Aoju Chen's research areas include phonology, prosody in discourse, language acquisition and language processing. She has led a research group funded by a VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Her research group investigated how children learn to use prosody to encode focus across languages. Her current research focuses on internal structure of categories in different phonological domains, individual differences in phonological competence of adults and children, effect of training on acquisition of L2 phonology, processing of the prosody-semantics interface in L1 and L2, and the role of language and communication in development of belonging. Aoju Chen uses behavioural, eye tracking and neuroimaging methods in her research. In addition, she is interested in research on the relationship between language development and other aspects of child development, such as morality and sports.
Aoju Chen is currently an associate professor in English linguistics (Phonology and Language Acquisition) at Utrecht University, a principle investigator in Utrecht University's strategic theme 'Dynamics of Youth', and a principle investigator in Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences – Master Program in Neuroscience & Cognition.