FY 2020 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 2020.

Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health

The 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. Currently, 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) 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
Map - NIOSH Centers for Agriculture Safety and Health

National Center for Construction Safety and Health Research and Translation

CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training received a NIOSH cooperative agreement to be the National Center for Construction Safety and Health Research and Translation for 2019–2024. CPWR received this funding through an extramural competition and has received NIOSH funding for the past 30 years through a series of competitive funding announcements. The center, with its diverse construction community, leads in the field of 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 projects support Construction Sector Program research goals as well as emerging issues.

Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®

In FY 2020, NIOSH funded six Centers of Excellence for TWH, located throughout the United States, to explore and research TWH-related concepts. 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-related research and practice:

  • 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®
Map - Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®

Education and Research Centers

NIOSH is mandated to provide an adequate supply of qualified personnel to carry out the purposes of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Public Law 91-596 ), and the ERCs are one of the principal means for meeting this mandate. ERCs are academic institutions that provide high-quality interdisciplinary graduate and post-graduate training, research training, education, and outreach in the core occupational safety and health disciplines of industrial hygiene, occupational health nursing, occupational medicine residency, and occupational safety, as well as allied disciplines. Research and research training are integral components of ERCs, with ERC faculty and NIOSH trainees conducting research on issues related to the NIOSH Strategic Plan: FYs 2019−2024 and emerging issues. ERCs serve as regional resources for industry, labor, government, and the public through training, research to practice, education, and outreach.

NIOSH Education and Research Centers
Map - NIOSH Education and Research Centers