Ford School research centers

The Ford School is home to or co-sponsor of a number of multi-disciplinary research centers and initiatives that focus on a range of pressing policy concerns, engaged across all levels of governance: local, state, national and international.

Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)

The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) conducts, supports and fosters applied academic research to inform local, state, and urban policy issues. CLOSUP conducts two ongoing survey operations: the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) and the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE), and functions as an information resource for policymakers and practitioners, academics, students, the media, and the public.

CLOSUP works to foster effective communication between academic researchers, stakeholders, and the policymakers dealing with today's state, local, and urban policy problems. The center also facilitates student engagement with today’s critical policy issues through its CLOSUP in the Classroom Initiative, integrating Ford School students as policy analysts in the center's research activities, bringing the center's findings into the classroom, and supporting student internships with organizations focused on state and local policy.

Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies

The Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies is charged with promoting cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research, educational opportunities, and dialogue to improve the design and implementation of public policies in societies that are increasingly complex and diverse locally, nationally, and globally.  The center supports policy relevant research and educational programs that employ the latest social science insights and methodologies to address the challenges, and embrace the opportunities, of diversity.

Education Policy Initiative

The Education Policy Initiative (EPI) is a program within the Ford School that brings together nationally-recognized education policy scholars focused on the generation and dissemination of policy-relevant education research. EPI conducts rigorous, applied, policy-relevant, evidence-based research informed by challenging policy questions that are relevant to education practitioners and are necessary to improve educational outcomes. 

EPI's primary goals include conducting rigorous research to inform education policy debates in Michigan and nationwide; disseminating best practices in education reform to local, state, and national policymakers, as well as to educational practitioners, parents, and students; training graduate students and others to conduct cutting-edge research in education; and facilitating interactions between students and faculty who share an interest in education reform.

International Policy Center 

The International Policy Center supports the faculty and students of the University of Michigan and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in creating new knowledge, fostering considered debate, and developing the policy leaders of tomorrow. The center supports interdisciplinary research, education, policy analysis, and discussion in the areas of prosperity, rights, security, and trade.

The International Policy Center (IPC) was established at the Ford School in the fall of 2005. IPC is devoted to interdisciplinary research and education that advances the learning of Michigan faculty and students and informs policymakers on policy issues arising from an increasingly globalized world. In particular, the goal of IPC’s work is to demonstrate how in an interdependent world well-designed policies of governments and international institutions can improve the welfare of people, especially those in developing nations.

National Poverty Center

The National Poverty Center (NPC) conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, mentors and trains emerging scholars, and informs public discourse on the causes and consequences of poverty. Researchers at the center focus their efforts on understanding the causes of poverty and the impact of policies to alleviate poverty. The center includes researchers from the Ford School and the University's Institute for Social Research; Schools of Business, Education, Medicine, Public Health, and Social Work; and Departments of Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program

The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program is devoted to interdisciplinary research and teaching on the politics and processes of science and technology policymaking. STPP seeks to improve understanding, analysis, and intervention in science and technology policymaking from two perspectives: first, from the perspective of science and technology for policy, examining how science and technology are used to develop and affect public policies in a wide range of domains such as national security, public health, economic competitiveness, and environmental sustainability; and second, from the perspective of policy for science and technology, examining how policies are developed to promote beneficial scientific and technological development at the international, national, state, and local levels, such as the allocation of research funding and regulation of new research and technologies. 

STPP offers a graduate certificate program which is available to any master's or doctoral student throughout the University of Michigan. The program also runs a seminar series which includes talks from leading scholars and policymakers involved in science and technology policy issues. 

Additional Research Centers

Other U-M research units with which the Ford School has regular interaction include the Institute for Social Research, the nation's longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences, and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which has one of the world's largest archives in the social sciences.

Ford School faculty members conduct research in conjunction with numerous other research centers on campus, including: the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, the Office of Tax Policy Research, the International Institute, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured, the William Davidson Institute, the Population Studies Center, and more.