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

September 2022

Title IX is powerful legislation. In a single sentence it precipitated a sea change for girls’ and women’s sports participation nationwide. But the data reveal there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equity, and more progress is long overdue.

September 2022

Women are more likely than men to go to college and complete their degrees, which can lead to increased earnings for years to come. That’s the good news. The bad news is women are more likely than men to rely in part on student debt to finance their educations.

September 2022

Women are more likely than men to borrow to help pay for college. Moreover, because their after-college earnings are lower than men’s, they may have to make bigger sacrifices to repay their loans.

August 2022

Although debt is an important tool institutions use to meet strategic goals, many higher education stakeholders have only a limited understanding of the process of institutional borrowing.

August 2022

Significant improvement in women’s financial and social status in recent decades has been accompanied by favorable increases in their confidence in many aspects of life—ranging from developing career paths to playing an active role in household decision making.

July 2022

When it comes to retirement, women and men are not on equal footing. Women have just 70% of the overall retirement income men have as a result of a number of factors, including the gender pay gap and less access than men have to employer-sponsored retirement plans.