Institute of Behavioral Science

For over four decades, the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) has provided a setting for interdisciplinary, collaborative research on problems of societal concern. By engaging faculty from all of the social and behavioral sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Institute has encouraged work that transcends disciplinary boundaries, that illuminates the complexity of social behavior and social life, and that has important implications for social policy. In addition to fostering research, the Institute assumes responsibility for the dissemination of information about research findings and for the training of both pre- and postdoctoral students in behavioral science research.

The Institute has deliberately focused its attention on a small number of key research programs, each of which is interdisciplinary in its faculty, each of which is led by a senior behavioral scientist, and each of which has its own space, support personnel, and budget. There are four programs: the Research Program on Population Processes, the Research Program on Political and Economic Change, the Research Program on Environment and Behavior, and the Research Program on Problem Behavior. A fifth program, on Health Behavior, is currently being developed.

Two of the programs include centers focused on a topic of key interest to the program. The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center is an integral part of the Research Program on Environment and Behavior, and the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence is an integral part of the Research Program on Problem Behavior.

Binding the separate programs together, beyond their interdisciplinary orientation, is a common interest in longitudinal research and a common concern for both macro and micro levels of analysis. The Institute also includes the Social Science Data Analysis Center (SSDAC), which provides computer support to IBS researchers as well as to faculty outside the Institute.

Training of pre- and postdoctoral students in behavioral science research is carried out in conjunction with the ongoing projects in the various programs. In addition, IBS has organized two formal training efforts for graduate students that certify their experience and supplement their advanced degrees, a Certificate Program in Demography, and a Certificate Program in Applied Behavioral Science.

The Professional Staff in the Institute numbers about 40 persons at the Ph.D. level, including the Director (see the Director's Message), the Program Directors, regular faculty, emeritus faculty (including Gilbert White, Gustavson Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography), research associates, and visiting faculty. Faculty are drawn from the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology, and from the Law School and the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. The IBS Librarian and the Director of SSDAC are also members of the Professional Staff. The Institute has 7.5 of its own FTEs; they permit full-time support for the Program Directors as well as for the Director, and for several regular faculty members. Support staff in the Institute number about 50, and about 45 graduate students were associated with IBS during 1999-2000. Funding for research derives primarily from extramural grants, largely from federal agencies but also from private foundations and from agencies of the Colorado state government. Major support has been provided in recent years by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Colorado, the Colorado Trust, the Metropolitan Life Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation.

During 1998-99, IBS received a total of approximately $7,689,000 in research grant awards. Grants in force during that same period (see figure) amounted to about $20,777,000.

The Institute is housed in ten buildings, eight just off the northwest corner of the Boulder campus and two on the east side of campus. Its proximity to campus facilitates the participation of faculty in both research and instructional activities and provides easy access for students. Members of the Professional Staff are attached to one or more of the Research Programs and maintain an active presence in IBS in addition to their teaching and departmental duties.

As a unit of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Institute of Behavioral Science is subject to the Rules of the Regents, the policies of the University, and the IBS Bylaws. A Board of Directors (view photo), composed of the Directors of the four Research Programs, serves as the policymaking body of the Institute. Through its Director, the Institute reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

IBS Board of Directors.

IBS Administrative office staff.