Professor Robert’s research focuses on how social and economic aspects of people’s lives affect their health and well-being over the life course. Many of her publications focus on how neighborhood context affects health and contributes to socioeconomic and racial health disparities. Her focus is on seeing social policy as health policy – determining how to best improve social policy rather than only health care policy to maintain people’s health and reduce health disparities.
Professor Robert is particularly interested in the health and well-being of vulnerable older adults. One of her current projects is examining socioeconomic and racial determinants of older adults’ transitions from community residence into a range of other living environments (e.g., nursing homes and assisted living). She aims to inform policies that help older adults have choice in the type of living situation they have when their health or cognitive function is challenged, and to make sure that low income older adults and older adults of color have fewer barriers to high quality options.
Professor Robert is also committed to increasing the mentoring competencies of faculty members, and she runs trainings throughout the country helping social science and interdisciplinary faculty improve their mentoring skills. She also runs trainings to help doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows “mentor up” in their roles as mentees, and prepare them for their roles as mentors moving forward.