Research Interests

Development of language and cognition, interrelations between domains of development; typical and atypical development, developmental diagnoses, promotion and intervention; educational psychology and learning


Funded Research Projects and Current Grants

BamBI: Bamberger Baby Institute

The Bamberger Baby Institute is a research unit at the chair of developmental psychology. A special focus is on early child development, specifically the development of language and cognition, their mutual interrelations as well as their relation to socio-emotional development, on influencing variables and how early child development impacts later development. Thereby we study mother-child interaction as well as early child characteristics and the emergence of early competencies in various developmental domains. Longitudinal methods and experimental studies (habituation paradigm, eye-tracking methods, video-taped interactions situations, data from questionnaires and tests etc.) are used to learn more about the mechanisms and impact of early child development.

Further information: BamBI-homepage (in german language)

DICE: The Development of Inequalities in Child Educational Achievement: A Six-Country-Study

(funded by the Open Research Area for the Social Sciences (ORA / DFG))

The aim of the DICE project is to advance our understanding of disparities in child development (i.e., cognitive development, social-emotional development, and health) according to socioeconomic status by using rich cohort and administrative data from six countries. In particular, such questions as how inequalities develop over time (ages 3 to 16), what factors may influence inequalities, and how national context may strengthen or buffer these processes will be investigated.

Further information:

SEED: Social InEquality and its Effects on child Development: A study of birth cohorts in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands

(funded by the EU’s Norface programme with key EU partners and further international collaborators). PI: James Law, England

PIs of the German team: Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert & Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach, Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg; Dr. Jutta von Maurice & Dr. Manja Attig, Leibniz Institute of Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), Bamberg

Marked disparities in early child development (e.g., oral language skills) have opened up even before compulsory schooling begins. These disparities which, for many, persist through childhood and into adulthood, reflect and promote social inequalities. SEED will explore the mechanisms underlying these developments by drawing on the best data from a range of different countries. The project addresses differences (especially social inequalities) in child development (specifically oral language skills and socio-emotional development) and seeks to explore the mechanisms by which this happens. In particular, SEED has two principle objectives: 1. Identifying the mechanisms through which changing social inequalities impact on children’s oral language and socio-emotional development; 2. Identifying the implications that these evolving social disparities have for patterns of performance at school age and beyond – into adolescence and adulthood.

Further information:

BRISE: Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development (joint project)

funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The “Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development” (BRISE) is a longitudinal study investigating the effects of systematically coordinated early childhood intervention on various areas of child development (including cognitive, social, and emotional development).

With a projected total of 1,000 children and families participating, the survey starts shortly before birth and continues until children reach school age. The study focuses on children from socially or culturally disadvantaged families, and will support and evaluate their cognitive and social development from early on. The study seeks to identify the effects of coordinated interventions on early childhood development. The reference group is comprised of children whose families do not take systematic advantage of programs offered in the city of Bremen. In addition, intervention effects will be evaluated by comparing BRISE data with data from the Newborn Cohort Study of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC1) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). To link BRISE to the NEPS is the joint responsibility of the network partners Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg and Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi).

Further information: BRISE

ViVA: Video-Based Validity Analyses of Measures of Early Childhood Competencies and Home Learning Environment (ViVA I and II)

(funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG))

The ViVA project was set up to validate measures assessed within the birth cohort study of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and to enrich the Scientific Use File (SUF) of the NEPS with a special focus on domain-specific competencies and interaction behavior. Main aims of the ViVA I and II project cover: (1) validation of NEPS data, (2) adding further indicators of child characteristics and learning environments to the NEPS SUF, and (3) providing substantive analysis of (domain-specific) competence development in relation to the home and the day-care learning environment. While ViVA I focused on validation and analysis of Waves 1 and 2 of the NEPS data, ViVA II will focus on wave 3, on the home and the external day-care learning environment, and on longitudinal analyses. ViVA I started in 2012; ViVA II started in 2015.

Further information:

BiKSplus: Long-term effects of early global and domain-specific educational experiences and developments: An interdisciplinary longitudinal study

(funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG))

Since 2005 the research group BiKS accompanied almost 4.000 children on their educational process in two longitudinal studies, BiKS-3-10 and BiKS-8-14. Eight projects and an interdisciplinary team worked on exiting topics of competence development, educational choices, and the impact of different learning environments.

Since the beginning of the year 2014 both longitudinal studies are continuing as several DFG-projects under the name of BiKSplus [3-13] and BiKSplus [8-18].

