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Elizabeth Snyder-Fickler

Senior Research Scientist, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy; Affiliate Faculty, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative


Liz Snyder is a senior research scientist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy and affiliate faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative. Snyder-Fickler is trained as a research psychologist, with a focus on cognitive development. Her work at the Center for Child and Family Policy includes program evaluation and community-based research, and spans the areas of child welfare, early childhood and elementary education, and children's mental health. Her major research interests include design, implementation and evaluation of interventions, and the use of data to improve practice and policy within these human service settings. Since joining the Center she has led several federally and locally funded evaluations, including:

  • The evaluation of a comprehensive family assessment process to improve child welfare outcomes in Alamance County, N.C. Funded by the Children's Bureau, this grant implemented a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of motivational interviewing and coaching on child welfare outcomes.
  • BECOMING, a SAMHSA-funded System of Care Child Mental Health Initiative serving transition-age youth (16-21) with mental health challenges in Durham, North Carolina.
  • The evaluation of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, which seeks to transform outcomes for children who reside in a 120-block area east of downtown Durham, N.C. by developing a continuum of services and supports from birth through high school graduation and beyond.
  • The evaluation of a system of care infrastructure grant awarded by the Children's Bureau to the North Carolina Division of Social Services. Implemented within Alamance, Bladen, and Mecklenburg counties, the evaluation examined whether an interagency System of Care (SOC) could achieve positive outcomes for children and families involved with child protective services.

Snyder-Fickler has also served as a consultant for grantees of the Oak Foundation Learning Differences program within the areas of capacity building and evaluation. Her work on this project focused on providing technical assistance to grantees to enhance their infrastructure and ensure they have the data needed to perform a strong evaluation.

Prior to coming to the Center, Snyder-Fickler was a post-doctoral fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During that time her research and training experiences involved both the Carolina Interdisciplinary Large-Scale Policy Research Training and the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study.

Research Interests:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Education
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Children's Mental Health