The aim of the institute is to play a prominent role in the national and international research community.
The institute was evaluated in 2007 by the research review committee, an independent body that assesses the quality of the research at Dutch universities. According to the committee, the research is of excellent quality, by both national and international standards.
Some of the institute's research, particularly that on the neurological and biological aspects of upbringing and development, is unique in the Netherlands. The institute also carries out interdisciplinary research on multicultural dimensions of education and bringing up children. This is done within the Rommert Casimir Institute.
The institute's research programmes cover three distinct fields: