FY 2018 Extramural Research Program Highlights: Multidisciplinary Centers

Multidisciplinary Centers

NIOSH funds multidisciplinary centers that focus on industries with an excessive share of job-related injury and illness. Various grant mechanisms, including cooperative research agreements and center training grants, fund these centers.

On this page, you will find research highlights for our:

You can also find the information on this page in the NIOSH Extramural Research and Training Program: Annual Report of Fiscal Year 2018.

Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health

The Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health (Ag Centers), established as part of the NIOSH Agricultural Safety and Health Initiative through a cooperative agreement, represent a major NIOSH effort to protect the safety and health of farm workers and their families. These centers conduct research, education, and prevention projects to respond to the nation’s pressing agricultural safety and health problems. Right now, 10 regional Ag Centers throughout the country work on regional safety and health issues unique to each area. NIOSH also supports the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Safety and Health (Child Ag Center)external icon within the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. With a national focus, the Child Ag Center strives to enhance the safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work.

NIOSH Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health
NIOSH Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health, 2018

National Center for Construction Research and Training

CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training received a NIOSH National Construction Center cooperative agreement for 2014–2019 through an extramural competition. The Center, with its diverse construction community, leads in applied construction research, making effective interventions available to the construction industry. Along with its consortium of six academic partners, CPWR researches safety and health risks that construction workers face on the job, including their causes and solutions. Their research projectsexternal icon support NORA Construction Sector research goals as well as emerging issues.

Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®

In FY2018, NIOSH funded six Centers of Excellence, located throughout the United States, to explore and research the concepts of Total Worker Health (TWH). NIOSH defines TWH as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with the promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. TWH principles aim to broadly integrate workplace systems to control hazards and exposures, organization of work, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, and organizational change management. Their approach works toward a hazard-free workplace for all workers.

The centers made important efforts toward TWH:

  • Pilot testing of promising workplace policies and programs.
  • Developing and distributing best practices and tool kits.
  • Creating strategies to overcome barriers for adoption of work-based interventions to protect and promote health.
  • Investigating costs and benefits associated with integrated programs.
  • Promoting increased development and application of biological markers of stress, sleep, and depression to protect workers and improve worker health.
  • Examining the relationships between workplace policies and practices and worker health outcomes.
Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®
Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health, 2018

Education and Research Centers

NIOSH supports professional training in occupational safety and health (OSH) through training programs in Education and Research Centers (ERCs). ERCs are university-based multidisciplinary centers that offer graduate, post-graduate, and research training in the core and allied fields of occupational safety and health. ERCs also supply continuing education and outreach to the OSH community throughout the federal health region they serve. ERCs are interdisciplinary programs and a major part of a network of training grants that help ensure an adequate supply of qualified professional practitioners and researchers. Essential ERC components are outreach and research-to-practice activities with other institutions, businesses, community groups, and agencies within their region, as well as academic programs. Programs respond to area needs and carry out new strategies and initiatives to meet those needs, with a focus on worker health and safety.

NIOSH Education and Research Centers
NIOSH Education and Research Centers, 2018
Page last reviewed: February 6, 2020