PLCY@UNC advances UNC Public Policy’s research, teaching and service mission. It facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration on policy‐relevant research among faculty and students and engages in public outreach by hosting a “Carolina Forum” on significant issues in domestic and global affairs.

UNC Public Policy has developed particular strengths in six broad areas of policy research and application:

Education and Child Policy

UNC Public Policy has a strong and highly productive cluster of research expertise in the area of education policy, including evaluation of federal and state policies for K–12 education, pre-kindergarten education, and higher education. In addition, the faculty is interested in questions concerning the returns to education and the impacts of external events on educational achievement and attainment (Related faculty: Gitterman, Handa, Hemelt, Lauen, Perreira)

Environmental Policy (Domestic and Global)

UNC Public Policy research includes an emphasis on climate change, energy policy, environment and human welfare, and environmental and natural resource management policies in state, national and developing country contexts, and on environmental management policies and procedures in business supply chains (Related faculty: Andrews, Jagger, MacKay).

Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Economic Development, and Science and Technology Policy

UNC Public Policy has research expertise in the regional clustering of scientific knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship, the commercialization of academic research, and factors that promote technological change and economic growth. The Research Triangle region is itself internationally recognized as a premier example of knowledge-based economic development (Related faculty: Feldman; Gitterman).

Social Policy, Including Social Safety Net Policies and Low-Income Communities

UNC Public Policy has research expertise on U.S. social safety-net policies for low-income families and retirees, needs and outcomes for immigrant youth and their families, and innovative policy incentives such as contingent cash transfer incentives in developing countries. (Related faculty: Gitterman, Handa, Hemelt, Moulton, Perreira, Scott)

Health Policy (Domestic and Global)

UNC Public Policy studies issues relating to mental health and substance abuse, AIDS, environmental health, health insurance and managed care, and health issues in developing countries, all with a focus on achieving better health outcomes, health as a human right, and on the economic and institutional basis of effective policies (Related faculty: Durrance, Gitterman, Handa, MacKay, Meier, Perreira).

Global Policy Issues

UNC Public Policy researches issues whose causes and consequences extend across borders. Because these issues do not respect political boundaries, they can be the source of conflict between countries. At the same time, they are often most effectively addressed by policy responses that require international cooperation. Specific areas of expertise include the impact of international economic integration on labor standards, the utility of military force as a foreign policy instrument, the effects of foreign aid on national policies and outcomes, how international law affects public health, and international cooperation to address critical environmental issues (Related core faculty: Andrews, Gitterman, Handa, Jagger, MacKay, Meier, Sullivan).