Applied Curiosity Research is a small business that conducts applied research in community settings to inform evidence-based decisions for our clients. ACR was founded by experienced and dedicated researchers Jessica Nguyen and Gerad O’Shea to pursue our scientific curiosity while doing work that promotes learning, health, and social good. Jessica and Gerad are core contributors to every project, supported by a small team of dynamic and insightful researchers, data analysts, moderators, and content experts. This consistency affords efficient project management, communication, and collaboration by ensuring all team members are deeply knowledgeable of projects from the proposal phase to the final deliverable.

  • Jessica Nguyen is the co-founder and accounts director at Applied Curiosity Research. Jessica has ten years’ experience managing and conducting multi-method research projects in over 100 community settings with over 2,000 participants for such clients as FDA, CDC, NY State Education Department, and NYC DOE. Jessica collaborates with research team members, clients, and subcontractors to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.

    Jessica has robust experience with all aspects of research, from managing the project budget and overseeing recruitment efforts to conducting qualitative research and contributing to analysis and reporting. Over the years Jessica has developed unique community outreach methods utilized to recruit participants from authentic settings, avoiding the use of research facilities and over-researched participants. Her deep understanding of community settings across rural, urban and suburban America has ensured all of ACR’s research projects are culturally relevant and completed with the utmost respect for our research participants.

    Jessica received her Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. During her time at Harvard, Jessica worked as an assistant preschool teacher while studying how to promote children’s social emotional development through formal and informal educational settings, a topic she is particularly curious about.

  • Gerad O’Shea is the co-founder and Research Director at ACR. He brings over 10 years of experience designing and executing rigorous research to develop and evaluate communications, curriculum, interventions, and educational products. Gerad has designed, directed, and executed research to support 15 federal contracts for diverse agencies (e.g. FNS, CDC, FDA, FDIC), as well as evaluations for state agencies (NY State Dept. of Education), local communities (e.g. Bridgeport Board of Education, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene), and private clients (e.g. MIT, Nickelodeon).

    Gerad remains an active contributor to all research projects, applying his 3 years of classroom experience and extensive background as a focus group moderator, qualitative interviewer, and data analyst to all research projects. Gerad was formerly the Statistics Coordinator and Research Director at the Michael Cohen Group, a Senior Data Analyst at the Child & Family Policy Center at NYU, and Assistant Band Director at the Boston Arts Academy. He received a BM in Music Education from Berklee College of Music and an M.A. in Applied Psychology from New York University. Gerad still calls himself a musician, and remains curious about exploring the link between formal music education and systems thinking, the learning potential of role playing games, and youth civic engagement.

  • Subject Matter Experts

    ACR has a team of Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) whose unique insights and perspectives strengthen our approach and ensure our analysis and recommendations are accurate and relevant. Our SME’s have backgrounds in health and nutrition, public health, professional development,distance and e-learning, K-12 education, science education, and financial literacy.

  • Versatile Moderators

    Our diverse team of moderators is experienced in discussing a vast array of topics, including particularly sensitive subjects such as food security, disciplining children, and financial literacy. ACR moderators have experience conducting interviews with a range of audiences, including parents, children, teachers, community stakeholders, and Spanish speakers.

  • Surge Employment

    Needs When a project requires a large team, we have the resources and connections necessary to quickly staff a project without impacting deadlines or budgets. We utilize relations with local universities, professional organizations, and other research teams to quickly build our staff with properly skilled and trained employees and contractors.

  • Content Development Partner

    ACR brings the highest level of strategic thought, confidence, and professionalism to all projects. ACR has often been required to meet tight deadlines and manage multi-level client approval processes. They always deliver on time and without cutting corners, while managing expectations along the way.

  • Client, City Agency

    ACR takes the time to understand what I’m looking to learn from each evaluation, and they design and revise their methods to answer my specific questions. As a result, their research captures meaningful data and evidence of impact, and their analysis and recommendations directly relate to my programs. Their work has directly influenced programmatic decisions and policy.

  • Client, Higher Ed

    ACR’s knowledge, insight and understanding of our goals helped to foster a very collaborative working relationship. ACR’s team members became an invaluable part of my project team.

We’ve successfully partnered with other organizations on federal, state, and private sector contracts, and we’re always looking for new partners.