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Center for Social Research

The University of Hartford Center for Social Research (CSR) seeks to discover and publicly disseminate knowledge, inform public policy and strengthen communities. CSR was founded in 1975 and has been under the leadership of its current director, Dr. Timothy Black, since 1993. The CSR focuses on researching and evaluating human service program development and assessment, particularly programs targeting socially and economically marginalized populations.

The strengths of the CSR are its use of multiple research methods, including quantitative and qualitative strategies. The CSR utilizes research technologies and statistical programs to analyze large national data sets (e.g., Census data) as well as data collected from surveys and interviews. The Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is used to conduct these quantitative analyses. The CSR has also been recognized for its qualitative methodological expertise, for instance, conducting life stories interviews, oral histories, and focus groups, as well as naturalistic field observations and ethnographic research. This combination provides a strong basis for both outcome and process studies, and provides a broader scope of applications ranging from informing public policy to developing and strengthening programs.

Leaders of the CSR conceptualize research as a public process and, as such, encourage public discussion of its research intentions, processes and outcomes with board members, state advocates, program leaders, and program staff.

Services at the Center for Social Research:

  • Program Research, Evaluation and Development
  • Randomized Control Studies
  • Interview and Focus Group Studies
  • Ethnographic Field Research
  • Participatory and Community Action Research
  • Survey Design, Implementation and Analysis