Aoju Chen's research areas include prosody, information structure, language acquisition and language processing. Her recent research focuses on prosodic development in pre-schoolers and school-age children and individual differences in the development. She has led a research group funded by a VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Her research group have investigated how children learn to use prosody to encode focus across languages. Aoju Chen uses both off-line and on-line tasks to investigate individual differences in this aspect of prosodic development and determine possible explanations for the observed differences from a longitudinal perspective. Furthermore, she studies processing of pitch in the brain in infants and adults using MMN and FFR, and processing of the interface between prosody and information structure in adults and children using eye tracking. She also conducts research on acquisition of prosody in a second language. 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 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.