Video: Webinar on Factorial Experiments

February 18, 2020:

Watch the video of our most recent 1 & 1 webinar on factorial experiments. In this 90+ minute video, Methodology Center Director Linda M. Collins introduces factorial experiments. The webinar was recorded on February 05, 2020.

In her work on optimizing interventions using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), Linda explains that factorial experiments can be very efficient in certain situations. Intervention designers should carefully consider which type of experimental design they will use (rather than defaulting to a randomized controlled trial without considering other designs).

Watch the video on YouTube.

Upcoming Webinar on Factorial Experiments

Linda M. Collins, Ph.D.January 14 2020:

In our next 1 & 1 webinar,  Methodology Center Director Linda M. Collins will present an introduction to factorial experiments. Our 1 & 1 webinars consist of a one-hour live video presentation on a method followed by a one-hour question-and-answer session with the presenter. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Factorial experiments are sometimes used in research projects that follow the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), an engineering-inspired framework for designing efficacious, effective, efficient, economical, and scalable behavioral and biobehavioral interventions. MOST relies heavily on efficient experimental design, and factorial experiments are often the most efficient design because they can provide the most statistical power with the fewest subjects (which may be counterintuitive to those who have been trained primarily in the randomized clinical trial). Factorial experiments with three or more factors, though not yet common in behavioral research, are a regular practice in the engineering design process. This webinar will be applicable for researchers from a broad array of disciplines.

To join, click when the webinar is starting. Registration in advance is not necessary, but participation will be limited to 500 people.

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

Linda Collins to Give Schmitt Russell Research Lecture

October 31, 2018:lmc

Methodology Center Director Linda M. Collins will present the talk, “Bringing Health and Education Interventions into the 21st Century,” for the 2018 Schmitt Russell Research Lecture. The talk is open to the public and will be given at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center on Penn State’s University Park campus. The lecture is part of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Career Award from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, which Linda was awarded in 2017.

Linda’s research focuses on experimental and non-experimental design, particularly for building, optimizing, and evaluating health and education interventions. In this talk, Linda will explore how the methods that scientists use for intervention design can be improved by implementing concepts borrowed from the engineering design process.

Linda and her collaborators have been developing these ideas in the mutliphase optimization strategy (MOST) for optimizing interventions over the last 15 years. In 2018, Linda authored one book and edited another about MOST in order to make these ideas more broadly available, clear, and applicable.

Read more about MOST.

Free, Two-Hour, Online Workshop About MOST

October 10, 2017:lmc

For our next 1 & 1, Methodology Center Director Linda Collins will present an introduction to the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) for optimizing interventions on Tuesday, November 14, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Log in at 1 & 1 workshops consist of a one-hour live video presentation on a method followed by a one-hour question-and-answer session with the presenter. After the presentation, Linda will accept questions via instant message and answer them live. This is a great opportunity to learn about the value of MOST and ask questions about planning a MOST or writing a grant proposal for a study that follows MOST.

About MOST

MOST is an engineering-inspired framework for optimizing and evaluating behavioral, biobehavioral, and biomedical interventions. MOST emphasizes efficiency and careful management of resources to move intervention science forward systematically. MOST can be used to guide the evaluation of research evidence, develop optimized interventions, and enhance Type I and Type II translation of research. Read more.

About 1 & 1

The 1 & 1 will be hosted via Zoom video conference. Login information will be posted on the 1 & 1 access page the day before the workshop. The workshop will be limited to 50 participants, who will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis when they log on to the video conference the day of the workshop. If you try to attend the workshop but are unable to log on for any reason, please send an email to We hope you will join us to explore MOST and have Linda answer your questions directly in real time.


Read more about MOST.

Watch the video of our 1 & 1 on time-varying effect modeling.