Research & Innovation

The Pardee RAND Graduate School is unique in offering a doctoral program in policy analysis within an applied policy research setting and focus on innovative analytic methods. RAND provides an environment ideally suited to educating graduate students in policy analysis, offering a range of research opportunities in policy analysis that is unmatched by any other institution. Through our required research fellowships, the Pardee RAND curriculum enables students to participate in current RAND research projects in a range of policy and analytic areas.

Analytic Methods Centers

Drawing on the expertise of more than 1,000 world-class researchers, faculty, and students, the Methods Centers at Pardee RAND organize our diverse base of expertise around a set of interlocking and leading-edge analytic domains to create the next generation of research methods and tools.

Policy Research Areas

As part of RAND Corporation, students have the opportunity — and in fact are required — to conduct policy research as part of RAND research teams. Our policy research areas include health, education, and wellbeing; defense and security; global issues; and much more.

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    Children, Families, and Communities

    Pardee RAND students and faculty help provide solutions to the social welfare and economic challenges faced by children and families, vulnerable populations, and historically marginalized communities. RAND’s work in this area, including the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy and the Center on Housing and Homelessness, aims to understand why people make the decisions they do and how individuals and communities can increase their resilience.

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    Education, Labor, and Workforce Development

    From remote learning to classroom equity to local workforce training initiatives, Pardee RAND students explore a wide range of education and labor policy issues. RAND research has examined educational systems and school-to-work pipelines for almost five decades. Students have coauthored research on topics from early childhood education to postsecondary education, as well as educator effectiveness, instructional technology, employment outcomes, and retirement.

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    Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure

    Students interested in energy, infrastructure, and the environment contribute in a variety of ways to RAND research both within the U.S. and around the globe. Through the Cazier Initiative and several RAND programs and centers, students have supported research on green infrastructure, stormwater management, transportation and energy policy, the valuation of ecosystem services, and community resilience and emergency response.

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    Global Development

    Implementing solutions for global socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation is a daunting challenge. Through the Pardee Initiative as well as RAND International, students and RAND researchers conduct extensive work in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America. They explore global human development efforts like youth unemployment, migration, the effects of climate change on developing countries, and improving governance.

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    Health and Health Care

    Pardee RAND students contribute to RAND’s portfolio of research on health and health care in the U.S. and around the globe. Recent topics include responding to and mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, allocating limited health care resources, reducing hospital spending, and evaluating health care reform options and payment systems. Students work in areas such as public health, disability, aging, and mental and behavioral health, and many also develop expertise in health economics and outcomes research.

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    Justice and Equity

    How do we create a justice system that is fairer, more efficient, and more effective? Civil, criminal, and social justice policies affect populations at all levels, and student research is similarly wide-ranging. From work on the impacts of drug policies like marijuana legalization, to analysis of the ways that technology can impact policing and public safety — among many other topics — Pardee RAND students and faculty have a strong presence in the policy debate.

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    Security and Defense

    The RAND Corporation helped create the field of defense analysis after World War II. Today, Pardee RAND students and their RAND research mentors carry on this tradition, advising the U.S. national security establishment and its allies and partners on domestic and international security, emergency management, counterterrorism, and topics such as military strategy and policy, technology and acquisition, logistics, and workforce development and health.

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    Technology, Innovation, and Data Science

    From big data analysis and blockchain to STEM education and cyber security, the exploration of policies that affect innovation and emerging technology is a popular focus at Pardee RAND. Students frequently make substantive contributions through RAND research projects, experiential learning in the Tech + Narrative Lab, and their own dissertation research. Pardee RAND is also a founding partner in the Public Interest Technology University Network.

Featured Initiatives

  • Pardee Initiative Offers Bold Ideas for Global Human Progress

    Launched in December 2013 with a generous grant from Frederick S. Pardee, the Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress is a new approach to chronic problems faced by the developing world, most notably food insecurity and challenges of urbanization.

  • Cazier Initiative for Energy and Environmental Sustainability

    The Cazier Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative is turbocharging research in environmental and energy sustainability at Pardee RAND to generate new concepts, tools, and methods to improve public policy and the commercial sector.

  • Student-Led Initiatives

    Pardee RAND encourages students to extend their policy analysis training outside of the classroom, through the International Development Speaker Series, the L.A. Policy Symposium, and other student-led initiatives.

  • James Q. Wilson Collection: A Research Archive

    The James Q. Wilson Collection includes nearly 1,400 books from his personal collection and an archival collection of approximately 20 linear feet of papers that RAND Knowledge Services has cataloged for the benefit of the research community. A finding aid is available to help researchers explore the collection.