A research team at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State is developing a collaborative network that will focus future research on post-9/11 veterans. Known as the VETeran Evaluation and Research Applications Network (VETERANetwork), the network will strive to ensure public and private donations are invested in effective programs and services that support veterans’ and their families’ well-being. The VETERANetwork will act as the applied research and evaluation unit for philanthropies, foundations, and other veteran-serving non-profit organizations. It will address questions and issues related to veterans’ transitions to civilian lives. The network will be hosted by the Clearinghouse with engagement of various partners (e.g., Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the University of Southern California’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, and the Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab).
The VETERANetwork grew out of a joint research effort originally known as The Veterans Metrics Initiative: Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being Study (TVMI Study). This collaborative study launched in April 2015 to examine veterans’ transition and reintegration experiences and to assess the impacts of transition programs that aid veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. Led by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., this project mobilized the scientific expertise of the Clearinghouse, other funders, and several VA researchers to collect multiple waves of data from veterans who discharged in 2016.
In 2020, the Clearinghouse expanded upon the TVMI Study with continued, independent data collection (”wave 7”) and this new research effort is known as the Veterans Engaging in Transition Studies (VETS). This longitudinal study continues to examine veterans’ experiences as they transition from military to civilian life and to explore the components across veteran transition programs that are linked to the following well-being domains: vocation, finances, mental and physical health, and social relationships. In addition, new lines of survey questions focus on the impacts of COVID-19 and the scope and scale of veterans’ higher education debt obligations (funded by the Pew Student Loan Research Project).