In order to create effective policy, a foundation of scientific research is needed. The social work and public health faculty at the Brown School conducts innovative and groundbreaking research that improves the lives of children and their caretakers. Building upon this intellectual capital, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute will connect academic research to the policy process. By aligning empirical knowledge with policy solutions, we are able to identify and implement ideas that work.


Center for Diabetes Translation Research aims to eliminate disparities in Type 2 diabetes by translating evidence-based interventions to high-risk populations. The NIH-funded research center is a collaboration between the Brown School and the Medical School. It was formed to address health literacy and health communication, dissemination and implementation, health economics and health policy, and community-based participatory research and cultural competency.

Center for Mental Health Services Research, through its national network of collaborative research partners, works with public social service agencies to build a base of evidence to address the challenges of delivering mental health services to vulnerable populations. The center is one of only 11 centers of its kind in the country and the only one that is part of a social work school.

Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research develops and disseminates new knowledge to inform the creation and implementation of programs and policies designed to prevent obesity.

Center for Public Health Systems Science was launched in 2001 as the Center for Tobacco Policy Research. The new center’s innovative research helps create a better understanding of how policies and organizational systems affect public health problems. The Center translates research findings to inform chronic disease prevention policy and improve public health practice, leading to healthier communities.

Center for Social Development’s domestic and international research focuses on innovations, such as building assets of individuals and families so they can invest in homes, education, and enterprise. The Center’s work explores issues of civic engagement to ensure the people of all ages and economic levels actively participate in our society, as well as other areas of applied social scholarship.

Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation aims to advance science to improve well-being of individuals and families impacted by criminal justice system involvement. The Institute is committed to innovation, rigorous real-world research, and the delivery of sophisticated services to justice-involved adults.

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change examines how key stakeholders, including researchers, advocates, and policymakers, affect how research evidence is transformed into policy. Launched in 2015, the Envolve Center focuses its efforts on translating evidence-based healthcare methods into real-world settings to actively improve the lives and health of vulnerable populations.

The Evaluation Center is committed to helping you understand your work and why it matters. We specialize in client-driven evaluation and training for non-profits organizations, funders, universities, and government agencies.

For the Sake of All began as an exploration of health disparities among African Americans in St. Louis and has evolved into a mission to eliminate racial inequities and improve the health of all people in our region.

The Health Communication Research Laboratory is one of the leading centers in the U.S. dedicated to the research, development, and dissemination of health communication programs that enhance the health of individuals and populations.

Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies is one of the most respected centers in the nation for academic advancement and the study of American Indian issues related to social work.

Prevention Research Center in St. Louis is a joint effort between Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University. The Center explores the behaviors that place Americans at risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer, and stroke. Center researchers are particularly concerned with the improvement of the quality of life among vulnerable populations: the young, elderly, and the uninsured.

The Social System Design Lab advances the science, application, and practice of system dynamics using participatory group model building methods in human services and communities. They lead and collaborate on domestic and international funded research and technical assistance using system dynamics and group model building.