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.

Fellows image

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.

Grants image

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.

Awards image

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

July 2018

Automatic enrollment helps boost retirement plan contributions, but its ultimate impact on plan balances is unclear.

July 2018

Many older adults experience declining cognitive ability and make sub-optimal investment decisions, posing a challenge for themselves and their families.

July 2018

Given the complexity – and risks – of choosing between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, how do university employees decide?

June 2018

Many employers have sought to eradicate behaviors associated with explicit bias. But implicit, or unconscious, bias still has a profound effect on organizational leaders.

June 2018

Understanding the prevalence, diversity and predictive power of behavioral factors—deviations from classical assumptions about consumer choice—is critical for theory, research and policy.

June 2018

Conventional economic models assume that investors confronted with risky choices maximize expected utility; yet in the real world, people are prone to making predictable errors.