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The Veteran Transitions Research Lab at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is dedicated to producing research that explores the fundamental social and psychological processes influencing veterans’ ability to thrive after service.




Conduct, inspire, and communicate transformative research that seeks to illuminate the unique challenges military veterans face when transitioning to the civilian workforce.

The goal of the VTRL is to conduct and disseminate scientifically rigorous and novel research that can inform recommendations for interventions that would yield improved outcomes for veteran transition success.

The academic social sciences, through applying cutting-edge theory and empirical investigations, have gained tremendous knowledge in understanding the barriers certain social groups – for example, women and African Americans – experience in the workforce. The goal of the VTRL is to help develop comparable, basic literature for veterans.

While there is a large body of research on the clinical and health outcomes that veterans experience, what is missing in the social sciences is research understanding the basic social and psychological processes that influence veterans’ ability to thrive in their post-military occupational lives.


By 2028, the VTRL will have led the creation of this novel area of research. By providing seed funding for researchers from psychology, organizational behavior, and other disciplines to develop programs of research and by matching scholars with leaders of industry and veteran support services.


Researchers supported by the VTRL will develop the study of veterans as a mainstream research pursuit within these fields. Ultimately, impacting how scholars and the public perceive the issues facing veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, and inform social policy. 

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"We should support academic research to help define and explain the real value of veterans in business and to address some of the unconscious bias that can sometimes disadvantage them in the hiring process."

General Martin E. Dempsey, U.S. Army, Retired

Leading the Charge

Our team is comprised of esteemed professors, industry executives, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who have dedicated themselves to the cause. While our backgrounds are diverse our mission is the same. 

Aaron C. Kay PhD


David K. Sherman PhD


Sean Kelley


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I’m grateful to see researchers at top academic institutions help explain why so many veterans are underemployed through the Veteran Transitions Research Lab. We owe it to our women and men who have served our country to do better by them once they leave the military.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski
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