The Institute for Policy & Social Research is a faculty-driven research center supporting social scientists who focus on social problems and policy-relevant questions. IPSR fosters independent researchers and collaborative teams within our network of faculty affiliates and seven interdisciplinary research centers.

What's New

KU Study Indicates Link Between Kansas Welfare Restrictions, Foster Care Case Increase

A University of Kansas study supports the suspicions of lawmakers and advocates who believe there's a link between additional restrictions on welfare benefits and an increase in foster care cases.

Emily Rauscher, Department of Sociology, has been named a finalist for the 2018 William T. Grant Scholars Program.

Emily is one of 10 early career researchers selected by staff and selection committee for the award. The finalists will be interviewed in February 2018. Scholars will be announced in March. Each Scholar will receive $350,000 over a five-year period and will participate in annual meetings.

DCF: No link between welfare reform, rising foster care numbers; researchers say otherwise

KU economics professor Donna Ginther, who is director of the Center for Science Technology and Economic Policy, and Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, an associate professor in KU's School of Social Welfare, recently completed a national study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looked at the impact such laws have on the social safety net system in the United States.

Please visit IPSR's News page for more.

Research Spotlight

The Association of Public Data Users has announced that Dr. Terri Friedline, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare at The University of Kansas and Faculty Director at the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion, has received a 2017 APDU Data Viz Award for exceptional analysis and visualization of public data. Friedline, along with her collaborators Mathieu Despard from the Center for Community Capital, Justin King and Kirk Jackson from New America, and Xan Wedel from the Institute for Policy & Social Research (IPSR), are recognized for their work developing the interactive web platform called Mapping Financial Opportunity (#MapFinOpp).

Mapping Financial Opportunity maps every bank, credit union, and alternative financial service across the US and examines trends in their locations relative to community racial and socioeconomic demographics. You can view the interactive map of where financial services are located and the ratio of alternative to mainstream financial services. By zooming in to the census tract level, you can also discover whether and how alternative financial services like payday lenders and check cashers concentrate in communities of color and lower-income communities.

Dr. Friedline will accept the award and present Mapping Financial Opportunity (#MapFinOpp) on behalf of her collaborators at the Association of Public Data Users' national conference in Arlington, Virginia on September 14, 2017.

Mapping Financial Opportunity was financially supported by a grant from MetLife Foundation to The University of Kansas. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, please visit

Kansas Statistical Abstract 2015   
The 51st Edition of the Kansas Statistical Abstract is now available! The abstract is available EXCLUSIVELY online as a PDF file with individual pages available in Microsoft Excel and PDF. For more information and access to the data, please visit

The Kansas Statistical Abstract was featured in a radio spot on the Jayhawk Radio Network, tune in or click the button below to play the clip now:

Recent Events

2017 Kansas Economic Policy Conference

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Visit the conference site for more information.

2017 GIS Day @ KU
November 15, 2017

GIS Day 2017 @ KU

GIS Day is a nationwide event to promote awareness and appreciation of geographic information system (GIS) science. Please join us in exploring how GIS is changing the way we interact with and learn from information about the world around us. This event is free and open to the public, please register online at:

Recent Publications

Maynard-Moody, Steven with Charles Epp and Donald Haider-Markel,“Beyond Profiling: The Institutional Sources of Racial Disparities in Policing,” Public Administration Review (forthcoming).

Maynard-Moody, Steven, “Punishing the Poor.” Book review essay, Social Service Review, vol. 90, no. 4 (Dec 2016).

Maynard-Moody, Steven with Michael Musheno, “'Playing the Rules’: Discretion Social and Policy Context”. In Peter Hupe, Michael Hill, and Aurélien Buffat, eds., Understanding Street-Level Bureaucrats (Bristol, UK: The Policy Press, 2016).

Schwarz, Corinne, Erik Unruh, Katie Cronin, Sarah Evans-Simpson, Hannah Britton, and Megha Ramaswamy. “Human Trafficking Identification and Service Provision in the Medical and Social Service Sectors.” 2016. Health and Human Rights Journal 18(1): 181-191.

Ginther, Donna K., Pat Oslund, Genna Hurd, and Xan Wedel. The Status of Women in Kansas and the Bi-State Region, sponsored by The Women's Foundation, February 2016.

Schwarz, Corinne and Hannah Britton. “Queering the Support for Trafficked Persons: LGBTQ Communities and Human Trafficking in the Heartland.” 2015. Social Inclusion 3(1): 63-75.

Weller, Travis and Allison C. Reeve. "Empirical Legal Research Support Services: A Survey of Academic Law Libraries", Law Library Journal, 107:3, 2015

Weller, Travis and Amalia Monroe-Gulick. "Differences in the Data Practices, Challenges, and Future Needs of Graduate Students and Faculty Members", Journal of eScience Librarianship, 4:1, 2015, DOI: 10.7191/jeslib.2015.1070

For other publications please visit our Publications Page.

IPSR events
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
IPSR is a Green Office