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Research Centers and Institutes

CUPPA's seven research centers and institutes provide a unique synergy in combining the discovery of new knowledge with the education of students and the application of research findings to pressing public problems.

CUPPA faculty, students, and staff design and implement multi-disciplinary scholarship using knowledge, tools, resources and talents drawn from the domains of education, research, and service. The collaboration adds value to more routine activities within each domain. For example, classroom learning is enlivened by new research and practical case studies, research reports inform relevant policy discussions, and collaboration with partners gives access to excellence for those outside the university.

Our engagement with the community includes research that aids in policy solutions for such issues as helping people with disabilities find appropriate housing; creating better transportation options for areas lacking access to jobs, parks, and shopping; helping law enforcement with community policing and problem solving; and providing crucial information to citizens about their government and services.

Our research is funded by renowned foundations such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Woods Fund, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Chicago Community Trust, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Justice.

In the Loop with CUPPA Research Centers e-newsletter features the ongoing research of centers in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. In the Loop provides a look at center work and projects.

In the Loop with CUPPA's Research Centers Fall 2023

Center for Urban Economic Development Heading link


“The Center for Urban Economic Development (CUED) conducts research, policy analysis, and evaluation on urban and regional economic and workforce development issues, programs, and strategies. Our work is based on the view that urban and regional economies can develop in ways that create broadly shared prosperity-that they can become simultaneously more productive, more innovative, and more equitable.”

Nik Theodore  |  Director

Government Finance Research Center Heading link

Deborah Carroll

“The purpose of the Government Finance Research Center is to shape and inform public policy and scholarly discourse on government and public finance by identifying, planning and executing research, providing periodic reports and informed analyses, and offering venues at which to convene national and local discussion on fiscal and governmental issues.”

Deborah Carroll  |  Director

Great Cities Institute Heading link

Teresa Cordova

“The Great Cities Institute sponsors research, service, and educational programs aimed at improving the quality of life of people living in Chicago, its metropolitan region, and other great cities of the world.”

Teresa Córdova  |  Director

Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement Heading link

Joseph Hoereth

“At our Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, we create opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens, students, and government to participate in public discourse and educational programs on current policy issues and social trends.”

Joe Hoereth  |  Director

Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy Heading link

Amanda Lewis

“Our campus-wide research center, the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, focuses on promoting and coordinating engaged research on racial justice and related issues of poverty.”

Amanda Lewis  |  Director

Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement Heading link

Yittayih Zalelem

“Since its founding in 1978, Voorhees has been guided by the mission to improve the quality of life for all residents of the City of Chicago and the metropolitan area through research and technical assistance to organizations and local government agencies in their efforts to revitalize the many and varied neighborhoods and communities.”

Yittayih Zalelem  |  Director

Urban Transportation Center Heading link

P.S. Sriraj

“The Urban Transportation Center at UIC is dedicated to conducting research and education and providing technical assistance on urban transportation planning, policy, operations, and management.”

P.S. Sriraj  |  Director