Woodward joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1993 and served as chair of the Department of Psychology from 2013-2015. She is currently director of the Infant Learning and Development Laboratoryand serves as chair of the Developmental Program. Woodward has pioneered the development of experimental methods to investigate social cognition in infants and young children, and was a founding member of the Center for Early Childhood Research. Her research has yielded fundamental insights into infants' social understanding and the processes that support conceptual development early in life. Her current work investigates infants' sensitivity to interpersonal social structure, the effects of cultural and community contexts in shaping children's social learning strategies and the neural processes involved in early social-cognitive development. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.