The Institute for Policy & Social Research was established in 2000 as the Policy Research Institute. PRI became IPSR in August, 2006. IPSR brings together social scientists from a broad range of disciplines to pursue and conduct sponsored research at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels. IPSR affiliated faculty represent disciplines such as economics, education, environmental studies, geography, political science, public administration, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning.

IPSR has five research centers: the Center for Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, the Center for Environmental Policy, the Center for International Political Analysis, and the Center for Research on Global Change. In addition, the Institute currently has one workgroup, Law, Society, and Global Justice. The research centers and workgroup(s) foster collaborative projects among faculty with similar research interests.

IPSR’s grant development staff assists researchers with all stages of proposal development, beginning with identifying potential funding sources, developing and refining the proposal, preparing the budget, and finalizing the proposal for submission. Once awarded, IPSR assists with award administration. IPSR research is funded by the federal government, private foundations, corporations, and state and local governments.

Other IPSR research services include computing and data services, publications, and conference and workshop planning.

Research Centers

Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy (CSTEP)
State and local economic development, economic impact analysis, economic modeling, and tax research are the major areas of emphasis for C-STEP. C-STEP includes the KU Entrepreneurship Works for KS Initiative and the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC).

KU Entrepreneurship Works for KS Initiative
The KU Entrepreneurship Works for KS Initiative is a joint project by the KU Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and the Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas. It is funded by a University Center Program grant from the Economic Development Administration with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC)
Social science, science and education researchers from four major research universities - Kansas State University (KSU), University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and the University of Kansas (KU) - have begun to collaborate with many different school districts in the Kansas City metropolitan area to form an educational research consortium for the study and improvement of student achievement across the region.
Center for International Political Analysis (CIPA)
A collaborative effort with the Department of Political Science, CIPA supports international research that is outside the boundaries of traditional centers or in areas of the world not covered by other university programs.
Center for Environmental Policy
Engaging in the social sciences, engineering studies, and legal studies, this center examines various dimensions of environmental policy.
Center for Research on Global Change
Exploring and understanding the social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of global change is the focus of the Center for Research on Global Change which supports projects that foster collaborations among social scientists and connect them with their colleagues in the humanities, natural sciences, arts, engineering, and professional schools.
IGERT C-CHANGE: Climate Change, Humans, and Nature in the Global Environment
Climate change and its impact on the planet’s biological, ecological, and social systems has been identified as one of the “grand challenges” of the 21st century by the National Academies of Science.  The KU C-CHANGE program creates collaborative classroom and field research experiences to examine the human and natural causes and consequences of climate change by bringing together students and faculty in the social and natural sciences and engineering.  Our goal is to advance scientific knowledge about global climate change by connecting researchers, disciplines, and institutions.
Indigenous Geographies Research Center
The Indigenous Geographies Research Center studies the continually unfolding relationship between Indigenous peoples and their environment through collaborative research efforts exploring topics related to land and resource management, the impacts of global climate change, the political struggles over places and landscapes, and the exercise of self-determination by Indigenous communities. Understanding Indigenous peoples’ geographical knowledge aids academic research by resituating the human in ecological terms and the non-human in ethical terms. The Center works in collaboration with three international centers including; Te Whare Kura: Indigenous Knowledges, Peoples and Identities at the University of Auckland, New Zealand; the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion at Macquarie University, Australia; and, with the Canada Research Chair in Identity and Diversity: The Aboriginal Experience at the University of Winnipeg, and in partnership with Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center) and KU’s Department of Geography.

Research Workgroups

Law, Society, and Global Justice
This research group, including faculty from Political Science and Public Administration, studies the role of law in the administrative and policy process.
IPSR Scholars
These faculty members who obtain Institute support and assistance for their research endeavors, are actively engaged in research that complements IPSR's research goals.

Grant Support

IPSR's grant support office provides assistance to faculty applying for external funding in social science or other policy related fields. Services include assistance identifying prospective funding sources, proposal submission, and administration of funded projects. Learn more about the grant support office.

Public Service

Business & Industry Data Center
IPSR is the Business & Industry Data Center (BIDC) lead agency for Kansas. The BIDC program is an expansion of the State Data Center (SDC) partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. The BIDC program is a means to increase public awareness of economic data and to make wider use of these data.
Information Center
As a coordinating agency of the Kansas state data center, IPSR provides assistance in locating, interpreting, analyzing, and visualizing demographic and socio-economic data for researchers, faculty, and others.
Conferences and Workshops
IPSR hosts the annual Economic Policy Conference, the annual Community Economic Development Conference, and other seminars and workshops.


Kansas Statistical Abstract (KSA)
The KSA is the primary resource document for Kansas Statistics and is updated annually.

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