Funded Projects

In 2022, faculty had grants for research that totaled over $42 million. The work they produce impacts families, policy makers, and practitioners around the world and in Wisconsin. Our faculty are nationally-recognized as some of the most impactful, cutting-edge scholars in the field.

More details are listed in faculty bios and you can learn about the research from our PhD students.

The following projects are just a sample of what faculty are working on in 2023.

Implications of Parental Incarceration for Child Health and Wellbeing

Lonnie Berger standing in front of a white wall
Lonnie Berger

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
$2,684,693; 2022-2026
Lonnie Berger, Co-Investigator

Inequalities in Financial Coping During the COVID-19 Crisis: New Insights from Linked Credit Report, Alternative Financial Service, and State Administrative Data

Russell Sage Foundation
$170,575; 2021-2023
Lonnie Berger, Principal Investigator

Improving Data Collection of Debt and Financial Strain to Assess Health Impacts of Economic Insecurity

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
$3,371,031; 2021-2026
Lonnie Berger, Multiple Principal Investigator

Prenatal Opioid Exposure: Birth, Health, Socioeconomic, and Educational Outcomes of Mothers and Their Children

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
$2,286,433; 2020-2025
Lonnie Berger, Multiple Principal Investigator


Pajarita Charles standing in front of white wall
Pajarita Charles

Incarceration, Child Support, and Family Relationships

Child Support Policy Research Agreement, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
$182,781; 2022-2024
Paja Charles, Co-Principal Investigator

Building Reading and Relationships with Justice-Involved Families

Wisconsin Idea Collaboration Grant, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, UW-Madison Division of Extension, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
$59,898; 2022-2024
Paja Charles, Principal Investigator

Supporting Families and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
$64,275; 2022-2023
Paja Charles, Principal Investigator

Impact Evaluation of The Fathers and Families Support Center

Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, University of Notre Dame
$30,000; 2022-2023
Paja Charles, Co-Principal Investigator


Lara Gerassi

Innovative Approaches to Understanding How, Why, and Under What Conditions University Students Trade Sexual Contact

National Institutes of Health: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program
2022-2024
Lara Gerassi, Scholar


LB Klein in hallway wearing blue jacket over black top.
LB Klein

Preventing Sexual and Relationship Violence among LGBTQ+ College and University Students: Adapting the Bringing in the Bystander® Prevention Program

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
$47,523; 2023-2024
LB Klein, Principal Investigator

Understanding How the Forensic Nurse Exam Can Be Improved to Reduce Health Disparities among LGBTQ2S, Black, and Indigenous Survivors of Sexual Assault

Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
$75,000; 2022-2023
LB Klein, Co-Investigator


Jooyoung Kong in front of a white wall
Jooyoung Kong

The Life Course Approach to Caregiving for Aging Parents: Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences

National Institutes of Health, Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award
$661,129.00 (requested); 2022-2027
Jooyoung Kong

Lifetime Violence Exposure in Older Adults: Prevalence and Health Impacts

UW-Madison, Fall Competition Grant
$43,942; 2022-2023
Jooyoung Kong


Katherine Magnuson
Katherine Magnuson

Preventing Early Expulsion to Promote Child Health
Wisconsin Partnership Program

$1,000,000; 2019-2023
Katherine Magnuson, Academic Partner

Wisconsin Shared Services Network

Wisconsin Partnership Program
2020-2023
Katherine Magnuson, Academic Partner


Jessica Pac in front of a bookcase
Jessica Pac

Infant and Child Mortality: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Maltreatment

UW-Madison, Fall Competition Grant
$34,456; 2022-2023
Jessica Pac, Co-Principal Investigator

Child Support Policy Research Agreement: Child Support and Child Welfare System Interactions

$241,070.
Jessica Pac, Co-Principal Investigator

Violence Prevention and Social Policy

CDC RFA-CE-21-001
$1,050,000
Jessica Pac, Co-Investigator

Care4Kids Evaluation, Medicaid Evaluation, Research, and Technical Assistance (MERTA), Wisconsin

Department of Health Services (DHS)
$376,410
Jessica Pac, Co-Principal Investigator

Understanding and Reducing Inequalities During the Covid-19 Crisis

UW-Madison Office of Vice Chancellor Research and Graduate Education
$99,833.
Jessica Pac, Co-Principal Investigator

Prenatal Opioid Exposure: Birth, Health, Social Welfare, and Educational Outcomes of Mothers and Their Children

NIH R01 HD102125-01
$1,755,897.
Jessica Pac, Co-Investigator

A Machine Learning Approach to Understanding Physician Responses to Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

UW-Madison, Fall Competition Grant
$51,308; 2022-2023
Jessica Pac, Principal Investigator


Dr. Alejandra Ros Pilarz in front of a tree
Alejandra Ros Pilarz

Noncustodial Parents’ Child Support and Custodial Parents’ Income Packages: Comparing the Great Recession and COVID-19 Recession Eras

Child Support Policy Research Agreement, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
$271,251; 2023-2024
Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Co-Investigator

Mothers’ Work Schedules, Time with Children, and Child Care Arrangements

UW-Madison, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Fall Competition Grant
$20,000; 2022-2023
Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Principal Investigator

Understanding Trends in Mothers’ Work Schedules: Implications for Child Health and Development

Population Dynamics Scientist Development Award Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
$680,130; 2021-2026
Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Principal Investigator


Stephanie Robert in social work school hallway
Stephanie Robert

Adolescent Responses to Varying Environments in Virtual Reality Simulations

National Institutes of Health
$440,713; 2019-2023
Stephanie Robert, Co-Investigator

Measuring the Pulse of Wisconsin: A Feasibility Study to Develop an Online Research Panel of Wisconsinites

UW-Madison, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with Funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
$499,777; 2022-2024
Stephanie Robert, Co-Principal Investigator


Tawandra L. Rowell-Cunsolo in front of a blank wall
Tawandra L. Rowell-Cunsolo

Understanding and Responding to the Determinants of Weathering in Central Brooklyn Black Youth Ages 18 to 24

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
$359,000; 2020-2023
Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, Principal Investigator

Carceral State and Health Inequities

RX Foundation
$12,000
Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, Principal Investigator

Documenting Health Impacts of Exposure to Incarceration Among Black Men and Their Families in Brooklyn, New York

$41,000; 2022-2023
Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, Principal Investigator

Examining Predictors of Substance Use and Treatment Adequacy Among Formerly Incarcerated Opioid and Cocaine Users

National Institute on Drug Abuse
$3,092,095; 2022-2027
Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, Principal Investigator


Tracy Schroepfer in front of a bookcase
Tracy Schroepfer

Resilience Recognition, and Ritual: Human Engagement with Disease, Death, and Dying

UW-Madison Graduate School, Research Forward
$500,000; 2021-2023
Tracy Schroepfer, Co-Researcher


Tova Walsh in social work school hallway
Tova Walsh

Collaborating to Provide a Gateway to Services and Supports for Noncustodial Fathers

Research agreement with Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
$120,195; 2022-2024
Tova Walsh, Co-Investigator


Marci Ybarra in front of a white wall
Marci Ybarra

Noncustodial Parents’ Child Support and Custodial Parents’ Income Packages: Comparing the Great Recession and COVID-19 Recession Eras

State of Wisconsin, Child Support Policy Research Agreement
$271,251; 2022-2024
Marci Ybarra, Principal Investigator

Before and After COVID-19: The Well-being of Racialized and Immigrant Chicagoans

Russell Sage Foundation
$34,736; 2021-2023
Marci Ybarra, Principal Investigator