The Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis is a university-wide initiative dedicated to addressing pressing social issues through transdisciplinary empirical research, dissemination of evidence-informed policy, and training.

What We Do

Conduct transdisciplinary field research

Translate research into evidence-informed policy

Offer education and training in social policy

Learn more

Featured Research Initiatives

We don’t need a map to tell us who COVID-19 hits the hardest in St. Louis

We don’t need a map to tell us that policymakers, health officials, corporations, and St. Louis residents themselves must continue to break down economic barriers to create partnerships and solutions that support the most vulnerable in our city – those who were already facing a disproportionate social, financial, and health burden prior to COVID-19 entering […]

What tax refunds tell us about how households might use economic impact payments

While economic impact payments are different than a tax refund, we can be fairly confident, based on this research, that in this moment of emergency, payments from CARES Act will be used on essential purchases. It is also possible households will allocate their economic impact payments to clear debt entirely or to make a minimum […]

Social Policy Institute, McDonnell International Scholars Academy award $10,000 seed grants to three research proposals

Social Policy Institute and McDonnell International Scholars Academy have jointly announced the selection of three international policy-focused proposals to receive $10,000 seed grants following a call for proposals in September 2019. The selected proposals will develop research that fosters international collaboration on policy projects and includes faculty from both Washington University and an international university.