Photo of the MFRI staff at Grissom

The Mission

Through research and outreach, the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) works closely with collaborators to improve the lives of service members and their families in Indiana and across the country. More than 2 million military service members have been deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, many serving multiple tours in combat zones thousands of miles from home. Their families serve too, managing challenges and opportunities unique to the military lifestyle. At MFRI, we work every day as a "force multiplier" for the support of military families in and beyond Indiana. Our efforts and leadership are helping to enhance our state’s reputation in military circles, and have caused us to be sought out by local, state and national decision makers for advice and collaboration. MFRI is part of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, within the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University.

Five Goals

We are guided by five strategic goals:

  1. Support the military infrastructure that supports families.
  2. Strengthen the motivation and capacity of civilian communities to support military families.
  3. Generate important new knowledge about military families.
  4. Influence policies, programs, and practices supporting military families.
  5. Create and sustain a vibrant learning organization.


MFRI's 2015 Executive Summary will give you insight into our recent efforts. The full 2015 Annual Report is also available. For a copy, please send us an email with your information.

History of MFRI

Located at Purdue University, one of the world’s premiere research universities, MFRI grew out of efforts to support and sustain families. In 1993, Purdue’s Center for Families was established to help improve the quality of life for families. After seven years of working on behalf of families, the Center created MFRI with funding from the Department of Defense (DoD). Our original mission was almost entirely research-based. With funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., the DoD, Sesame Workshop and other partners, we expanded our mission to include outreach and programming.

CFF Overview

Celebrates 15 years together

This year marks MFRI’s 15th anniversary. In April, we were proud to be able to recognize the many individuals responsible for our successes and strengths at special celebration. Please enjoy these photos from the 20/15 Anniversary Gala.