Further information: (in german language)

BiSpra: Academic Language Competencies - Affordances, Language Processing, and Diagnostics

(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))

The scope of this project is to determine educationally relevant linguistic competencies (academic language competencies) in detail, which students need to master in order to be successful in class. Furthermore, a linguistically and psychologically sound test instrument is developed on this basis, which can be used for evaluation and support of school-relevant academic language competencies of students in primary-school. Since 2017 the project “BiSpra-Transfer: Development and validation of a standardized test instrument” is conducted in close cooperation with partners.

Further information: BiSpra Transfer

DFG Priority Programme 1646 on “Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)”

funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

The Priority Programme 1646 "Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)" combines different research projects that are devoted to one or more of the following research topics: (1) studying competence development over the life course, (2) utilizing the NEPS database for other relevant substantive analyses, and/or (3) solving methodological issues relevant to the NEPS. The Priority Programme aims to be a starting point to foster widespread public use of the data and the research opportunities of NEPS. The main programme has been approved for six years and started in 2012. It is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert (University of Bamberg) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Peter Blossfeld (European University Institute, Florence). Overall the SPP comprises 26 projects from five different disciplines funded by the DFG. For more information please visit the website

Coordination and Organization of the DFG Priority Programme 1646 on “Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)”

Principal Investigators: Sabine Weinert (Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg) und Hans-Peter Blossfeld (European University Institute, Florence, Italy)

The aim of the coordinator project is to establish an overarching organizational infrastructure to support the individual projects of the Priority Programme 1646. The main objectives of the coordination project are the organization of conferences, colloquia and workshops to pool synergies between the individual projects as well as promote an interdisciplinary discourse. For young scientists a special program will be offered within two Summer Schools which contain a mix of theoretical courses and methodological workshops.

Further information: Coordination and Organization of the DFG Priority Programme

BEaST: Bilingualism, Executive Function, Working Memory, Language and Theory of Mind

The BEaST study focuses on the development of children growing up with more than one language. On the one hand those children have the advantage of possibly learning two languages in everyday life. In addition, research shows that they seem to have better executive functions (i.e. regulation and control processes) and some report better knowledge of mental states (theory of mind) in these children. On the other hand, sometimes especially children growing up with more than one language seem to lag behind in their language competencies when compared to monolingual children. This also may have negative implications for the children’s educational career.

Against this background, the BEaST study takes a closer look on language and cognitive requirements bilingual children are confronted with. In specific, we investigate how language input on the one hand, and language and cognitive competencies on the other hand contribute to bilingual children’s cognitive and language development.

Further information you will get from Dr. Susanne Ebert and/or Dipl.-Psych. Katharina Mursin.

Bamberg Project Paths for Bund-Länder-Program "Quality Offensive Teacher Education"

The core of the Bamberg Quality Offensive 'Wegweisende Lehrerbildung' (WegE) is the systematic further development of communication and technical cooperation between the sciences, as well as the teacher training and counseling services of the University of Bamberg and school practice.The Department of Developmental Psychology is especially involved in the subprojects(1) Educational science in the network (BilVer), case-related networking of educational science training parts and(2) Profiling of the teaching posts "Vocational Education" in the fields of Social Education and Business Education (BeBi).

Further information:

NEPS: National Educational Panel Study

(2008 - 2013 funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); since 2014 the NEPS is carried out by the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) at the University of Bamberg)

The NEPS is run by an interdisciplinary network led by Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach. The target activity of the NEPS is to collect longitudinal data on the development of competencies, educational processes, educational decisions, and returns to education in formal, nonformal, and informal contexts throughout the life span. As soon as possible, all NEPS data will be made available to the national and international scientific community in the form of a so-called anonymous Scientific Use File. This will provide a rich source of potential analyses for the various disciplines (such as demographics, educational science, economics, psychology, sociology) concerned with educational and training processes, and it will provide the basis for major improvements in educational reporting and the provision of expert advice for policy makers in Germany.

Further information:

FISS: Research Initiative on Language Diagnoses and Language Promotion

(funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF))

The aim of the “research initiative on language diagnosis and language promotion“ (FISS) is to compile empirically-based knowledge of appropriation, diagnosis and support of children’s and young people’s language competencies with particular focus on the specific language requirements in educational institutions. Within the research initiative, empirical research projects are supported, which involve language acquisition, diagnosis-based language development of children and young people (4-16 years), who has no substantively affected language learning skills. The focus is the acquisition, determination and support of native or nonnative children’s German language competencies.

The research initiative was interdisciplinary until July 2012 (Sabine Weinert, Bamberg, and Angelika Redder, Hamburg). Since August 2012, it is exclusively linguistical (supervised by Prof. Dr. A. Redder).

Further information: (in german language)

Former Research Projects

Here you can find a selection of our former research projects in german language.