Children and Screens’ Interdisciplinary Research Grants Program provides funding, on a competitive basis, to support cutting-edge scientific research projects that advance our knowledge and understanding of digital media and child development. These research grants are intended to deliver preliminary funds to interdisciplinary, interinstitutional research teams so that they may gain the results necessary to apply and compete for major funding from traditional funding sources.

Open Calls

There are currently no open calls for the Interdisciplinary Research Grants Program. Sign up for our email list (in the footer below) to receive updates on funding opportunities. Questions? Email:

Projects in Progress

Children and Screens Awards $300,000 Grant for Research on Impacts of Parental Phone Use on Social Emotional Development in Early Infancy 

January 11, 2024 – Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development announced a $300,000 grant to a team of experts to address critical gaps in research examining the nuances of parent device use during early infancy and the potential impact of different types and amounts of use in the moment and over time on parents and infants.

The interdisciplinary team of investigators includes: Brandon T. McDaniel, PhD (Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, Parkview Health), Alison K. Ventura, PhD (California Polytechnic State University), Lara N. Wolfers, PhD (University of Amsterdam), Sarah M. Coyne, PhD (Brigham Young University), and Adam M. Galovan, PhD (University of Alberta).

The unique two-year study (called Project EMBRACE – Everyday Mother-Baby Relations and Cellphone Engagement) examines both the short and long term positive and negative effects of parent phone use on infant behavior and outcomes. The researchers plan to follow 150 mothers and infants using a longitudinal ecological momentary assessment design to investigate whether moment-to-moment disruptions in parenting due to phone use—especially if frequent—lead to long-term consequences for infant development. Read the full announcement.

Past Projects

Project Year Amount Investigator(s) 
Use of Advanced Analytics to Understand Brain-Behavior SMA Relationships in ABCD Data  2021-2022 $100,000 Marc Potenza (Yale University) and Yihong Zhao (Columbia University)
Characterizing the Impact of COVID-19 on Screen Media Use in the ABCD Cohort 2020-2021 $99,946 Susan Tapert (University of California) and the National, Multi-Site Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study Team   
Tweens, Screens, and Mental Health Pre- and Post-COVID-19: Are the Kids Alright 2020-2021 $53,764 Sheri Madigan (University of Calgary), Dillon Browne (University of Waterloo), Brae McArthur (University of Calgary), Nicole Racine (University of Calgary), Suzanne Tough (University of Calgary), Sheila McDonald (University of Calgary)  
Media Use and Young Children’s Development  2020-2021 $99,043 Stephanie M. Reich (University of California, Irvine) and Natasha Cabrera (University of Maryland)
The New Norms of Adolescence: Examining Predictors and Consequences of Sexting 2018-2019 $100,000 Jennifer Stevens Aubrey (University of Arizona), Hye Jeong Choi (University of Missouri), Elizabeth Daniels (Colorado State University – Colorado Springs), and Ashton Speno (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville)
Development of a Comprehensive Assessment of Family Media Exposure 2017-2019 $99,993 Rachel Barr (Georgetown University), Deborah Nichols (Purdue University), Sarah Coyne (Brigham Young University), Jenny Radesky (University of Michigan School of Medicine), and Heather Kirkorian (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Parent and Peer Influences on Social Media Use in Early Adolescence: Implications for Psychosocial and Behavioral Health 2017-2018 $100,000 Linda Charmaraman (Wellesley College), Megan Moreno (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Jennifer Grossman (Wellesley College)