The California Policy Lab creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance. Local and state governments are often at the cutting edge of innovative policymaking. Though they often collect substantial administrative data about their programs and the people they serve, they often lack the resources, data infrastructure, and rigorous research expertise they need to evaluate success and inform future policy decisions. We help fill these gaps by bringing experts from the country’s top public universities and a secure platform for data and policy analysis. Our projects are guided by the problems that our government partners wish to solve. And we believe that relevant empirical analysis needs to move at the speed of policymaking. Generous support from our funders allows us to choose projects based on impact rather than cost.
The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior is an interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior, including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior, and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to conducting fundamental research, the institute faculty seeks to develop effective strategies for prevention and treatment of neurological, psychiatric and behavioral disorder, including improvement in access to mental health services and the shaping of national health policy.
The Semel Institute is highly integrated with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital; all three are devoted to research, teaching and patient care in psychiatry, neuroscience and related fields. The mission of this enterprise is threefold:
- Research — acquiring new knowledge about the factors that affect an individual’s social, psychological, intellectual and neurological health.
- Education — developing scholars and practitioners who contribute to the solution of problems related to mental health, mental retardation and diseases of the nervous system.
- Patient Care and Treatment — developing and utilizing the most effective techniques of diagnosing and treating these disorders.
The Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences is responsible for the education, research, and patient care services of the Semel Institute and Resnick Hospital and for the School of Medicine curriculum in psychiatry. The Department of Psychiatry conducts educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels.
The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital provides inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services for adults, adolescents, and children. In addition to funding from state and federal sources, work at UCLA is also supported by gifts from individuals and groups; the Friends of Semel is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing state of the art research and treatment for illnesses of the mind and brain.