Centers & Institutes
DU researchers work to solve issues across Colorado and beyond. Our research centers and college institutes revolve around socially relevant issues, addressing the complex problems associated with aging, nation-building and early childhood education.
Whether their work is aimed locally or globally, our centers and institutes make every effort to be forces of good in the world. Along the way, many centers and institutes provide experiential learning opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. The skills our students develop along the way inform both their coursework and their post-college careers.
With our faculty — 90 percent of whom have the highest possible degrees in their fields — and our student body, we tackle challenges facing communities far and wide. We take pride in advancing positive social change with research to understand and address pressing issues like Native American child welfare and early childhood education.
Our global-reaching centers and institutes provide policy insights for Peru and South Africa and promote intellectual exchange between the U.S. and China. Domestically, our work ranges from applied unmanned aircraft research to developing new tools for early-childhood educators.
Centers & Institutes
- Aerosol Research Group
The University of Denver Aerosol Group develops and builds technology for the study of aerosols, or particles suspended in gas. These versatile tools are frequently used to help understand the effects and extent of climate change, ozone depletion and pollution. Aerosol Group technologies have traveled to the North Pole, Antarctica and numerous points between, and have been used by NASA, NOAA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
- Applied Research & Technology Institute
The Applied Research & Technology Institute has diverse areas of expertise spanning the physical and social sciences. Institute researchers work to expand and improve STEM education, address issues in space exploration and security, and conduct classified studies and custom research, development and testing services. Clients include the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Corvid Technologies.
- Barton Institute for Philanthropy & Social Enterprise
The Barton Institute addresses major social issues by promoting and enhancing traditional and new forms of philanthropy. Their tactics include establishing partnerships between government, private and non-profit sectors, supporting policy labs as they study problems and test new solutions, and promoting education in social entrepeneurship. In working with DU, they hope to help create a generation of graduates driven by the prospect of doing good in the world.
- Butler Institute for Families
The Butler Institute for Families works to strengthen child and family well-being by improving the programs, systems, and communities that serve them. Their efforts include developing training systems for child welfare workers and advancing programs for early-childhood literacy. A number of their initiatives center on protecting and benefiting Native American youth and families.
- Center for China-US Cooperation
Our Center for China-US Cooperation works to promote positive mutual understanding between China and the United States and advance knowledge around changes in the political, economic and cultural landscape of China. They accomplish this by holding public lectures by experts in the field, organizing conferences around important themes, hosting visiting scholars and engaging in joint research projects.
- Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning
The Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning supports DU's efforts to benefit the public good and works to integrate community service throughout the community. The center maintains a database of volunteer positions available, coordinates community work-study positions, and helps faculty incorporate service learning into their courses. The center also offers grants to student projects that will serve the common good, such as homelessness research.
- Center for Effective Interventions
The Center for Effective Interventions collaborates with communities, tribes, agencies and governmental entities to promote emotional and behavioral health in children and families. The center's primary tools consist of 21 teams, spread throughout Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, whose members provide intensive home-based therapeutic treatment to youths aged between 12–17 at high risk of justice involvement. Their methods have been used successfully to treat issues such as substance abuse, gang involvement, runaway behaviors and family discord.
- Center for Judaic Studies
The Center for Judaic Studies is committed to advancing knowledge of Jewish history and thought. The Center's faculty is made up of internationally recognized experts on Jewish culture, religion, language, literature, philosophy and film. Additionally, the Center puts on events and activities throughout the state and engages in dialogue with campus and community groups to help us further our goal of inclusive excellence.
- Center for Marital & Family Studies
The Center for Marital & Family Studies works to understand the dynamics of couple relationships, focusing on three broad areas of research. First, they study the risk factors and potential protective measures for marital distress and divorce. Second, they expand knowledge on the effectiveness of relationship education. Finally, they study the way couples develop, with a particular focus on commitment and cohabitation.
- Center for Middle East Studies
The University of Denver's Center for Middle East Studies is dedicated to promoting and strengthening the study and understanding of the societies, political systems, and international relations of the Middle East and broader Islamic world, both at DU and throughout the Mountain West. In addition to their research, the Center hosts films, panel discussions and other events, and their experts have appeared on television and authored books and articles.
- Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence
The Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence is a research and training program partnered with community cancer centers. Their goal is to provide psychology students with the proper training to help cancer patients with the distress that often accompanies their illness. In addition to training, the Center will serve as a hub for research and program evaluation on the psychological, social, and emotional impact of cancer.
- Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics
The Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics conducts engineering research related to joint mechanics and human motion. They use a combination of experimentation and computer modeling to design better devices to replace missing joints and support damaged bones. With current grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation, the Center works to return implant recipients to their natural gait as soon as possible.
- Center on American Politics
With politics occupying an increasingly central role in the average American’s daily life, it’s essential to try to understand the shifting norms and customs of our political system. The Center on American Politics promotes discussion of current issues and fosters political scholarship across campus. The Center aims to improve the quality and quantity of creative political research, increase awareness through scholarly and community programming, and provide support for policy makers and media groups in the region.
