Letter from Linda Collins About The Methodology Center’s Future

December 3, 2019:

Hello everyone,

Linda M. CollinsSome substantial changes lie ahead for The Methodology Center, and I wanted to inform you about them personally. I am excited to announce that I have accepted a position as Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Global Public Health at New York University (NYU), starting in the fall of 2020. Due to this move and other changes, The Center’s Principal Investigators and I have decided not to request a renewal of our P50 Center grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We have often mentioned that the P50 is and has been the cornerstone of Methodology Center funding for decades. As this grant winds down, The Methodology Center will continue to function normally — updating software, answering help desk emails, and updating the website — until next summer. Researchers then will focus on wrapping up the Center’s scientific projects. In actuality, though, the science will not be “wrapping up.” Each line of Methodology Center research will continue under the leadership of its Principal Investigator. So, though this is the end of an era at The Methodology Center, our scientists all will remain on the cutting edge of data analysis and experimental design research. More information about how to stay informed about our research will be described in the eNews next spring.

I came to Penn State in 1994 as professor of Health and Human Development and soon began directing The Methodology Center. Since that time, The Methodology Center has achieved and maintained its status as a National Institute on Drug Abuse P50 Center of Excellence, and Penn State has become an internationally recognized leader in methodology and prevention science. I would like to thank Penn State and the National Institutes of Health for their continuous support of our research, of which I am extremely proud.

I will always be grateful to Penn State for the collaborations and relationships I developed here, particularly those developed through the P50. I would especially like to thank the other P50 Principal Investigators: Stephanie Lanza, Runze Li, Bethany Bray (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Susan Murphy (Harvard University). Our stimulating, productive, and warm working relationship has endured for decades. I hope and trust we will collaborate on future projects.

Although leaving is undeniably hard, I am thrilled at the prospect of what the future will hold at NYU. My objective at NYU is to establish an intellectual hub for intervention optimization, in terms of both methodological advancement and innovative applications in health and education. There are literally hundreds of intervention scientists in the New York City area, so the possibilities are endless! My long-range goal is to establish intervention optimization as the norm by the year 2030.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to learn about and apply the methods we have worked on at The Methodology Center. I firmly believe that we can build a healthier society by improving experimental design and data analysis in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. In the coming months and years, I hope you will continue exploring the potential that methods have to enhance the impact of your research. Not sure where to begin? Try our website, and watch our newsletter for information about where our current website content will be migrating in 2020.

Best wishes,

Linda M. Collins