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About Us

The Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs is located in the John D. "Jay" Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences on WVU's Morgantown campus.

Who We Are

The Institute provides a home for the director, staff, and affiliated faculty working on the institute's initiatives surrounding data infrastructure, analysis, and outreach. We are a member of the  West Virginia Economic Development Council and the  Consortium for University Public Service Organizations.

What We Do

We are the research and public outreach arm of the Rockefeller School, pursuing funded research projects on a range of important policy issues. We develop and maintain public, nonprofit, and private partnerships for co-designed research, improving the use of research and data-driven decision-making in tackling important policy problems. We study the full range of policy issues (e.g., energy, transportation, regulation, housing, education, health), with special emphasis on current challenges facing state, local, and community leaders. The Institute aims to spur evidence-based policymaking in the state and region.

Our Approach

We employ the full range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to societal problems to help public and private sector partners plan, strategize, and adapt to changes and challenges in the region, be they physical or biological, governmental, or societal. We have extensive expertise in developing and maintaining large-scale data infrastructures to answer fundamental questions about public policy. In addition to our funded research, we provide a range of research products to our partners, including:

  • Data collection, Curation, and Management for Analysis:
    we provide data collection for public and private entities, including improving existing data infrastructure to facilitate comparison over time and space to allow data-driven decision-making.
  • Background Research:
    we employ archival, legal, and scholarly background research to ground problems in the best available strategies and latest methods for addressing them. We also provide the best available data on the problems we address. This includes researching existing opportunities for funding for various state and local initiatives.
  • Grant Writing and Evaluation:
    objective evaluation of your project at any phase of development, from application submission to research design, implementation, logistics, and administration.
  • Public Sentiment/Opinion:
    survey research to accurately assess public sentiment and advance policy change. This includes experimentation to assess how information, framing, argumentation, and data shape the public response to policy initiatives and projects.
  • Interviews and Focus Groups:
    qualitative assessments of how citizens perceive your organization and policy initiatives, including providing an understanding of the needs of decision-makers and your clients in the public and private sector.
  • Statistical Modeling:
    we employ a full range of statistical techniques including regression analysis, modeling for risk and extreme events, stochastic processes, machine learning, text-mining, sentiment, and classification.
  • Deliverables:
    we provide customized reporting, crafting of policy briefs (attentive to the social science of decision-makers), data visualization, dashboards and infographics, presentations, including delivering presentations on policy, analysis, and research.