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

June 2018

As older Americans tap into their retirement funds, they often face a choice between receiving a smaller, immediate payout and a larger, future payout. How does memory affect these “intertemporal” choices?

May 2018

Has increased use of contingent faculty led to real improvements in institutional performance? This report explores the strategic payoffs of a well-documented trend in academia.

April 2018

Poor financial capability in old age can have serious repercussions, causing people to make mistakes with credit, draw down retirement assets too quickly, and fall victim to financial predators.

April 2018

The financial sustainability of private residential higher education is under siege, as revenue growth slows and costs continue to rise.

March 2018

The breadth of initiatives led by the Hesburgh Award winners reveals the variety and complexity of higher education institutions.

February 2018

Procrastination keeps employees at the default contribution rate, but only in “opt-out” plans.