Rutgers awarded $1M by NJ Secretary of Higher Education to establish State Policy Lab

April 26, 2021

The New Jersey Policy Lab, housed in Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and managed in conjunction with the Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration, will include expertise from a network of scholars, community members and external policy experts.

Visit the New Jersey Policy Lab website

“Rutgers-New Brunswick and its Bloustein School have always focused on serving the people of New Jersey,” said Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy. “We are proud to collaborate with the state on this partnership, which provides another important venue by which our world-class research will help enhance the quality of life in the Garden State.”

The main purposes of the lab, which is being funded through Gov. Phil Murphy’s 2021 state budget, includes providing policy-makers with clear and accessible research on state and local governance while assisting stakeholders in troubleshooting unanticipated implementation issues; generating data modeling for policy recommendations to enable state policymakers to test different budgetary and legislative scenarios; and building coalitions across governments, institutions of higher education and community organizations to support evidence-based policy initiatives.

“We look forward to providing our expertise with policy research, big data analytics and community engagement towards evidence-based decision-making in critical areas of policy and operations within the state of New Jersey,” said Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “I am particularly excited to be working with the School of Public Affairs and Administration in Rutgers-Newark, and a wider network of academic and policy collaborators throughout the university, statewide, nationally and even internationally to solve grand policy challenges. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students, as it is for us to be of service to our state.”

Charles Menifield, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration said he is hoping the new collaboration with Bloustein will be the first of many.

“This is an exciting time for SPAA and we are excited to work with the Bloustein School in launching this endeavor,” Menifield said. “It is a great opportunity for Rutgers to provide expertise to the governor and state legislature. I hope this opportunity leads to other collaborations.”

For New Jersey to continue to be at the forefront of innovation throughout the nation, policy issues need to be carefully addressed, said Brian Bridges, secretary of Higher Education.

“High-quality research and analysis is crucial to ensure New Jersey remains at the center of innovation,” said Bridges. “This will be even more critical as our economy recovers from the pandemic, as the State Policy Lab will examine how to address long-term issues facing the state and improve the lives of New Jerseyans. I look forward to Rutgers’ leadership in this high quality research endeavor.” 

The State Policy Lab will utilize an equity framework to analyze policies and programs with the goal of identifying improvements that benefit all residents, particularly those from low-income backgrounds and those who have been historically disadvantaged.

Additional partners include the Walter Rand Institute (Camden), the Cornwall Center (Newark), the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (New Brunswick), the Center for Urban Research & Education (Camden), the Rutgers Law School Center on Law, Inequality, and Metropolitan Equity, Kean University and New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

Recent Posts

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins

Virtual

Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]