Research Centers

Luskin Center for Innovation
The mission of the Luskin Center for Innovation is to unite the intellectual capital of UCLA with forward-looking civic leaders to address the most pressing issues confronting our community, nation and world. The Center is organized around initiatives that seek to translate world-class research and expertise into real-world policy solutions. Faculty and staff from a variety of academic disciplines across campus pursue research centralized on environment, energy and sustainability in partnership with civic leaders who use the research to inform policy and organizational innovations.

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies
The Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies was established in 1988 to promote the study, understanding and solution of regional policy issues, with special reference to Southern California, including problems of the environment, urban design, housing, community and neighborhood dynamics, transportation and economic development. The center’s interdisciplinary activities involve faculty members and graduate students from many schools and departments at UCLA. It also fosters links with researchers at other California universities and research institutes on issues of relevance to regional  policy.

Institute on Inequality and Democracy
The Institute  on Inequality and Democracy advances radical  democracy in an unequal world through research, critical thought, and alliances with social movements and racial justice activism. We analyze and transform the divides and dispossessions of our times, in the university and in our cities, across global South and global North.

Latino Policy and Politics Initiative

The Latino Policy and Politics Initiative is a comprehensive think tank that addresses the most critical domestic policy challenges facing communities of color across the United States. LPPI fosters innovative research, leverages policy-relevant expertise, drives civic engagement and nurtures a leadership pipeline to propel viable policy reforms that expand opportunity. LPPI’s work keeps decision-makers accountable to marginalized communities and provides a framework for local and state interventions that reflect the needs of the nation’s new majority.

Institute of Transportation Studies
UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies is one of the leading transportation policy research centers in the U.S. The ITS works closely with and is generously funded by two organizations: the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the University of California Transportation Center  (UCTC). Each year dozens of ITS faculty,  students and research staff collaborate on a wide array of transportation policy and planning studies,  ranging  from an analysis of the travel trends and transportation needs of immigrants and low-income workers, to the testing and evaluation of innovative fare programs to increase public transit use.

Latin American Cities Initiative

The mission of the UCLA Luskin Latin American Cities Initiative is to develop and deepen knowledge networks among students, educators and professionals in the arena of urban planning and policy in South, Central and North America. Known as Ciudades, the initiative sponsors teaching and public events at UCLA and Casa de California in Mexico City; coordinates academic and professional networks to enhance the knowledge base in urban planning and policy; and supports individual student research and internships.


The Global Lab for Research in Action

The Global Lab for Research in Action pursues evidence-based solutions to critical health, education and economic challenges faced by children, adolescents and women around the world. We conduct research that informs people, programs and policy to make a tangible impact on the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals. We act as an interdisciplinary hub for academics, practitioners and policymakers to foster research and integrate their efforts. We shine a spotlight on their findings, acting as a springboard to advocate for and inform effective programs and policies, internationally and domestically. We translate research into digestible forms to empower individuals to make informed personal choices.


California Policy Lab

The mission of the California Policy Lab is to partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime and education inequality. CPL facilitates close partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance. Projects at the California Policy Lab are guided by the problems that government partners wish to solve, with relevant empirical analysis that moves at the speed of policymaking.

Center for Policy Research on Aging

Established in 1997, the Center for Policy Research on Aging studies the major policy issues affecting our aging society including Social Security, Medicare, long-term care and the societal implications that accompany the aging of the baby boom generation and its parents. In recognition of the growing diversity of the elderly population, CPRA focuses special  attention  on policy issues as they affect Latino, African-American, Asian and other ethnic populations. As a national,  state and local resource center  on aging policy,  CPRA conducts research, fosters  multidisciplinary collaboration among UCLA faculty,  and works closely with policy makers,  service  providers and community groups in meeting the challenges of an aging society.

Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (CNK)

The mission of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (CNK) is to conduct basic and applied research on the socioeconomic formation and internal dynamics of neighborhoods, and how these collective spatial units are positioned and embedded in the Southern California region. The CNK emphasizes the study of diversity, differences and disparities among neighborhoods, and explicitly covers immigrant enclaves and minority communities. CNK examines neighborhoods through multi-disciplinary lenses and through collaboration with community partners. Equally important, CNK is dedicated to translating its finding into actionable neighborhood-related policies and programs and to contributing to positive social change. Email:

Affiliated Research

UCLA’s  great strength lies in its ability to address  significant interdisciplinary research challenges. Research at UCLA has a long tradition  of interdisciplinary collaborations. Projects that cross academic boundaries flourish  at UCLA, where  faculty  from a full spectrum of academic departments and professional schools  work together on a single university campus. The UCLA School  of Public Affairs works collaboratively with with a number  of research institutes, centers,  and initiatives across  campus,  including the following:

Center for Health Policy Research
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of the nation’s leading health policy research centers and the premier  source of health  policy information for California. Established in 1994, the Center improves the public’s health by advancing health  policy through research, public service,  community partnership, and education. The Center is based in the School of Public Health and affiliated with UCLA Luskin.

UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families

The new center will serve as a collaborative hub for prevention and intervention efforts, working to strengthen families to prevent children from entering the child welfare system. It will also aim to build the capacity of foster parents, relative caregivers, and adoptive families to promote stable and nurturing families, equitable opportunities, and paths to educational success.

Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center
The Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center brings together the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on HIV/AIDS policy making in order to further California’s efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

The Williams Institute
The Williams Institute advances sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high quality  research with real-world relevance.

Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Through its local, national,  and international programs, the Institute  of the Environment and Sustainability employs innovative, cross-disciplinary approaches to address  critical environmental challenges – including those related  to climate  change,  water quality,  air pollution, biodiversity, and sustainability – with the goal of achieving stable human coexistence with the natural  systems  on which society  depends.

The Blue Sky Health Initiative
Blue Sky Health  is dedicated to transforming our health  care system.  Its network of researchers, business leaders  and physicians envisions a system  that seeks to keep Americans healthier, rather than treating  them only when they are sick.

Center for the Study of Urban Poverty

With the primary mission of encouraging and facilitating academic research into the causes and consequences of urban poverty and the effectiveness of policies aimed at alleviating poverty, The Center for the Study of Urban Poverty’s research agenda focuses on three broad issues:

  • Poverty in Los Angeles: Located in the second largest city in the United States, CSUP is well positioned to make a major influence in better understanding the lives of the poor and fashioning policies to ameliorate impoverished communities. As the only research center dedicated to issues on poverty in Los Angeles and the rest of California, CSUP influences popular, academic, and legislative interpretations of the urban poor.
  • The Working Poor: The diversity of the Los Angeles economy and its location as a major port of entry for new arrivals from Latin America and Asia affords CSUP a unique window through which to research and prescribe policies affecting immigrant and other impoverished workers such as African Americans. Los Angeles, a repository of ethnic groups, low skill jobs, a large service and informal economy, and a host of other low paying occupations allows for unique insights into workplace dynamics on issues related to poverty, race, and nativity status.
  • Transition to work/disadvantaged low skill workers: Transitioning low skill or institutionalized men and women into better paying jobs or into the labor market is an important first step in ameliorating poverty. The evaluation of policies, programs, and innovative solutions that address this transition is the final major focus of CSUP.