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Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center

Started in 2013, the Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center (WERC) is the research arm of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, facilitating faculty and cadet research that enhance warfighter effectiveness.

The WERC conducts a wide range of research and design projects for operational customers including special operations forces, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Air Force Research Laboratory. These projects are based in the behavioral sciences and connect to a wide range of disciplines and collaborators across government labs, academia, industry, and military operators in order to generate the most innovative and effective solutions.

WERC in the News:
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The WERC engages cadets with real-world projects to research and design solutions for current and future operational missions. As cadets work together on these projects, they develop knowledge and skills towards the following outcomes:


  • Scientific Reasoning
  • Respect for Human Dignity
  • Leadership, Teamwork, & Org Dev
  • Decision Making
  • Critical Thinking
  • Warrior Ethos
  • Clear Communication


  • The Human Condition, Culture, & Societies
  • Engineering Methods
  • Socio-cultural, psychological, organizational, and clinical perspectives towards enhancing Respect for Human Dignity (e.g., diversity & inclusiveness, sexual assault prevention, healthy relationships training)
  • Evidence-based research methods in leadership development
  • Responsiveness to operational and policy needs
  • Trans-disciplinary approach to the research and design more effective human-machine teams.
  • Human subjects research
  • Developing cadet critical thinking and scientific reasoning through educational innovation in research projects that matter beyond the classroom
  • Human-machine teaming
  • Social implications for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs)
  • Concussion research
  • Respect for human dignity
  • Evidence-based leadership

The Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center is currently offering a postdoctoral fellowship at the Academy. Find out more

BAA – The U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program offers hands-on exposure to Air Force research challenges through 8- to 12-week research residencies at the WERC for full-time science, mathematics, and engineering faculty at U.S. colleges and universities. You can find more information here.

Windows on Science (WoS) – Foreign scientists are funded to visit U.S. Air Force sites.

CRADA – Agreement by which researchers are able to form partnerships with non-federal entities.

Educational Partnership Agreement – agreement used to loan/donate equipment to educational institutions.

Engineer & Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP) – Provides on-site working assignments for U.S. military and civilian engineers and scientists in allied and friendly governments’ organizations, and the reciprocal assignment of foreign engineers and scientists in U .S. defense establishments.

U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP) – Behavioral Science students (cadets) entering their final/senior year of study participate in 5-6 week undergraduate summer internships funded by host/sponsor.

Memorandum of Agreement – Agreement by which researchers are able to form partnerships with federal entities.

If you are interested in any of the above opportunities, please contact the WERC Director (chad.tossell@usafa.edu).


Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center

Lieutenant Colonel Chad Tossell
(719) 333-3132

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