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

March 2019

In an era of declining public funding, private philanthropy has played an increasingly vital role for both public and private institutions.

March 2019

The ranks of adjunct faculty have increased rapidly in recent decades. How are these individuals faring financially?

January 2019

Given the choice between a smaller immediate payout or a larger future payout, people generally prefer rewards sooner rather than later, a tendency called temporal discounting.

December 2018

Women of color presidents and chancellors describe how their race and gender has affected their careers and suggest ways to diversify the college presidency.

November 2018

Adjuncts are commonly perceived as recent Ph.D. graduates teaching multiple classes while pursuing a tenure-track position. This is hardly the norm.

October 2018

A retirement plan’s default investment portfolio is optimal for some employees. But for others, the default has some drawbacks.