She is currently working on research focused on the positive outcomes of youth’s participation in activities as well as the predictors and correlates of high school students’ STEM motivational beliefs. She is PI on grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the National Science Foundation to support positive development from childhood through young adulthood. Simpkins directs the Center for After School and Summer Excellence (CASE) and Project REACH and co-directs the After School Activities Project.
The Frances Degan Horowitz Millennium Scholars Program (MSP), developed in 1999, encourages and supports scholars from under-represented ethnic/racial groups from North America in pursuing graduate work in developmental science. The program changed its name to Towards 2044: Horowitz Early Career Scholar Program in 2021. The updated name identifies the year when the adult population of the United States is estimated to become a diverse majority.