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The major aim of the Research and Training Center (RTC) on Early Childhood Development is to implement a coordinated and advanced program of applied research on knowledge and practice that improves interventions associated with the healthy mental, behavioral, communication, preliteracy, social-emotional, and interpersonal development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with or at risk for developmental disabilities.

This information is designed specifically for parents, therapists, early childhood educators, and early interventionists, as well as researchers, and includes information about effective early childhood intervention practices based on research.

The Puckett Institute is pleased to announce that all Research and Training Center materials are now available from Winterberry Press. Visit Winterberry Press to order digital or hard copy versions of all RTC materials.

The RTC is a major initiative of the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute. The RTC is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Research-to-Practice Division.


Evidence-Based Practices

Practice-based research syntheses are conducted using a methodological approach that examines the characteristics and consequences of practices, how practice and outcome variables are related, and how this relationship informs what parents and practitioners can do to implement practices based on available research evidence. Read more about the RTC definition of evidence-based practices in our Centerscope article Volume 1, Number 1.


Principal Investigators

Carl J. Dunst, Ph.D.

Carol M. Trivette, Ph.D.


Centerscope Logo spacer Centerscope articles provide detailed information about the conceptual and operational framework used to guide Research and Training Center activities. Articles also describe the history of evidence-based practice, evidence-based strategies for dissemination and utilization, and the results of field tests that have been conducted by RTC staff.

Bridges Logo spacer Bridges are practice-based research syntheses of topics related to early childhood development. These syntheses involve systematic analysis and integration of small bodies of research that have investigated the same or similar practices leading to the same or similar outcomes.

Bottomlines Logo spacer

Bottomlines are one- to two-page summaries of the practice-based research syntheses. Bottomlines describe the practice and inform the reader about the available research evidence to support the practice. These summaries, written in a user-friendly format, are designed specifically for practitioners and parents.

If It Fits Logo spacer If It Fits ideas pages are two-page newsletters packed with creative ideas and suggestions for using evidence-based early childhood practices.

Cornerpiece Logo spacer Cornerpiece brochures offer a concise description of an evidence-based practice, how to carry it out, and how to tell if it is working.


Solutions Collections include descriptions of methods and strategies that can be implemented to achieve an effect similar to that reported in a particular research synthesis. Solutions include user-friendly brochures, newsletters, video tapes, and PowerPoint presentations where the relationship between characteristics of the practice and the results that can be expected is carefully explained. Solutions are designed to be used by parents and early childhood practitioners.

Research Syntheses

Research syntheses and research summaries are prepared in the following categories of practice:

Dissemination and Utilization

Background papers, research syntheses, and practice guides are prepared for parents, practitioners, researchers and others interested in evidence-based practices. Our products are disseminated primarily through our web site, e-mail announcements to practitioners, presentations at national conferences, and publications of RTC findings. Our user-friendly products are designed specifically for practitioners and parents and are available at our products page.

Center for Practical Evaluation

Practical Evaluation Reports - Available in downloadable/printable PDF format.

External Reviewers


Sophie Arao-Nguyen, Ph.D.
Cultural Competency Consultant
San Jose, CA
Scott Lilienfield, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Stephen Bagnato, Ed.D.
Early Childhood Partnerships Children's Hospital
Pittsburgh, PA
Jerry Mahoney, Ph.D.
The Graduate School
Case Western University
Cleveland, OH
Samera Baird, Ph.D.
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
Kofi Marfo, Ph.D.
Center for Research on Children's Development & Learning
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
Kim Brame
Special Educator/Private Consultant
Englewood, CA
Jeanette McCollum, Ph.D.
College of Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
Wesley Brown, Ph.D.
School of Graduate Studies
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
Rosa Milagros Santos, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
Mary Beth Bruder, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut Health Center
Farmington, CT
Jan Moss
University Affiliated Programs
Oklahoma City, OK
Philippa Campbell, Ph.D.
Child and Family Studies Research
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA
Sarah A. Mulligan, Ph.D.
Center on Inclusion in Early Childhood
University of Montana
Butte, MT
Lorrain Chun
Services for Children with Disabilities
New Rochelle, NY
Pattie Nishimoto, Ph.D.
Easter Seals Society of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Kevin Cole, Ph.D.
Washington Research Institute
Seattle, WA
Samuel L Odom, Ph.D.
School of Education
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
Maureen Conroy, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
Gregory Olley, Ph.D.
Center for Development and Learning
University of NC at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
Vivian Correa, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
Richard Roberts, Ph.D.
Early Intervention Research Institute
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Glen Dunlap, Ph.D.
Florida Mental Health Institute
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
John Schuster, Ed. D.
Department of Special Education
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
Dale Farran, Ph.D.
Department of Teaching and Learning
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Vicki D. Stayton, Ph.D.
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
Barbara J. Friesen, Ph.D.
Research & Training Center on Family Support
& Children's Mental Health
Portland State University
Portland, OR
Kathleen Stremel, M.A.
Western Oregon University
Monmouth, OR
Susan Harris, Ph.D., PT
School of Rehabilitation Sciences
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.
Trish Thomas
Family Voices National Outreach Project
Albuquerque, NM
Mary Louise Hemmeter, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
Kenneth Thurman, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
Carollee Howes, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Education
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Colleen Tomko
Kids Together, Inc.
Quakertown, PA
Ruth Kaminiski, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
Mark Wolery, Ph.D.
Department of Special Education
Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Diane Kellegrew, Ph.D.
Department of Education
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
Marybeth Zahorchak
Family Voices
Cranberry, PA
Jennifer Kilgo, Ph.D.
Maternal and Child Health Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL