Darden Behavioral Research

Darden Behavioral Research

SIF130 Darden Behavioral Research - Behavioral Research for Society: Collaborative Infrastructure

Project Manager: Morela Hernandez and Leidy Klotz

Multi-functional research lab to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration in behavioral science research. Budget includes retrofitting facilities, equipment, software, and salaries for faculty/staff.

BoV Approved: December 2017

Project Dates: 4/24/2018 – 4/23/2021

Funding Awarded: $2,153,150

Executive Summary

This award proposes to create a collaborative research infrastructure between the schools of engineering, nursing, and Darden, and to develop of a research platform that will be open to the whole University, to facilitate the generation of new knowledge and solve pressing problems in business and society. This research infrastructure will directly contribute to the priority of thought leadership and research that is central to each school’s missions and strategy. 

Behavioral research has wide-ranging practical implications; efforts to date have contributed to: Diversity – through the correction of racial and gender biases in society (a collaboration between Batten and Darden); Sustainability – through the creation of more thoughtful decision-making practices across generations (a collaboration between SEAS, Architecture, and Darden); and Health – through the use of mindfulness and compassion to improve health outcomes (a collaboration between Nursing, Medicine, and Darden).  The proposed Behavioral Research for Society (BRS) research infrastructure is unique because, while it is hosted at Darden, it is fundamentally a university-wide resource available to researchers across grounds. Specifically, the BRS collaborative infrastructure will help support: 1) faculty (especially junior colleagues) who do not yet have sustained funding to support their desired research, and often face disruptive obstacles and gaps in their federal and private grant-based funding; and 2) researchers (i.e., faculty, post-docs, Ph.D. students) who apply (or want to apply) behavioral science in their research, but work in Schools where that is not yet the norm. Such faculty often have limited physical and social infrastructure for their own studies within their schools. 

This SIF award is intended to raise collective research productivity and reputation, and to further position UVA to lead in the application of behavioral science to solve society’s biggest problems across disciplines.

Current Status: Active


This award was formally reviewed at the project mid-point, and the PAC was pleased with significant project progress. The next review will take place in the fall of 2020. The SIF has enabled the formation of the “Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative (CBSI)” at UVA. Construction of the research facility is complete as per plan and is available to users. Several postdocs and graduate students have been hired and are working on related research. One of the subgroups in the team has received an NSF ERC planning grant. A broad variety of research questions are being addressed, some of which include focus on key research areas of sustainability, well-being, and diversity.