University of Georgia

Clay-Warner named OIBR director

image of University of Georgia faculty member Jody Clay-Warner
Meigs Professor Jody Clay-Warner was named new director of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, effective Aug. 1. (Photo by Jason Thrasher)

UGA’s Office of Research named Jody Clay-Warner the new director of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, effective Aug. 1.

“I am honored to be named the director of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research. OIBR has been an integral part of my experience as a UGA faculty member, and I am deeply committed to its mission,” said Clay-Warner. “I look forward to using my administrative skills to ensure not only that OIBR continues to be a model for grants administration customer service, but also that it responds effectively to new challenges in the increasingly complex world of social and behavioral science research.”

Established in 1970, OIBR is a service unit within the Office of Research. OIBR’s mission is to support innovative social and behavioral sciences research at UGA, with a particular eye toward fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. To fulfill this mission, the Owens Institute offers a variety of grant administration services, including pre- and post-award support. Faculty mentoring is also important to OIBR’s mission. The Grant Development Program fosters faculty career development and supports the UGA pipeline for future excellence by preparing social and behavioral science faculty to compete successfully for extramural funding. In addition, OIBR offers many multidisciplinary, collaborative events and networking. Currently, 171 faculty members are affiliated with the Institute, representing 45 academic units.

“Dr. Clay-Warner brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, and we look forward to working with her to amplify OIBR’s impact,” said Karen Burg, UGA vice president for research. “OIBR helps prepare our faculty to thrive and succeed in a competitive funding environment. Their research, in turn, has potential for tremendous societal benefit.”

Clay-Warner, Meigs Professor of Sociology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received a Ph.D. in sociology from Emory University and has been at UGA since 1998, where she previously served as director of the Criminal Justice Studies Program and as head of the Department of Sociology. She has been involved with OIBR since 2000, when as an assistant professor she participated in the grant mentoring program. In 2019, Clay-Warner was appointed associate director of the Institute.

In addition to her service on many UGA and professional committees, she is currently co-editor-in-chief of Social Psychology Quarterly and chair-elect of the American Sociological Association’s Social Psychology section.

Clay-Warner has been the recipient of many distinguished awards, including the Owens Creative Research Award, the Outstanding Recent Contribution Award from the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotion section, the Southern Sociological Society’s Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award, and the American Society of Criminology’s Outstanding Teaching Award. She is a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology.

Clay-Warner’s research focuses on understanding responses to injustice. She uses laboratory experiments to understand the underlying processes that shape these responses, and she uses survey techniques to study the implications of these basic processes for reactions to real-world experiences of injustice, such as labor exploitation and criminal victimization. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of State.