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EDRA CORE - Certificate of Research Excellence


APPLY NOW to become CORE certified! Deadline for submission is November 2, 2020.

Download the 2021 CORE Application Brochure

About CORE

The Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) is a professional certification that recognizes and celebrates exceptional, rigorous, innovative and impactful practice-based environmental design research studies. CORE affords design research professionals in any industry sector the opportunity to be at the forefront of environmental design research, showcase the proficiency of their work, provide lasting value to clients, and advance the industry with rigorous and impactful design research.

Applications to CORE undergo a rigorous, double-blind review by an interdisciplinary panel of experts. Evaluations are based on two main dimensions: (1) Research Rigor—the use of recognized research approaches (in research design, tools, and data collection) to produce valid results (including in data analysis and interpretation of findings); and (2) Research Impact—pushing the boundaries of practice through impact on stakeholders and the design industry.

CORE Committee Members

Amin Mojtahedi, PhD (he/him/his), Chair
Design Strategist
HGA Architects and Engineers

CORE Frequently Asked Questions


Certification Requirements

To apply for CORE certification, the design research study must have:

  • Been applied to or based on a real-world design project(s) or ongoing design effort;

  • Considered the relationship between identified human and environmental variables;

  • Included an interdisciplinary team of designers and researchers;

  • been completed in full (data collection/analysis, findings, documentation, and dissemination) within the last three years

    Note: We highly encourage studies to go through the process of review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) if they involve human subjects. If the study involves human subjects, but IRB review is not sought and/or obtained for the study, then we ask the applicant(s) to provide a rationale for why the IRB process was not included in the research protocol.


Key Dates for 2021 CORE Applicants

September 2, 2020
2021 CORE online application portal opens
November 2, 2020
Deadline to apply – 2021 CORE online application portal closes
March 2021
Results notifications sent to applicants
April 2021
2021 CORE certified studies and panel of reviewers announced
MAY 19-22, 2021 


2021 CORE Application Brochure


Past CORE Certification Recipients

View 2020 CORE Recipients

View 2019 CORE Recipients

View 2018 CORE Recipients

View 2017 CORE Recipients

View 2016 CORE Recipients