Jane Leer, doctoral student in Psychology and member of the Duke Identity and Diversity Lab, has received a Promise Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Special Topic Workshop: Addressing and Reducing Inequality through Developmental Science. Leer's project proposal is titled Youths’ Perceptions of Economic Inequality from Gentrifying Neighborhoods to Rural Contexts.
As an interdisciplinary researcher in psychology and public policy (joint program), Leer's work takes an ecological perspective to the developmental significance of economic, gender, and racial inequality, in the U.S. and globally. Her research focuses in particular on how policy-amenable factors in schools, neighborhoods, and home settings can improve educational equity, using a combination of methods including quantitative policy analysis (causal inference), growth modeling, and program evaluation.
Leer's focus on the intersection between inequality, policy, and human development is informed by her experience conducting impact evaluations for education and community development programs in Latin America and West Africa, first as a research consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Nicaragua (3 years) and subsequently as a Research Specialist at Save the Children (3 years).