Skip to main content

Our Mission

Non-partisan Research and Analysis

The Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs provides non-partisan research and analysis to state, county, and municipal officials and members of the nonprofit and business community in West Virginia and the broader Appalachian region.

We cover all areas of public policy, nonprofit, and public-private partnerships. The Institute’s initiatives seek to build data infrastructure and fuse analysis and information systems in the region to help facilitate data-driven decision-making in public policy, good governance, and aid in economic and community development. Our work focuses on policymaking systems adapted to the challenges and opportunities presented by social and economic transitions. We provide support to state, local, and community leaders to solve today's problems and seize tomorrow's opportunities.

We ground our mission in the recognition that many of our most complex societal problems are difficult not because we lack quality natural and biological science but because we need a broader and deeper commitment to social science to solve those problems. The Institute is committed to tackling complex issues at the intersection of natural, biological, and social systems.

Public Outreach and Community Engagement

The Institute for Policy Research and Public Affairs provides commentary and analysis to public officials, journalists, and the public concerning important policy issues, governing systems, and public policies. We believe that co-designed research partnerships, where scientists work with officials and community leaders on the ground to develop research programs, offer the greatest benefit to state, local, and community leaders and best fulfill the land-grant mission of the university. To that end, we consult these perspectives in the design of our research and initiatives. We exist to provide support for communities to solve their own problems and explore their opportunities for development and adaptability.

The Institute also serves as a hub for state and local officials, non-profits, the business community, and the general public for relevant policy expertise on WVU's Morgantown campus and the broader WVU system. We help to fulfill the land-grant mission of WVU by undertaking cutting-edge public policy research and research partnerships co-designed with the state's communities. We work with scientists across campus to understand the social science of the state's and region's communities. We work to make science and community values fuse in ways that allow those communities to understand and solve problems while remaining rooted in those values that make them unique.