual community made up of scientists from fields as diverse as statistics, psychology, economics, human development, education, engineering, prevention, health policy and administration, and public health. Our active exchange of ideas and ongoing collaborative activities have produced synergy that has enabled us to transcend disciplinary boundaries. The integration of disciplines has furthered us in our quest to advance quantitative methods for drug abuse research and for a wide variety of other behavioral and biomedical sciences. We are grateful to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, particularly their outstanding program officials. The continued support of this Institute and their dedicated professional staff has been instrumental in establishing the Center and maintaining its high standards for productivity and innovation.”

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Editors: For additional information, please contact Linda M. Collins, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Director, Methodology Center, at; or Abby Diehl, Director of Alumni Relations and interim Director of College Relations for the College of Health and Human Development, at (814) 863-2207 or