Mission and Values

Our mission is to generate knowledge about human health and development that can improve people’s lives. This mission can only be achieved by problem-driven collaborations across many disciplines. The important problems are increasingly found and solved at the intersection of many disciplines; the Life Span Institute stands at such a convergence.
A crowd of researchers stand in groups speaking to each other at a conference

Core Values

At the Life Span Institute, we value:

  • Rigorous Research. We pursue knowledge that improves human health and development. We are committed to developing and implementing interventions, to the basic science that helps us understand why that intervention works, and to ensuring that any claims about the intervention’s effectiveness is based on solid scientific evidence.
  • Knowledge dissemination. We share findings not only with peers in our scientific communities but also with professionals who can use this knowledge in practice. We translate our research for parents, policy makers, community organizations, schools and other public audiences in an effort to show the impact of research and engender trust in scientific process. 
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration. We work across disciplinary boundaries to solve complex problems in neuroscience, behavior, education, community health, and disability.
  • Education. We mentor and train the next generation of scientists who will make an impact on human health across the country.
  • Diversity and Connection. We seek to attract and retain a talented community of researchers, staff and students from diverse backgrounds, including people with disabilities and representing the range of neurodiversity. We strive to create an environment that fosters a sense of belonging, a shared purpose, and supports each individual's professional development. 
  • Community Engagement and Impact. We engage members of communities where we do research in order to ensure that their needs are being met through the science we conduct. We provide direct services and train professionals to deliver services across the state of Kansas, the nation and world.  
  • Service. We strive to provide the best possible service in support of the research process and community health.
The Dole Human Development Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence
The Dole Human Development Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence