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What we do and who we are

UiS Synapse Lab develops and investigates interventions for promoting motivation and learning in education and work life. Our research contributes to evidence based policymaking and organizational change.

synapse lab illustration

The background

Educators, governments, businesses and other organizations often implement new practices and policies in a desire to increase motivation and learning. However, the organizations do not learn much about the actual effectiveness of these measures. Moreover, organizations often do not build the practices and policies on existing knowledge on what is, in fact, effective.

The researchers in Synapse Lab are at the front of international research on motivation and learning. We are motivated to collaborate with organizations to develop practices and policies based on existing knowledge, and to test effects of these measures in randomized controlled trials.

The vision

Synapse’s vision is to develop and investigate interventions to help people reach their true potential. We want to give people better opportunities to succeed in education and work life. Moreover, we strive to contribute to a better knowledge base for educators, businesses and governments for making good decisions.

To reach this ambitious vison, Synapse collaborates across disciplines and build close partnerships with educators, businesses and government. Synapse stems from the Greek sunapsis, which means to join together or connect. A synapse is the point where a nervous impulse passes between two neurons, making it possible for the neurons to communicate with each other. 

Synapse Lab creates win-win-connections between organizations and researchers. Organizations obtain free professional support from researchers in the development and implementation of new practices and policies, while the researchers obtain valuable access to the field for conducting research at a high international level.

The team

Synapse Lab consists of social science researchers at the University of Stavanger, in addition to collaborating scholars at other universities. The fields of the most active researchers in the Lab are education, economics of education, labor economics, psychology and public health. In most of our research projects, we work across disciplines.

The research

We conduct research on interventions for promoting learning and motivation in education and work life. Organizations obtain free professional support from our researchers in the development and implementation of new practices and policies, while the researchers get access to the field and a large collection of data, which can provide critical scientific insights.

Synapse Lab differs from consultancies in two important ways. Firstly, we do not make a profit on our collaborations. Moreover, we only seek to engage in collaborations that may potentially lead to publication in recognized peer-reviewed international journals within the social sciences.