Institute of Behavioral Research moves to College of Science & Engineering, SOARs and HEALs with student research

TCU’s Institute of Behavioral Research is now a part of the College of Science & Engineering. The move stands to align similar missions and create synergy and opportunity for students.

“In my view, the IBR move to CSE is a significant administrative move that will help strengthen TCU’s academic profile and reputation, which aligns directly with the university’s first strategic imperative,” said Kevin Knight, Ph.D., professor and interim director of the Institute for Behavioral Research.

In addition to raising the university profile, Knight said the realignment will increase research opportunities for students in the CSE.

“For example, the IBR SOAR Lab (Student Overview of Applied Research) offers undergraduate students an introduction to applied research, coupled with interactive activities aimed to enhance academic skills,” Knight said. “IBR also provides students with networking and mentoring opportunities with research-interested peers, graduate students and experienced IBR research scientists.” 

Phil Hartman, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science & Engineering, said he is thrilled to have IBR within the college. 

“The IBR has long been one of TCU’s crown jewels,” he said. “The research funded by the National Institutes of Health that is conducted in the institute has been impactful to our society and aligns directly with TCU’s mission statement of educating leaders to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens.”

Institute of Behavioral Research and the NIH HEAL Initiative

IBR research scientists are focused on involving faculty and students in federally funded applied science research studies that address significant public health and safety issues across the country. 

Kevin Knight and IBR Senior Scientist Danica Knight, Ph.D., — who is also a scientist with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development — serve as principal investigators on large projects for the NIH HEAL Initiative. HEAL, Helping to End Addiction Long-term, is a broad effort to improve prevention and treatment strategies to combat the prevalent opioid epidemic. 

Specifically, the TCU IBR research team is focused on developing and testing new strategies to prevent and treat opioid addiction among youth and adults involved in the justice system. As part of a larger $945 million NIH initiative, Danica and Kevin Knight presented their projects this month at the HEAL Initiative meeting in Washington, D.C.