- Center on Human Rights Education
The DU Center on Human Rights Education uses research and education to promote universal recognition of cultural, economic and social human rights. The Center also establishes relationships with other human rights organizations and hosts speakers, films and an annual human rights symposium.
- Colorado European Union Center of Excellence
The Colorado European Union Center of Excellence is committed to fostering interpersonal and institutional relationships between the Rocky Mountain West and the European Union. In addition to their extensive research on European Union affairs and comparative politics, the Center has created partnerships between universities, businesses, NGOs and government offices, including a diplomatic connection with the E.U. delegation to the U.S.
- Colorado Research Institute for Security & Privacy
The Colorado Research Institute for Security & Privacy is devoted to finding ways to improve information security. Their hope is to create tools and techniques that will be useful for a broad audience. Current projects include improving the privacy of data sharing and helping laypeople better understand their own information security risks.
- Conflict Resolution Institute
The Conflict Resolution Institute works to discover ways to de-escalate, end and ultimately prevent conflict. Their research draws from communications, management and international relations, and has equal application in politics, business and personal relations. Graduate students who work with the institute can even get hands-on experience in mediation.
- Consumer Insights & Business Innovation Center
The Consumers Insights & Business Innovation Center explores marketing through the lens of human behavior, striving to understand the complex factors behind key concepts such as brand loyalty. Experiments, surveys, focus groups and observations will be among the techniques used as students and professors collaborate to improve data-driven marketing.
- Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research
The Crossley Center exists to promote advancement in the field of public opinion research. Understanding the public's mindset is essential in the decision-making process for public officials, diplomats and businesspeople, and the Center is working to give those groups and individuals the tools they need to make decisions in the interest of peace, stability and economic development.
- Denver Forensic Institute for Research, Service & Training (FIRST)
The Denver Forensic Institute for Research, Service & Training works with incarcerated adults, child welfare cases, offenders with neuropsychological deficits and various other populations to better understand and improve the mental health issues surrounding criminality. The Institute also offers therapy and assessment to underserved forensic populations and education for law enforcement and other agencies that frequently deal with mental health issues in a forensic context.
- Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute focuses on deploying biomedical and genetic research in the hopes of preventing disease and improving our understanding of human health. Current projects include examinations of the processes behind neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS, as well as a study of the links between Down Syndrome and certain types of cancer.
- Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media
As the media industries undergo a tremendous level of changes, the Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media seeks to improve our understanding of the ways in which people draw meaning from popular entertainment and journalism. The Center works to support new and emerging ways for the press to act as a check on power and contribute to human rights and the public good internationally.
- Geographic Technology Application Center
The Geographic Technology Application Center uses geographical analysis to contribute to the decision-making process in business planning and public policy. By providing highly accurate mapping combined with information on population trends and demographics, the Center has provided support in fields ranging from homeland security and law enforcement to urban and transportation planning.
- Human Dynamics Lab
Our Human Dynamics Lab works to develop new ways to understand human movement and its relation to injury and recovery. Using cameras and the motion tracking technology typically associated with video game design and computer animation, we're finding new ways to improve rehabilitation techniques and help athletes avoid injury.
- Human Trafficking Center
The Human Trafficking Center uses data to understand forced labor and human trafficking. By partnering with legislators, NGOs and international organizations, they encourage cooperation, influence policy and raise public awareness. Their approach allows the development and practice of a wide variety of tactics in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.
- Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) works to advance innovative and practical solutions to the problems within America’s legal system so that it is trusted and trustworthy. Their efforts include:
- reforming the civil justice process so it is fair, efficient, reliable, and accountable.
- increasing access to justice and improving outcomes for families and self-represented litigants.
- identifying methods to best select and retain quality judges.
- ensuring tomorrow's lawyers are prepared to handle the country's rapidly changing legal environment.
- Institute for Enterprise Ethics
The Institute for Enterprise Ethics is dedicated to advancing ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices in corporate leadership. Researchers collaborate with business leaders to develop ways to make ethical behavior, social responsibility and sustainability essential parts of the fabric of American corporate culture.
- Institute for Human-Animal Connection
The Institute for Human-Animal Connection studies the various relationships between humans, animals and the environment. They believe respectful, responsible interaction with other living things is essential for global stability, sustainability and equality. Fields studied include community-based animal welfare, animal abuse and its connections to domestic violence, and the international wildlife trade.
- Institute for Public Policy Studies
The Institute for Public Policy Studies is devoted to the evidence-based analysis of contemporary issues. Government spending, health care, national security, criminal justice and immigration are a few of the topics considered by the Institute.
- Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE)
The Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality promotes research, scholarship and the development of academic programs to promote equality for underrepresented populations.
- International Career Advancement Program
The International Career Advancement Program aims to increase diversity among senior management and policy-making positions in international public service, in both governmental and private organizations. By helping qualified professionals from underrepresented groups assume leadership positions, they hope to improve the quality and effectiveness of public service organizations internationally.
- Kennedy Institute
The Kennedy Institute works to support and develop programs that promote educational success among vulnerable children. Efforts include research on methods to improve early childhood math education and and developing a replicable new model of preschool curricula.
- Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging
The Knoebel Institute creates and implements solutions for issues related to aging. It takes a holistic approach to problem solving, incorporating engineering, natural sciences, social work and psychology. Current research efforts range from understanding the impact concussions during youth have on the development of Alzheimer's later in life to improving public attitudes towards aging.
- Latin America Center
The Latin America Center coordinates research, education and cultural activities related to Latin America and serves as a bridge between the University institute and the region. Center initiatives work to advance human rights and sustainability, promote peacebuilding, protect indigenous groups, improve US-Latin America relations and stand against human trafficking and inequality.
- Marsico Institute for Early Learning & Literacy
The Marsico Institute is dedicated to improving learning environments and academic outcomes for children 8 years old and younger. With 93% of brain development occurring before the age of five, proper relationships and learning opportunities during these early years are crucial in setting children up for success later in life. The Institute evaluates and develops methods for improving early literacy and ensuring children are able to start on the right path.
- National Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology Center
The NLECTC system works directly with federal, state and local government agencies, community leaders and scientists to foster technological innovations that result in new products, services, systems and strategies for the nation's criminal justice professionals.
- National Science Foundation Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials &
The National Science Foundation Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials & Structures uses techniques derived from the aerospace industry to design materials to be used in a next-generation electrical grid. These materials will also push innovation in the automotive and energy industries. DU is one of four universities and 77 centers taking part in this work.
- Pardee Center for International Futures
The Pardee Center aims to explore, understand and shape our global society's many different possible paths into the future. They created International Futures, a freely available computer tool that models long-term development and interaction of human social and environmental systems for 186 countries. The system is being used by governments, businesses and international organizations to improve how they understand dynamic systems and to help shape reasonable expectations for development. Students are involved in updating data and improving the algorithms behind the system.
- Project X-ITE
Project X-ITE brings together academics, business owners, students and researchers from all around Denver. The Project supports innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, and has integral connections with Denver's extensive start-up community. Faculty, staff and students collaborate on projects that offer real world experience and could potentially lead to launching businesses.
- Relationship Center
DU's Relationship Center's goal is to improve mental health by better understanding the way relationships work — what makes them healthy and happy, and what causes problems. They've studied children's and adolescent's relationships with friends, parents, siblings, and romantic partners for over 20 years. Their hope is for their research to prevent relationship problems and help people experiencing difficulties.
- Robots & Sensors for the Human Well-Being
Robots & Sensors for the Human Well-Being (ROSE-HUB) is an NSF center that works to develop robotic and sensor technology to improve human lives on a variety of levels. The center explores robotics for surgery and rehabilitation, weather prediction, improvements to agriculture and the power grid, and cybersecurity. ROSE-HUB's objective is to create systems that will impact our society on a broad level and improve well-being for all.
- Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute
The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute conducts education and research programs on policy issues related to land use and development in the Rocky Mountain West. Their work includes promoting sustainability, diversity and prosperity throughout the region. Students who work with the Institute have the opportunity to prepare to be leaders in the field of sustainable development and contribute to the spread of new ideas and relationships.
- Sié Cheou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy
The Sié Cheou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy is dedicated to creating an understanding of the evolving nature of security and diplomacy. They integrate students into research, maintain active conversations with policy leaders and make complex issues understandable to a broad audience. The Center's research projects focus on managing violence and maximizing resilience at levels ranging from local to global.
- Strategic Issues Panel
The Strategic Issues Panel is a yearly research effort convened by the University to take a nonpartisan approach to examining issues of particular importance to Colorado residents. The panel's goals are to increase visibility of key issues to media, legislators and the public, and to use the panel members' collective knowledge and insight to create thoughtful and effective recommendations for addressing such issues as legislative accountability, immigration reform and campaign finance.
- Transportation Institute
The Transportation Institute is at the center of a distinguished network of transportation leaders. Their efforts focus on improving logistics and increasing supply chain efficiency worldwide. They work to create solutions that will benefit both the general public and market leaders.
- University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement & Scholarship (DULCCES)
The University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement & Scholarship is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the history, politics and culture of Latinx communities. The Center is dedicated to social justice and works to empower and transform Latinx communities around the globe. A major current project is an attempt to improve the accessibility of quality education for Latinx communities.
- Unmanned Systems Research Institute
Before Amazon can deliver packages by drone, serious technological issues need to be addressed. The DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute works to tackle these issues by developing a super light weight radar system that can be used to sense and avoid, and by providing significant technical advances to automated flight capabilities. Currently, the Institute is working on issues of lift and drag with an unconventional wing design.
- Ved Nanda Center for International & Comparative Law
The Ved Nanda Center for International & Comparative Law works to inspire excellence in legal studies, particularly in the field of international law. They provide the support necessary to promote the increased dissemination of quality legal writing, as well as a venue for communication with the larger Sturm College of Law community. In addition to sponsoring research, the center regularly hosts panel discussions and guest speakers who share their expertise on a range of legal topics.