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
    • Phases of Public Policymaking
    • Research Design
    • Communicating Your Research
  • 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
9-noon
Phases of Public Policymaking
9-noon
Research Design
9-noon
Communicating the Results: The Last Step to Impact
Cutting Through the Clutter: How to Make Sure You’re Heard in the Modern Communications Landscape
Finding and Amplifying Your Voice Online: How to Leverage Social Media to Share Your Work
9-10 am
Breakfast with Instructors and Staff
9:30-noon
Introduction to Policy Analysis
10-noon
Breakout Sessions: Next Steps on Research, Curriculum, Mentoring, and Outreach
noon-1 pm
Welcome Lunch
noon-1:30 pm
“Take a Researcher to Lunch”
noon-1:30 pm
Lunch with Program Alumni
noon-1 pm
Lunch Talk: Alvaro Huerta on Being a Scholar Advocate
noon-1 pm
Working Lunch
1-1:30 pm
Group Photo
1:30-3 pm
Working Session: Faculty Leaders, Instructors, and Teaching Assistants
1:30-3 pm
Working Session: Faculty Leaders, Instructors, and Teaching Assistants
1-3 pm
Commentary Bootcamp: How to Write a Commentary about Your Research
1 pm
Workshop Concludes
1:30-3 pm
Intro to Pardee RAND/Understanding the Profession and Discipline of Public Policy Analysis
3-4 pm
Bringing Policy Research into Your Classroom
3-4 pm
Engaging Communities, Practitioners, and Policy Makers
3-4 pm
Free Time
3-4 pm
Discussion: Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public Policy
4-6 pm
Afternoon Free Time
4 pm —
Evening Free Time
4-6 pm
Keynote Event and Reception
4 pm —
Evening Free Time
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.

Phases of Public Policymaking

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

In this module participants will learn how to conduct evaluations, assess intervention options, and design implementation strategies. They will also gain an understanding of how to determine the impact of a program and advise on whether it should be continued or adjusted.

Research Design

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

This 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.

Communicating the Results: The Last Step to Impact

Instructors: Jeremy Rawitch, Managing Director, RAND Office of External Affairs; Gabrielle Peterson, Social Media Manager, RAND Digital Strategy & Communications; Valerie Nelson, Commentary Editor, RAND Office of Media Relations

Influencing policy requires an understanding of the modern communications landscape, tools, and tactics at faculty disposal. Rawitch, Peterson and Nelson will discuss how to make sure you’re heard, from defining your audience to reaching them on social and traditional media.

Individual Policy Research Projects

Each Faculty Leader will 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.