The TRI-Lab at Brown is a new initiative that will bring together students, faculty and community practitioners to engage with a complex social issue and collaboratively develop, refine and test solutions to the issue. The heart of the Lab will be a year-long seminar in which participants explore the framework and context of the issue, creatively harness their multiple perspectives towards solutions, and find support for individual research. Prior to the seminar, Labs will sponsor conferences that connect the university and community around a social issue and cultivate interest. In the year following the seminar, Lab cohorts can apply for seed funding to continue to work together to build practice and knowledge around solutions.
The Lab model is been designed with input from faculty members, students and community practitioners. To date, we have met with nearly 150 stakeholders, all of whom expressed enthusiasm for the idea.
Focus on Healthy Early Childhood Development
TRI-Lab will be piloted in academic year 2013-14 with a focus on healthy early childhood development, co-chaired by Stephen Buka, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology, and Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of RI Kids Count. We expect this TRI-Lab to ask questions and develop interventions related to early education, home visiting, policy, legislation, cultural and language barriers, resource allocation, technology, behavioral economics, health communication, data access and usage, and more.
It is widely accepted that much of the adult disparities in health and wellbeing originate during early childhood, the most sensitive period of a human’s development. Children most at risk of not achieving their full physical, social, academic and emotional potential are those living in poverty. There are over 77,500 Rhode Island children under age five. One in five RI children under age six lives in a family with income below the federal poverty threshold of $15,219 for a family of four with two children. (“Successful Start”, RI Kids Count, 2005) This initiative will place a high priority on children living in poverty, but will not be limited to this group. The goal is to identify new ideas and approaches that can benefit all families with young children, with a particular emphasis on those with greatest need.
The problems facing Rhode Island’s most vulnerable and youngest children can be generalized throughout the nation, but our state’s size, scale and spirit of cooperation around this issue are unique. Rhode Island has a longstanding community of interest around this topic including state agencies that administer programs for young children, community-based agencies, child care providers, education, health care and mental health professionals, child advocates, and parents. The TRI-Lab will integrate this existing community of interest with Brown’s expertise, research and scholarship around early childhood development from fields including public policy, health, education, neuroscience, economics, and more.
TRI-Lab is Hiring
TRI-Lab is currently seeking applicants for two positions: Director and Coordinator. View both job descriptions here.
The Director will have primary responsibility for the overall leadership, management and growth of the TRI-Lab. Primary responsibilities include: Overall TRI-Lab Leadership, Strategy, Partnerships, and Funding; Program Development, Management, and Assessment; and the Facilitation, Delivery, and Assessment of Seminar Curriculum. An advanced degree (JD, MBA, PhD) and several years' experience program management/leadership in higher ed context is required. Full description of responsibilities and qualifications posted below. Click here to apply to this position.
The Coordinator will provide key relationship building and management for TRI-Lab. Primary responsibilities include: Cultivation of TRI-Lab Themes and Participants; Participant Selection, Support, and Seminar Planning; Logistics Coordination; and Outreach and Communications. A Bachelor's degree is required and prior experience in event management, communications, or program administration is preferred. Full description of responsibilities and qualifications posted below. Click here to apply to this position.
In the News
Did you miss our TRI-Lab launch event? View a video of the event here, featuring remarks by Brown University President Christina Paxson, Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron, Professor of Epidemiology Stephen Buka, and Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Elizabeth Burke Bryant.
- Brown launches TRI-Lab community initiative, Brown University News, April 3, 2013
- Brown's New TRI-Lab Community Initiative Will Begin with RI Kids, Go Local Prov, April 5, 2013
If you have questions or would like to speak to someone about TRI-Lab, please email Betsy Shimberg at Brown-TRI-Lab@Brown.edu.