Research Network

About Research Network

The Character Lab Research Network is a consortium of schools and scientists working collaboratively to advance scientific insights that help kids thrive.

Overwhelming evidence shows that character strengths such as curiosity, humility, and kindness are essential to the achievement and well-being of students. Although character strengths are malleable, surprisingly little is known about how to cultivate them intentionally. Why? One reason is that school-based research is especially hard to do.

The Research Network makes school-based research fast, frictionless, and fruitful. Our infrastructure reduces the time from “good idea” to “scientifically-tested insight” in half, from more than a year to six months or fewer. We shoulder the legal, logistical, and technological burdens that typically fall to scientists and schools. And we bring scientists and educators together to develop and iteratively prototype activities that will lead to scientific insights that help kids thrive.


Research Network scientists include well-known and emerging experts in adolescent development, behavioral economics, neuroscience, sociology, and other disciplines from a wide range of universities around the country.

School Partners

We partner with districts and individual schools committed to the importance of character, SEL competencies, and life skills.

Candid feedback from a high school student is a non-negotiable element of the design process for all studies on the Character Lab Research Network.

Likewise, a School Research Lead (SRL)—a teacher, principal, or administrator—provides ongoing feedback on the feasibility and relevance of all study designs.

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