Research Centers & Programs

ASPIRE: Advancing Solutions in Policy, Implementation, Research, and Engagement for Refugees

Advancing Solutions in Policy, Implementation, Research, and Engagement for Refugees (ASPIRE) is a Columbia University-wide initiative for the educational advancement of Syrian refugees. Led by CSSW professors Nabila El-Bassel and Neeraj Kaushal, the consortium includes senior faculty across Columbia’s professional schools (social work, public health, medicine, education, international affairs) who have the expertise, passion, and commitment necessary to constructively contribute...

China Center for Social Policy

The China Center for Social Policy, directed by Professor Qin Gao, is the first of its kind housed at a school of social work. The China Center is a hub for innovation and action on social welfare in China. Through interdisciplinary research, the Center’s scholars address social concerns, including but not limited to: poverty, income distribution, population aging, gender equality,...

CHOSEN: The Columbia Center for Healing of Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders—Intervention Development and Implementation

The Columbia Center for Healing of Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders—Intervention Development and Implementation (CHOSEN), founded on crossdisciplinary collaboration among Columbia's School of Social Work, Irving Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry Division on Substance Use Disorders, and the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, is focused on the negative health consequences caused by opioid and other substance use...

Cogburn Research Group

The Cogburn Research Group, directed by Courtney Cogburn, Ph.D., tackles issues related to the characterization and measurement of racism, evaluating the effects of racism-related stressors on mental and physical health, and exploring opportunities to reduce the effects of racism on health. Multiple research methodologies are utilized, including laboratory-based experiments, epidemiological data, and “big data” analytics to examine questions related to...

Columbia Justice Lab

The Justice Lab at Columbia University is led by Bruce Western and Vincent Schiraldi. Their team engages with scholars, policymakers, directly-impacted individuals, and students in projects related to community corrections, emerging adult justice, juvenile justice, reentry, mass incarceration, and solitary confinement. For more information, go to the Justice Lab's website.

Columbia Population Research

The Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) is the only NICHD-funded population research center to be founded within a school of social work. It is currently co-directed by Professors Jane Walfogel of CSSW and Jennifer Hirsch of the Mailman School of Public Health. Go to CPRC Website. Check for upcoming seminars and other events.

Complicated Grief

The Center for Complicated Grief, directed by Dr. Katherine Shear, develops treatments that can help people with complicated grief. It also trains mental health professionals on recognizing and treating this condition. Go to Center for Complicated Grief's Website. Questions? In need of resources? Check out this page.

Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT) Program

The Dialectical Behavior Training Program, directed by Andre Ivanoff, Ph.D., was originally developed in collaboration with Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, the treatment developer at the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. This program is, to date, the first and only DBT training program within a School of Social Work. Click here for more information.

Global Health Research Center of Central Asia

Headquartered in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) addresses a range of health threats—HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hepatitis C, substance abuse, malnutrition, mental health—facing vulnerable communities in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. The center is co-directed by Professors Nabila El-Bassel and Louisa Gilbert. It receives funding from the National Institutes of Health as...

Willma and Albert Musher Program

The Willma and Albert Musher Program at Columbia University promotes the use of science and technology for life betterment. Established in 1995 by Albert Musher in memory of his wife, Willma, this unique program was born of Mr. Musher’s conviction that “the betterment of human life can best be accomplished through the use of the principles and procedures of science.”...

Poverty and Social Policy

The Center on Poverty and Social Policy, which launched in May 2015, is directed by Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems Irwin Garfinkel and research scientist Christopher Wimer. Says Professor Garfinkel: "We look forward to providing opportunities for the faculty here, many of whom are studying economically vulnerable populations, to focus even more of their attention on the...

Research on Fathers, Children & Family Well-being

The Center for Research on Fathers, Children & Family Well-being, run by Professor Ronald B. Mincy, aims to expand knowledge and disseminate new findings on the role of fathers and father figures in the lives of disadvantaged children. For more information, go to the Center's Website.


SAFE Lab is a research initiative focused on examining the ways in which youth of color navigate violence on- and offline. Drawing on computational and social work approaches to research, it engages in qualitative and natural language processing methods to understand the mechanisms of violence and how to prevent and intervene in violence that occurs in neighborhoods and social media environments....

Social Intervention Group

The Social Intervention Group (SIG) aims to advance the science of intervention and prevention research among highly vulnerable populations by addressing the concurrent problems of HIV, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and trauma. Co-directed by Nabila El-Bassel and Louisa Gilbert with funding from the National Institutes of Health, it designs, develops, tests and disseminates innovative approaches to ameliorating and preventing such...

Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace

The Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace (Workplace Center), directed by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Lauren B. Gates, works with service providers, corporations and unions throughout the nation around issues of disability, gender and substance abuse, as well as broader issues surrounding workplace diversity. For more information, go to the Workplace Center's Website.