UCLA Research Centers

Center for Health Policy Research


UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of the nation’s leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health policy information for California.

The Center is the home of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and is affiliated with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center

California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers

Our centers are comprised of multi-disciplinary teams of investigators working in partnership with consumers, advocates, and policymakers to conduct policy-relevant research that strengthen local, state, and national HIV. This research produces new knowledge that can be applied to improve prevention and care services for affected persons and populations.

The work of the research centers focuses on a “rapid response,” which entails short-term research projects designed to quickly address questions that emerge in a dynamic health policy environment. Projects have included modeling potential state AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) savings by supporting HIV patient enrollment in federally-supported Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Pools (PCIPs); and conducting a cost-benefit analysis of enhanced surveillance efforts on federal funding for California.


UCLA Health 

UCLA Value-Based Care Research Consortium

The UCLA Value-Based Care Research Consortium aims to facilitate collaborative interaction among diverse stakeholders to dramatically improve health care value and associated meaningful patient-centered outcomes. This new Consortium serves as an incubator for innovation and will generate scientifically-grounded solutions that will inform efforts to improve healthcare value at UCLA, influence policies across the nation, and serve as a training ground for the next generation of healthcare scientists and leaders.

Semel Institute

Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior





UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation


Our mission is to unite UCLA scholars with forward-looking civic leaders to solve environmental challenges confronting our community, nation, and world.

The Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) conducts rigorous research and timely outreach that informs environmental policies for the health of people and the planet. We evaluate existing and proposed environmental policies to assess their effectiveness, equity impacts, and potential to spur innovation. We then share research findings with community leaders and policymakers, who use LCI’s research to design evidence-based environmental policies.

We often focus on California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, to support a model of environmental leadership that is relevant globally. Research programs include climate, energy, environmental equity, transportation, urban greening, and water – all linked by the theme of informing effective and equitable solutions to the environmental challenges of our time.


Our work has influenced dozens of local, state, and national policies. Examples include:

  • Informed California’s landmark clean vehicle programs for households and local government plans for zero-emission transportation electrification
  • Designed the nation’s largest renewable energy feed-in tariff program
  • Advised cities on community choice energy options to achieve their 100% renewable energy goal
  • Guided the development of a low-income water rate assistance program in California as part of our work to advance the human right to water for all
  • Delivered recommendations for effective and equitable California Climate Investments — over $9 billion to combat climate change while creating local employment, air quality, and health benefits
  • Developed an evaluation and technical assistance plan for California’s Transformative Climate Communities Program and its uniquely innovative, comprehensive and community-driven investments
  • Produced guidebooks, downloaded by thousands of users, to support access to public space

In our first 10 years, LCI has earned three national awards from the American Planning Association (APA), five California-level APA awards, and recognition from President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative.

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies  

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies was established to promote the study, understanding and solution of regional policy issues, with special reference to Southern California. Areas of study include problems of the environment, urban design, housing, community and neighborhood dynamics, transportation and local economic development. The Center was founded in 1988 with a $5 million endowment from Ralph and Goldy Lewis. In addition to income from the Lewis Endowment, the Center is supported by private and corporate foundation gifts and grants, individual donors, and research grants from a variety of governmental agencies. The Center sponsors a lecture/seminar series, as well as workshops and conferences focusing on Southern California, in an effort to build bridges to the local community.

Institute on Inequality and Democracy

UCLA Institute on Inequality and Democracy



The Institute on Inequality and Democracy advances radical democracy in an unequal world through research, critical thought, and alliances with social movements and racial justice activism. We analyze and transform the divides and dispossessions of our times, in the university and in our cities, across global South and global North.

Scope & Purpose 

In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that “the function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.”  For Du Bois, the problem of the 20th century was “the problem of the color-line.” It is knowledge of the color-line, and action against it, that formed his life’s work, both in the university and in the world.

Drawing inspiration from Du Bois and other black radical and postcolonial thinkers, the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin aims to understand and transform the divides and dispossessions, the color-lines, of the 21st century. At a time of unprecedented income inequality in the United States, we join the growing effort for rigorous analysis of the processes through which such inequality has been produced, that recognizes the corrosive effects of the warehousing of wealth and power on civic life, and that seeks to undo such inequality through new frameworks of redistribution and democratic politics.

In such work, we think across North and South. Instead of the United States as the intellectual pivot of our work, we forge lines of inquiry that take serious notice of the postcolonial world, notably democracies shaped by the claims and demands of poor majorities. Drawing on ideas and practices produced in the unequal cities of India, Brazil, and South Africa, we return to the North Atlantic to examine and dismantle economic austerity and entrenched segregation.

Our research, theory, and pedagogy are produced in the context of resurgent right-wing nationalism, both in the United States and in many other parts of the world. In the age of Trumpism, we have renewed our commitment to challenge white racial domination and build black and brown power.

The University of California is an especially propitious home for our institute. Like liberal democracy itself, the public university at once bears the promise of inclusion and manifests the persistence of exclusion.  The public university has an intimate relationship with the “real life” of which Du Bois wrote, and we believe that this intimacy generates a responsibility for public affairs and an impulse to educate a next generation for whom citizenry is not an enclave of privilege but rather shared and collective existence amidst difference.


California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab

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.


Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (CNK)  

UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (CNK) 

About the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge

The Center for Neighborhood Knowledge (formerly the Center for the Study of Inequality) conducts basic and applied research on the socioeconomic formation and internal dynamics of neighborhoods, and how these collective spatial units are positioned and embedded within regions. We work with a broad set of data and employ a range of analytical skills to examine neighborhood phenomena across time and space. Many of our reports and findings are available on our website and it is our hope that they might act as tools for community members, leaders, and organizations to inform and empower.

Our Mission

CNK is dedicated to translating its findings to inform actionable neighborhood-related policies and programs that contribute to positive social change. We specialize in empirical spatial analysis and emphasize the study of diversity, differences, and disparities among neighborhoods, and explicitly covers immigrant enclaves, low-income neighborhoods, and minority communities. We examine neighborhoods through multi-disciplinary lenses and in collaboration with community partners.

Blue Sky


Blue Sky Health ( BHSI )

The Blue Sky Health Initiative is dedicated to changing the way Americans think about, deliver, and finance health and health care. The BSHI focuses on system-wide solutions to optimize the health of society and make illness less common, severe, and costly. The BSHI strives to describe solutions that embrace prevention–at both a population and individual level–and the systematic promotion of health for all Americans. We are committed to developing an effective and fundamental transformation strategy for elevating the current U.S. health system into a truly effective one.

The BSHI developed a framework for alternative approaches to organizing and financing health systems to promote the health of all individuals. Our work with local, state, and federal agencies, and with place-based initiatives across the country, is grounded in knowledge about the determinants of health, and the importance of a system that integrates population and individual interventions and services across sectors and across the life course. The multi-disciplinary BSHI team believes that the best solutions for our nation’s health problems require collective work with experts and practitioners in the public and private sectors, including those who are operating outside the prevailing definition of healthcare.





UCLA Center for Study of Urban Poverty ( CSUP )

CSUP’s primary mission is to encourage and facilitate academic research into the causes and consequences of urban poverty and the effectiveness of policies aimed at alleviating poverty. The Center’s research agenda focuses on three broad issues:

Poverty in Los Angeles. Located in the second largest city in the United States, CSUP is well positioned to make a major influence in better understanding the lives of the poor and fashioning policies to ameliorate impoverished communities. As the only research center dedicated to issues on poverty in Los Angeles and the rest of California, CSUP influences popular, academic, and legislative interpretations of the urban poor.

The Working Poor. The diversity of the Los Angeles economy and its location as a major port of entry for new arrivals from Latin America and Asia affords CSUP a unique window through which to research and prescribe policies affecting immigrant and other impoverished workers such as African Americans. Los Angeles, a repository of ethnic groups, low skill jobs, a large service and informal economy, and a host of other low paying occupations allows for unique insights into workplace dynamics on issues related to poverty, race, and nativity status.

Transition to work/Disadvantaged Low Skill Workers. Transitioning low skill or institutionalized men and women into better paying jobs or into the labor market is an important first step in ameliorating poverty. The evaluation of policies, programs, and innovative solutions that address this transition is the final major focus of CSUP.

The VA Health Services Research and Development ( HSR&D )

Approximately 1,000 funded investigators conduct collaborative, cross-cutting research, with studies addressing critical issues for both Veterans and the VA healthcare system. Investigations look at an array of topics, including suicide prevention, opioid management, mental health, complex chronic diseases, health informatics, and implementation science, among others. All HSR&D research proposals are merit-reviewed and subject to strict standards regarding scientific merit and relevance to Veterans’ healthcare needs.HSR&D also supports education and career development for VA clinician and non-clinician scientists through the VA Office of Research and Development’s Career Development Program, which includes post-doctoral awards that provide full salary support, allowing awardees to pursue an intensive period of mentored health services research and training.