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Synapse Lab Team

Synapse Lab consists of social science researchers at the University of Stavanger, in addition to collaborating scholars at other universities.

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Lab director Mari Rege is professor of Economics at the University of Stavanger Business School. Her fields are labor economics, economics of education, and behavioral economics. Rege leads some of the larges RCTs in Norwegian educational research: The Agder-project, Playful Learning and U-say. Her research explores interventions that support motivation, effort and learning in education and work life.

Lab director Oddny Judith Solheim is professor in Special Educational Needs at the Norwegian Centre for Reading Education and Research, University of Stavanger. Solheim heads two of the largest RCTs in Norwegian educational research: On Track and Two Teachers, both with high relevance for national educational policy.Her main field of interest is interventions that support reading skills and motivation.

Communications adviser Elisabeth Rongved is communications and knowledge exchange adviser at the University of Stavanger. She has a broad communication background and is involved in a number of UiS research projects, including On Track and Two Teachers. 

Principal investigator Edvin Bru is professor in Educational Psychology at the Centre of  Learning Environment, University of Stavanger. He is currently head of a RCT on effects of an educational intervention to promote social and emotional competence among students in eighth grade. Bru has previously been involved in RCTs to investigate effects of stress management training and quasi-experimental studies of effects of an anti-bullying program.

Principal investigator Sindre M. Dyrstad is Head of the Public Health Department at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stavanger. He is a professor within the fields of exercise science, physical activity and health.His research ranges from laboratory-based exercise trials to community-based trials of lifestyle, physical activity and physical fitness. He has specific expertise in measuring effects of physical activity, change in physical fitness and physically active academic lessons in schools.

Principal investigator Sigrun K. Ertesvåg is professor of Educational Psychology at the Norwegian Center for Learning Environment and Behavioural Research in Education, University of Stavanger. She heads the Video Based Improvement for Teachers (VITE) study, a teacher-level RCT in which teachers work one-on-one with a coach using guided video-review processes that take the teachers’ own practice as a starting point.Ertesvåg’s main field of interest is the effectiveness and implementation processes of interventions that support the interaction between teachers and students in the classroom.  

Principal investigator Venke Furre Haaland is associate professor of economics at the institute of Social Studies/Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger.Her main fields of interest are labor economics, and health economics.Haaland leads a large RCT, CLApp: A career learning App for Young People Not in Employment, Education or Training. This project employs existing protocols from psychology combined with design thinking to developing an interactive app, shaping NEET youths’ beliefs in their capacity to learn.

Principal investigator Eva Leibinger is associate professor at the Department of Education and Sports Science, Faculty of Arts and Education, University of Stavanger.Leibinger is the local coordinator for a multicenter study: the School in Motion.Her main field of interest is interventions regarding physical activity and physical education in schools, and learning climate in physical education.

Principal investigator Kjersti Lundetræ is professor in Special Educational Needs and director at the Norwegian Centre for Reading Education and Research, University of Stavanger.Lundetræ is in the leadership group of two large scale RCTs that are both funded by the Research Council of Norway: On Track and Two Teachers.Lundetræ’s main fields of interest are early literacy instruction and interventions that can improve literacy outcomes for struggling readers.

Principal investigator Ingeborg Foldøy Solli is an associate professor in Economics at the UiS Business School. She is in charge of data collection and analyses in three large RCTs: The Agder Project, Playful Learning, and USAY. 

Principal investigator Ingunn Størksen is professor of Pedagogical Psychology at the Centre for Learning Environment, UiS. She is also the leader of a newly established network centre for research within Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at UiS; FILIORUM.Størksen is PI of two large RCTs together with professor Mari Rege - the Agder project and Playful learning. She is planning a new RCT on ECEC quality within FILIORUM. Research interests include early childhood wellbeing, play and learning through ECEC quality.

Principal investigator Randi Wågø Aas is professor in Occupational Health at the Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences.She is PI and project manager of two RCTs: WIRUS, focusing on risky alcohol use and sick leave, and NOW WHAT, assessing the effectiveness of a disability prevention program for long term sick listed employees.Wågø Aas’ main research interest is developments and implementation of interventions to promote participation in school and work.

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