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)

EarlyMath: Mathematical Development and the Impact of Interaction Quality in early Childcare

How the different facets of early interaction quality in preschools affect the development of mathematical competences of children from the age of two is the main question of the EarlyMath project. Within the project, global and mathematical interactional behavior of preschool teacher is promoted through various interventions. In order to be able to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the interventions, their effects will be comparatively investigated. The project will be a collaborative project between the German Youth Institute (DJI) and the University of Bamberg.

Further information you can find here.

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

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

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

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:

ViVAplus: Impact of early childcare arrangements and the home-learning environment on child development

(funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG))

The ViVAplus project aims conducting the developmental impacts of the quality of the home-learning environment (HLE) and the quantity and quality of early institutional and family childcare (ECEC), thereby considering various domain-general and domain-specific cognitive as well as socioemotional outcomes in later kindergarten age. It will draw on data from the NEPS infant cohort study and the ViVA-project with a focus on longitudinal analyses across early childhood up to Wave 6. The main aims of the ViVAplus project are: (1) to describe the actual care arrangements of the representative sample of children growing up under the changing conditions of early childhood and care in Germany (2) to generate various comprehensive indicators that set the stage for the analyses to be conducted in ViVAplus (3) to investigate the impact of HLE and ECEC on child development; and (4) to study the interactions between HLE, ECEC, and child characteristics.

Further information:

BiKSplus_3-18: Long-term meaning of early developments and educational experiences in kindergarten and family for educational and life success of young adults aged 18 years

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

Since 2005 (funded by the Geman Research Foundation) 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.

Between 2014 and 2018 both longitudinal studies were continuing as several DFG-projects under the name of BiKSplus [3-13] and BiKSplus [8-18]. Further information: (in german language)

Since 2019 the project is continuing (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The aim of the new study BiKSplus_3-18 is to highlight the long-term importance of the quality of early childhood education in preschool and family and of early childhood competence development for educational and life success in early adulthood and to gain more insights into possible explanatory mechanisms (e.g., accumulation of learning experiences over the lifespan) in this context. In order to investigate this question, those parents and their children, who have so far taken part in previous data collection points, are again asked to participate in this study.

Further information you can find here.

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:

Former Research Projects

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