Applied Curiosity Research conducts applied research in community settings to inform evidence-based decisions for our clients. We founded ACR to pursue our scientific curiosity and lead meaningful research to promote learning, health, and social impact.

Co-founder Gerad O’Shea leads a small team of dynamic and insightful researchers, data analysts, and moderators, supported by expert advisors. Our streamlined structure 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.

  • Gerad O’Shea (Director) brings over 13 years of experience designing and managing rigorous research to develop and evaluate communications, curriculum, interventions, and educational products. Gerad has designed, directed, and executed research to support federal contracts for diverse agencies (e.g. FNS, CDC, FDA, FDIC), as well as evaluations for state agencies (Maryland State Dept. of Education), local communities (e.g. NYC Office of Community Schools), and private clients (e.g. MIT, Nickelodeon).
    Gerad actively contributes to all research projects, applying his 3 years of classroom experience and extensive background as a focus group moderator, qualitative interviewer, and data analyst.

    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.

  • Jennifer Montague is a registered dietitian with 12 years of diverse experience administering, evaluating, and supporting Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). As a Nutritionist for the USDA’s FNS, she helped create nutrition education and training resources to support diverse CNP projects, including: MyPlate Guide for Parents, CACFP Sample Menus, a Multicultural Recipe Resource for Child Care Providers, and an Infant Feeding Guide for Childcare Providers.

    As a food service director she operated CNP programs across 12 schools, including the NSBP, NSLP, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, the Afterschool Snack Program, and SFSP. During this time she partnered with local agencies and farmers on multiple USDA grants, to build a nationally recognized Farm to School program, known for building the capacity for "Beef to School" and cooperative purchasing and processing across multiple school districts in Western Montana. Prior to that, she monitored 60 home child care programs participating in CACFP and provided training on food nutrition topics for child care staff from a variety of programs for a child care resource nonprofit. Jennifer served on Chef Ann's Lunch Box Advisory board, and was an expert panelist for NFSMI, Pew Charitable Trust and Robert Wood Johnson research. 

  • Dr. Cameron Wimpy is a political scientist focusing on political and social science research methods, political economy, and public policy. In his applied work, Dr. Wimpy has focused on making statistical results more accessible to general audiences through effective visualization and communication. Dr. Wimpy has led the design and research for several contracts across government agencies including the DoD and FDA. His published work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Political Science Research and Methods, Social Science Quarterly, and other peer-reviewed and edited volumes. Dr. Wimpy regular teaches courses and workshops on applied statistical techniques for social science research.

  • Surge Employment

    When projects require a large team or specialized expertise, we have the resources and connections necessary to quickly staff a project without impacting deadlines or budgets. We leverage relationships with universities, professional organizations, and other service firms to quickly build our staff with properly skilled and trained employees and contractors.

  • Subject Matter Experts

    Beyond our core advisors and consultants, we maintain relationships with diverse Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) whose unique insights and perspectives strengthen our approach and ensure accurate and relevant results. Our network of SMEs are experts in health communication, professional development, computer science education, 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, child safety, and underage substance use. ACR moderators have experience conducting in-person and virtual interviews with a range of audiences, including parents, children, teachers, youth organization staff, community stakeholders, and Spanish speakers.

  • 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.