Funding Opportunities for Applicants

The following faculty are seeking qualified Graduate Assistants to assist in their research efforts. Eligibility is contingent upon admission and enrollment into our PhD in Public Policy program.


Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence!

The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence! offers a number of GRA and student hourly positions to work on research studies on: 1) experiments testing the effectiveness of different reforms in jails, prisons, treatment, and probation settings; 2) surveys of reform efforts at the county-level to decarcerate and build community capacity for providing behavioral health services; 3) studies of the impact of reform efforts for different criminal legal system.  

Dr. Faye Taxman is the PI of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network’s Coordination and Translation Center which focuses on bring research to practice, and this offers translational research opportunities.  She is also MPI of an Evaluation of the Stepping Up Initiative (with Jennifer Johnson, Michigan State University) which examines policy reform strategies.  Students receive experience in a myriad of different research studies in various legal settings and with people in different legal statuses. These are field experiments which offer broad exposure. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Taxman at before applying.



Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research (CMEPR)

The Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research (CMEPR) often mentors and sometimes employs PhD students using econometric methods to analyze large databases in order to analyze policy-relevant questions, including program evaluation. Projects include both U.S. and international research, many of them using using firm-level data to study productivity, employment, wages, firm dynamics, entrepreneurship, and inequality. Students working on these projects typically have some previous training in economics and econometrics, but motivated students can remediate those skills while at Mason, and all students have the opportunity to develop them further. Applicants with such interests are encouraged to contact Professor Earle

Enrolled students interested in the study of public finance may be eligible for funding through the John E. Petersen Memorial Scholarship in Public Finance Policy. John Petersen was a Schar School professor and contributed significantly through his scholarship and teaching to research in public finance, international finance and financial institutions. He was a role model for all public policy students – a productive scholar who contributed his expertise outside the academy as well as within, whether through his membership on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board or through his regular column for Governing magazine.

Students who have received this fellowship have written on topics such as earnings inequality in US metropolitan regions and public-private partnerships. Applicants interested in studying public finance are encouraged to contact Professor Siona Listokin and Professor Sita Slavov before applying.



Center for Regional Analysis

The Center for Regional Analysis at the Schar School is the premier university-based regional economic research center in the National Capital Region. The Center engages in a wide range of applied research for sponsors in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Faculty and professional staff at CRA use interdisciplinary approaches and regularly collaborate with other research units across campus and at other universities. Dr. Terry Clower is director of CRA with 25 years of experience in analyzing and effectively communicating regional economic data to support critical policy and market decision making. The Center provides technical assistance for economic development planning, conducts economic and fiscal impact studies, provides housing market and policy research, conducts transportation-related research, supports land use planning, and offers economic forecasting. Graduate research assistants at CRA enjoy direct experience with applied, market-driven research and have opportunities to engage with research sponsors from project conceptualization to delivering reports and related publications. Applicants with such interests are encouraged to contact Professor Clower at prior to submitting an application.  Successful graduate research assistants at the Center are typically self-starters who enjoy a variety of research topics and methods in a multi-tasking, fast-paced work environment. 



Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy (SCIP)

Several doctoral fellowships are available for students working the field of population, migration and public policy.  These fellowships, provided through the Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy (SCIP) can carry up to five years of full funding for qualified students admitted to the doctoral program. 

Eligible students are those planning to study how changes in the movement and composition of populations create challenges for public policy, and seek to develop creative and effective solutions.  These challenges include responding to marked changes in the volume and sources of immigration; adjusting to how internal and international migration shape labor markets, politics, and identities; coping with changes in the age structure of society and how that affects the costs and demands for pensions, health care and social services, as well as the nature of work and cross-generational social contracts; understanding how shifting ethnic composition impacts social and political cohesion and conflict; and devising functional national and international legal frameworks to govern international migration and asylum.  Students working in this area will be prepared for careers in an increasingly vital field, with job opportunities in government, the private sector, academia, NGOs and international organizations.

Applicants with an interest in these positions are encouraged to contact Professor Jack Goldstone prior to submitting their application.



Professor Naoru Koizumi

Naoru Koizumi has various domestic and international (UK, Turkey and India) projects that assess health/medical policies affecting patients with chronic diseases. These projects often involve intensive quantitative analysis requiring the application of techniques from statistics, geography (Geographic Information System (GIS)) and mathematical operations research (OR). The research team, consisting of statisticians, mathematicians, social workers, medical doctors, and computer scientists, wishes to work with PhD students who have good working knowledge of GIS, statistics and/or OR techniques and want to extend their knowledge to effectively analyze health/medical policy topics. The students will be expected to work in a multidisciplinary setting and will get exposure to medical topics and community involvement. We are particularly interested in those who are interested in care provisions for diabetes, end-stage kidney and liver disease patients. Doctoral program applicants with similar interests should contact Dr. Koizumi prior to their application.