University Senate

Proposed: 26 January 2001




WHEREAS        it is the function of the Senate Committee on Education to examine and approve proposals for the founding of institutes at the University, and

WHEREAS        the Committee has reviewed the proposal to establish the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), with a favorable recommendation as to its establishment, and

WHEREAS        institutes are typically interdepartmental or inter-faculty units that assemble faculty and officers of research to further interdisciplinary projects of research and teaching, and

WHEREAS        the proposed institute meets the statutory definition of an institute in that it will integrate social science and policy research efforts and intellectual activities of faculty with diverse interests across departments and schools using a multi-method, multi-level, and multi-disciplinary approach, and

WHEREAS        the establishment of the proposed institute also has the authorization of the president of the University, in accordance with the University Statutes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED              that the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) be established, with the understanding that these activities shall be conducted in conformity with Chapter XXXV of the University Statutes, which defines the operation of institutes.


Education Committee



ISERP is the umbrella organization fostering interdisciplinary social science and policy research at Columbia University. Based in the Arts and Sciences, its research profile spans the six social science departments (including International and Public Affairs) and welcomes relevant research groups from other professional schools in the University. With a multi-method, multi-level and multi-disciplinary approach, ISERP focuses on key analytic and substantive themes that cut across disciplinary and methodological divides, links social scientists working on public policy issues, and grounds public policy research in the social sciences. The research and intellectual activities of faculty with diverse interests—theoretical, mathematical, statistical, and empirical—are represented, and the ISERP structure encourages economies of scale, reduces redundancy in infrastructure, and creates significant opportunities for securing external funding.

ISERP provides grant support activities for individual and collective research projects, develops and manages the information infrastructure for grant proposals, assists ISERP research centers in developing coordinated training (IGERT) grants, and develops large-scale demonstration projects at the intersection of basic social science and public policy. It is also expected to serve as the home for the master’s program in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences.