Nicole L. Waters, Ph.D., is a Principal Court Research Consultant with the Research Division of the National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, Va., where she has worked since 2000. Current work at the Center includes investigating the evidence-based research on problem-solving courts, examining the policy and social implications of jury procedures,and evaluating issues of civil justice at both the trial court and appellate court levels.
Dr. Waters has taught courses in research and evaluation methods designed for court administrators, court managers, and judges and serves on the advisory board of NCSC’s educational division, the Institute for Court Management. She has co-sponsored numerous educational seminars for judges on topics related to science and the courts. In addition, Dr. Waters has taught Research Methodology, as well as Criminology, at The College of William and Mary and courses in Legal Studies at the University of Delaware.
She has been the recipient of numerous grants, including two grants that explore mental health courts - one models communication structures between treatment providers and the courts and the other to develop performance measures. She is currently directing a grant to create a census of problem-solving courts nationwide. Dr. Waters also received three grants from the Civil Justice Survey of State Courts series which compile data on civil trials and appeals representing courts across the nation. Similarly, she is the recipient of a grant to explore criminal appeals in all 143 state appellate courts.
Dr. Waters holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a specialization in law and society and research methodology/statistics from the University of Delaware. She received a M.A. in general experimental psychology from California State University in Fresno and a B.A. in psychology and statistics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.