NYUAD Play Lab

Building Early Childhood Science for Abu Dhabi

Join a study. Contribute to science. Help shape social and educational programs and policies.

NYU Abu Dhabi is seeking volunteers and participants of all nationalities for research studies on early childhood development, child behavior, caregiver-child relationships, and so much more.

The aim of NYUAD’s Play Lab is to conduct research to better understand the development of children growing up in Abu Dhabi: what works, what doesn’t, and to what extent.

This research will help us gain important insights into a child’s social and emotional development in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

How do children behave and how do they interact with others? How do they learn best? How can parents and teachers best support children’s development? How do children regulate their emotions? And what influences their development?

I hope it will benefit kids who need support and attention.

Parent Testimonial

Who We’re Looking For

  • Children living in Abu Dhabi
  • and the UAE
  • Ages 0-8
  • All nationalities
  • Fluent in English and/or Arabic

Why Join A Study

  • Contribute to science
  • Play games and have fun
  • Reimbured for your time
  • 100% Confidential
  • 1.5 hours maximum

By participating in a research study you are contributing to a better future for children and families in our community. A little play can do a lot of good for Abu Dhabi.

Antje Von Suchodoletz, Principal Investigator

Why it matters

This research is essential. Currently, most global research on early childhood development is from industrialized, Western-educated countries. Our aim is to change that, providing local entities, nurseries, schools, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations with the findings they need to shape social and educational programs to the unique needs of the people who live here.

Volunteers are crucial. By participating in a study, you’re contributing to a better future for your children and all Abu Dhabi children and families. As a bonus, you get to experience NYU Abu Dhabi’s beautiful campus, learn something new, and be reimbursed for your time.

A Meaningful Experience: What To Expect As A Parent

You may have heard of the Stanford Marshmallow Test — one of the most famous psychological studies of all-time.

The premise was simple. A child received one marshmallow with the promise of a second if they waited to eat it. Some children waited, others didn’t. The children were recorded and observed by researchers from another room. Years later, researchers concluded that the children who waited performed better in school and as adults compared to those who didn’t.

You can expect our studies to be similar — a few easy activities in a comfortable play space. There are no right or wrong answers. Like the Marshmallow Test, we are hopeful this research will provide breakthrough insights into child behaviour. Unlike the Marshmallow Test, however, the recordings will not be made public.

The Process: Support At Every Step

I strongly believe in research and hope families in the UAE will support it.

Parent Testimonial