Academic Components and Schedule for the Faculty Leaders Program

Program alumni return to speak with faculty leaders

Program alumni return to speak with faculty leaders

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

The Faculty Leaders Program is intended to offer participants a practical overview of policy research and analysis, an introduction to current RAND research, and an opportunity to engage with RAND researchers. While in Santa Monica, participants will

  • have 3-4 hours of instruction per day in the tools of policy research and analysis
    • Introduction to Policy Analysis
    • Research Design
    • Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis
    • Phases of Public Policymaking
  • will work through a policy analysis project with the support of Pardee RAND faculty as well as their peers
  • have ample opportunity to interact with RAND research staff, Pardee RAND's doctoral fellows, and other participating faculty through one-on-one meetings, presentations, and other networking activities.

Sample Workshop Agenda

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9-9:30 am
Welcome to Pardee RAND
Research Design
Quantitative Methods in Policy Analysis
Phases of Public Policymaking
9-10 am
Breakfast with Instructors and Staff
Introduction to Policy Analysis
Group Work: Evaluating Your Policy Project
noon-1 pm
Welcome Lunch
noon-1 pm
Lunch with Staff and Researchers
noon-1:30 pm
"Take a RAND Policy Researcher to Lunch"
noon-1 pm
Lunch with Program Alumni
noon-1 pm
Lunch with Gary Cecchine of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute
1-2:30 pm
Morning Session (cont'd)
1-3 pm
Recap of Morning Session/Individual Projects
1:30-3 pm
Group Discussion/Recap of Morning Session
1-3 pm
Group Discussion/Recap of Morning Session
1-3 pm
Group Work: Implementing your Research
2:30-3 pm
Group Photos
3-4 pm
Introduction to RAND and Pardee RAND Graduate School
3-4 pm
Understanding the Discipline of Public Policy Analysis
3-4 pm
Activity: Bringing Policy Research Into Your Classroom
3-4 pm
"Community Research in Action"
3 pm (approx)
Program Ends/Attendees Dismissed
4-5 pm
Art and Architectural Tour of RAND
4 pm —
Evening Free Time
4-6 pm
Keynote Event and Reception
4 pm —
Evening Free Time/Optional Evening Activity: Free Concert at the Santa Monica Pier
6-8 pm
Welcome Dinner in Santa Monica
6 pm —
Evening Free Time

Academic Content

“The statistics refresher was excellent!”

The Program contains challenging academic content that participants are able to apply to their own research throughout the week of the workshop, as well as upon returning to their communities. Each morning consists of a module which introduces concepts based on Pardee RAND’s core doctoral curriculum. Courses are taught by senior Pardee RAND faculty, assisted by advanced doctoral fellows who are experienced in applying these methods to their own research projects at RAND.

In addition, participants are given an opportunity to apply course concepts to a policy issue of their choice, building the foundation for a policy research project that they can further develop into a paper, grant proposal, or project to implement within their communities.

Course Modules

Modules on the uses and techniques of policy analysis, based on the School's core doctoral curriculum:

Introduction to Policy Analysis

Instructor: Jeffrey Wasserman, Vice President, RAND Corporation; Director, RAND Health; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

The purpose of this module is to introduce an overview of the tools of the trade of policy analysis. This includes describing the general framework, methods, ethics, and professional standards used by policy analysts, as well as techniques for communicating with clients.

Research Design

Instructor: Sandy Berry, Senior Behavioral Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

The second module is designed to enable participants to learn how to translate policy issues into research questions and make use of alternative social science methods—including structured and qualitative—to answer them; to become more informed users and critics of policy research; and to develop the capacity to write a comprehensive research proposal.

Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis

Instructor: Lionel Galway, Senior Statistician; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

The module on quantitative methods in policy analysis will provide an overview of statistical and other quantitative methods as applied to a variety of policy issues, drawing from a range of studies by RAND researchers and others. The emphasis will be on broad principles, not technical methods, and will include a survey of emerging areas of statistics which are beginning to be applied in policy practice.

Phases of Public Policymaking

Instructor: Gery Ryan, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Senior Behavioral Scientist

The final course module of the workshop is intended to “bring it all together” from identifying the problem to formulating sound policy to reaching decisionmakers and implementing solutions.

Individual Policy Research Projects

Each Faculty Leader should arrive at Pardee RAND with a specific policy issue to which they can apply the tools of policy analysis throughout the workshop. With the help of workshop instructors and advanced doctoral teaching assistants, each will complete a short briefing/research proposal on their topic by the end of the week for feedback from their fellow participants, workshop instructors, and other RAND researchers. Faculty Leaders are strongly encouraged to use their projects as the basis for further work on issues critical to their communities as they return to their home institutions.

Other Activities

Faculty Leaders will also have opportunities to hear about current research on hot-button policy issues from RAND researchers. Past sessions have included talks on the obesity epidemic, decision-making among leaders under uncertain conditions, leadership in public service and disparities in opportunities and outcomes for underrepresented minorities.