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Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative Helps Facilitate and Fundraise for Human Sexuality Research Endeavors

isrc staff

Students and faculty of Widener's Center for Human Sexuality Studies staff the new Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative.

Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies has established an Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative (ISRC) to support interdisciplinary research endeavors focused on topics related to human sexuality. The ISRC staff is comprised of faculty and graduate students and is equipped to execute research projects of various scopes and sizes and assist with fundraising for proposed projects.

According to Dr. Justin Sitron, director of the ISRC and director of the PhD Program in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies, the collaborative was conceived as a way to increase the Center’s research training program, contribute to the field of human sexuality research using interdisciplinary approaches and pool resources to support human sexuality research. “With every research project, there is naturally going to be down time in the process. Therefore, if we can bring resources into the collaborative, we can share and maximize those resources to train students, to investigate innovative research questions and to increase our impact.”

Associate director of the ISRC is Dr. Brooke Wells, associate professor; Dr. Don Dyson oversees operations as the director of Widener’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. The Center houses one of the only doctoral programs in human sexuality studies at a fully accredited university in the United States. CHSS offers both master’s and doctoral degree programs to prepare current and future professionals to teach, consult, provide counseling and therapy and conduct research in a variety of settings on complex issues related to human sexuality. 

Currently, the ISRC has funding from a leading consumer packaged goods corporation through the spring of 2017 to support a multi-phase, multi-site study of the ways in which young adults think and talk about sex and relationships. The collaborative is currently recruiting participants for that study online. In addition, the staff is overseeing several other research projects, including two studies examining sexological worldview, comprised of the perspectives people have about their own and others’ sexuality; the development of effective sexuality education programming in the Chester community; and a recently completed national survey of the characteristics and behaviors of sex party attendees. The ISRC staff also continuously fundraises, recruits new partners and solicits project proposals.

“We are enthusiastic about collaborating with individuals, nonprofit organizations or corporations interested in conducting research on topics related to human sexuality,” said Esther Bird, a project manager for the ISRC and a graduate student at Widener. “We welcome research proposals from organizations or individuals who could benefit from our resources to help carry out a study. In these cases, we ask for proposals that outline the project details.”

To request the services of or to learn more about the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative at Widener University, visit, e-mail or call 610-499-1156.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university website,