Academic Researchers

Conducting and sponsoring rigorous academic research since 1998

With a team of economists and program staff, Fellows and strategic partners, the Institute conducts research and organizes convenings on critical issues related to financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations.

Academic Researchers

Initiatives to advance the academic community

The Institute provides an environment in which academic researchers can exchange ideas and expand their reach to affect public policy. Leaders use the knowledge provided by the Institute to make better-informed decisions.

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Institute Fellows are nationally recognized thought leaders and prominent scholars, experienced in matters of importance to TIAA and those we serve. These experts extend our knowledge, skills and reach, and advance our thought leadership. Fellows have conducted more than 100 Institute-sponsored research studies.

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The TIAA Institute supports original research and thought leadership through its grants program. Leading scholars are encouraged to submit innovative research ideas on financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations. The TIAA Institute, with the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, funds high-quality, cutting-edge research on retirement policy and practice.

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The Institute’s signature award programs are designed to advance knowledge and recognize leadership excellence. The TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security recognizes an outstanding research publication that helps advance Americans’ lifelong financial well-being. The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education recognizes a current higher education leader for commitment to higher education, leadership and contributions to the greater good.

Latest Research Reports

November 2021

Are colleges and universities investing in the digital infrastructure needed to address the changing needs of learners?

November 2021

The global pandemic opened the eyes of many postsecondary leaders to new realities and new possibilities.

October 2021

Are U.S adults at all ages equipped to meet common financial challenges?

October 2021

If policymakers fail to act, Social Security benefits, which provide the largest portion of retirement income for many Americans, will be cut by about 25% starting in 2035

June 2021

Many higher education leaders believe any student should be able to attend any university without taking on unmanageable debt. Demographic trends suggest reaching this goal will be challenging.

May 2021

The pandemic has undoubtedly left its mark on higher education. How are institutions responding?