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Public Policy / Think Tanks

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Think tanks (i.e. research centers, policy institutes) are organizations that conduct research to support the creation and evolution of public policy. Think tanks may focus on one particular issue or a combination of them. Areas of research include social policy, political strategy, economics, and/or industrial/business policy. Financial support for these organizations comes from several sources; including the government, advocacy organizations, and private businesses.

Things to Consider

Students interested in policy research should consider issues of interest, level of direct activism by the think tank, the organizations relationship with the government, and the student’s role within the great organization. An entry-level professional in this field will most likely conduct supportive qualitative or quantitative research for a larger group initiative within the think tank. Research experience at Yale, particularly independent research projects, and an extensive knowledge base regarding specific public issues can make an applicant more marketable for research positions.