Frequently Asked Questions

Child Research Central

What is Child Research Central?

Child Research Central is a communication hub connecting researchers, clinicians, and families from across the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to create a multidisciplinary center with a unique focus: factors that alter the course of brain development from the perspective of multiple levels of analysis, from cellular to sociocultural. Researchers and clinicians use Child Research Central as a hub to announce new research studies and events. Parents are invited to look through the current studies listed on Child Research Central to see if there are any that their children are eligible to participate in. Parents are also invited to sign up to be added to and contacted through the secure CHILD database, a shared private listing for the cognitive development labs at UC Berkeley to find participants.

What groups are part of Child Research Central?

Child Research Central primarily supports labs from UC Berkeley, UCSF, and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. However, other labs and clinicians may occasionally post about their research studies as well.

How do I find research projects to participate in?

All of the studies currently active through Child Research Central can be seen here. If you would like to be contacted about studies at UC Berkeley cognitive development that may be applicable to you as they get announced, please sign up for the CHILD database. There will be a parental consent page and a child assent page with more information about CHILD. You are welcome to read them without actually submitting the form to be added to the database if you like. Child Research Central’s bi-monthly newsletter announcing studies from all participating labs is currently on hold. When it is reopened, a link to sign up for that will be made available.

If I participate in one research project, will I be contacted about participating in more?

Not unless you want to be! Most research projects posted on Child Research Central are independent of each other and have their own conditions. If you choose to participate in a cognitive development study at UC Berkeley, there will be the option to be added to the CHILD database. In which case, you may occasionally be contacted if there is a new study that we believe your kids qualify for. There is no obligation to participate in any studies that you don’t want to.

Why should I participate in research through Child Research Central?

You and your kids should participate if you want to support or be involved with the broader child cognition and development research community in the Bay Area. All our research is focused on learning more about how our brains and bodies develop and function. The specifics of each lab and study are of course different, but all are focused on the broader goal of understanding and ensuring healthy development for kids of all ages. Additionally, many studies offer forms of compensation for participating families.


The CHILD Database

What is the CHILD database?

CHILD is a secure and voluntary Research Participant Recruitment Database that connects Bay Area families with select cognitive development researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. CHILD helps ensure organization between labs at UC Berkeley so that researchers are able to find ample participants for their studies while simultaneously keeping interested families from being overwhelmed or confused by the different labs asking for their attention.

What’s the difference between CHILD and Child Research Central?

CHILD is run by Child Research Central, but not every lab that posts on here has access to the database. CHILD can only be used by select cognitive development labs and researchers at UC Berkeley.

What happens if I sign up for CHILD?

If you and your child consent to be added to CHILD, you will be directed through a secure form hosted by the website Qualtrics. After completing the form, all identifying information other than your contact info will be removed and you will be added to CHILD. Then, all you have to do is wait and see if you’re contacted!

How do I know my personal information in CHILD is safe?

As with all research, there is a chance that confidentiality could be compromised; however we are taking precautions to minimize this risk.  If you choose to sign your child up through the Child Research Center website, the data is entered into a secure website hosted by Qualtrics. The Qualtrics website uses secure-server technology and the information you submit is encrypted using Transport Layer Security encryption.

Once downloaded from Qualtrics, the information will be removed from the website and inserted directly into a secure, password-protected database. The data will be encrypted when stored on the database at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and maintained on a password-protected computer. The computer that will store the database is maintained behind a private network within the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and secured by a firewall. Data will be removed from Qualtrics and transferred directly to the CHILD Participant Recruitment Database once a week. This process will be automated.

What research groups have access to CHILD?

Only select labs and researchers have access to information stored in CHILD. They are the Building Blocks of Cognition Lab, the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab, the Berkeley Early Learning Lab, the Learning and Cognitive Development Lab, and the Relationships and Social Cognition Lab.


Other Questions

Do you have other questions that need answering? Please feel free to contact us with what you want to know.