Center for Integrated Latent Variable Research (CILVR)

CILVR is a center whose goal is to serve as a national and international focal point for innovative collaboration, state-of-the-art training, and scholarly dissemination as they relate to the full spectrum of latent variable statistical methods.

CILVR is housed within the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation (EDMS) program in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. EDMS faculty are recognized scholars in various facets of latent variable statistical models, whether it be item response theory, latent class analysis, mixture models, latent growth models, or structural equation modeling. EDMS is also unique in its geographic location, situated along the East Coast of the United States near the nation's capital, centrally located for scholars from the US and Europe, and a short distance from some of the world's top latent variable scholars working in academia, government, and applied research settings. Thus, EDMS is well positioned in its composition and its location to serve as a focal point for integrated latent variable research.

Collaboration   CILVR serves as the primary administrative unit within which EDMS, inter-departmental, and inter-institutional funding endeavors are housed for latent variable projects. In all cases, EDMS faculty serve as Principal Investigators or Co-Principal Investigators with scholars from other departments or institutions. The research funded through CILVR seeks to enhance understanding of, application of, and relations among various latent variable methods, benefiting a host of disciplines within and outside education and the social sciences in general. Funding also allows for state-of-the-art training and highly visible dissemination.

Dissemination   CILVR hosts occasional conferences on advances in latent variable research methods and modeling methodology more broadly, in which scholars from a variety of disciplines and settings come to College Park to present leading latent variable / modeling work. This includes joint efforts funded under the auspices of CILVR, or other relevant endeavors at College Park or affiliated institutions. Conference presentations are always intended to be clear and didactic in style, thus serving students, faculty, and researchers from both methodological and applied arenas. Papers from the 2006, 2010, and 2016 conferences have yielded highly useful edited volumes. Stay tuned for whatever exciting event is coming in 2020!

Training   Research funding channeled through CILVR supports the appointment of CILVR Fellows, doctoral students dedicated to working on center-related latent variable research projects, as well as on CILVR administration such as grant renewal, site management, and dissemination coordination. CILVR may also award CILVR Summer Fellowships, where methodology graduate students from other institutions come to College Park for a portion of the summer to work with resident scholars. CILVR Post-Doctoral Fellowships also may be created to provide more long-term collaboration between emerging researchers and resident scholars; such research experience can be complemented with graduate level teaching experience within the EDMS program for Fellows interested in academic careers.