The Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR) at the University of Northern Iowa was founded in 1967, making it one of the most experienced and successful applied research organizations in the state. As a freestanding unit within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS), staff members conduct original research and provide applied research services to faculty, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations and public agencies throughout the state. Research services include quantitative (survey) and qualitative study designs, sampling, survey and evaluation instrument development, data collection, data analysis and reporting.
Topics investigated in its more than 750 funded projects include public health, crime/safety, environment/energy, education, housing/planning, and public opinion/policy priorities. These projects have resulted in interviews and data collected from more than 500,000 Iowans by telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, mailed questionnaires, focus groups, in-depth interviews and web surveys. In addition to generating academic research findings, much of the work conducted at the Center is designed to assist organizations and public agencies in answering questions about public perceptions and knowledge as well as assessing the impacts of various projects and programs.
Many members of the CSBR staff are active members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the American Evaluation Association (AEA). The CSBR is a founding member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO) and a Charter Member of the AAPOR Transparency Initiative (TI).