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About IPSR


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 six research centers: the Center for Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, the Center for Environmental Policy, the Center for the Study of Injustice, the Center for Research on Global Change, the Indigenous Geographies Research Center, and the Surveillance Studies Research Center. 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.

View IPSR Organizational Chart (PDF)

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 the Study of Injustice (CSI)
The Center for the Study of Injustice is an interdisciplinary research center that brings together faculty and students from across KU interested in domestic and international research related to social justice. The Center is dedicated to assisting faculty develop new and existing research programs through grant writing and intellectual exchange. CSI brings together faculty, students, staff, and members of the local community to collaborate on research, teaching, and community-based projects. While the direction of CSI is based on the individual interests of affiliated faculty within IPSR, there are several key initiatives the Center is developing:

Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative
The Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (ASHTI) is working to find solutions to trafficking and exploitation transnationally. ASHTI, which means peace, is a working group of faculty and students at The University of Kansas. We are developing individual and collaborative research projects to understand the components of human trafficking in the US and in our international field sites. We are interested in the patterns of both contemporary and historical slavery and how they can inform each other.
Work Group on Qualitative Research
The KU Work Group on Qualitative Research is an interdisciplinary consortium among KU faculty that investigates commonalities in qualitative research methods. Housed within the Center for the Study of Injustice at IPSR, the work group brings together faculty members from across KU that teach qualitative methods at the graduate level and that use qualitative methods in their own research.
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.
Surveillance Studies Research Center
The mission of the Surveillance Studies Research Center (SSRC) is to facilitate scholarship and collaborative partnerships in the study of contemporary forms of surveillance, social monitoring, and data gathering. Surveillance Studies is a burgeoning, global, interdisciplinary field that is producing new and important theoretical and empirical understandings of human behavior. The only Center of its kind in the United States, the SSRC seeks to address one of society’s grand challenges for the 21st century.

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.
Doctoral Research Fellows
In the fall of 2013, the Institute for Policy & Social Research initiated the IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows Program. The program will help develop the next generation of KU interdisciplinary social science scholars by providing a select group of graduate students with training and support in interdisciplinary social science research skills and by creating a community of graduate students across the social sciences to support each other at KU and in the future.

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 at:

Data Services

IPSR is a repository for Kansas data and a hub of interdisciplinary policy and social research. Staff are available to assist affiliated faculty and student researchers with locating public data, data collection, data management, data documentation, data visualization, and data dissemination. Read more about the services available to KU faculty and students at:

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.
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 comprehensive data compendium on Kansas and is updated annually. The KSA contains the latest available state, county, and city-level data for Kansas on population, vital statistics and health, housing, education, business and manufacturing, exports, employment, income, finance, state and local government, crime, recreation, communications, transportation, agriculture, climate, and energy and natural resources.

For More Information

If you would like more information about the Institute for Policy & Social Research and its products and services please call or write:
Information Manager
Institute for Policy & Social Research
1541 Lilac Lane
607 Blake Hall
The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-3129
Phone: 785-864-3701
Fax: 785-864-3683

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, retaliation, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and is the University’s Title IX Coordinator: the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.