The faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy lead or collaborate with a wide variety of on-campus interdisciplinary research centers that are exploring vital policy questions and bringing provocative and timely speakers to campus.

These research hubs can offer students opportunities to work with faculty on ground-breaking research, and to engage with leaders in many fields.

Listed below are institutes, centers, programs and initiatives housed at the Sanford School, as well as other Duke centers in which public policy faculty members are active. Those led by Sanford School core or secondary faculty members include the faculty director’s name.

Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

  • DirectorLeslie Babinski
  • Leadership Team: Anna Gassman-Pines, Christina Gibson-Davis, Beth Gifford, Leah Goldsmith, Jennifer Lansford, Clara Muschkin, Katie Rosanbalm, Berkeley Yorkery 

The James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy

POLIS: Center for Politics


Sample Initiative: Durham Connects

The Duke Center for Child & Family Policy launched a nurse home visiting program as Durham Connects in 2008 as part of research into ways to prevent child maltreatment. The program, Family Connects International, is now being implemented across the country. Evidence from an ongoing randomized controlled trial shows that the model delivers a significant reduction in emergency room visits and an estimated 3-to-1 return on investment.

Learn more about the program

Research Spotlight

Bully City 150

Many neighborhoods in North Carolina had "covenants" excluding non-whites from buying homes. Professor Bob Korstad's research into the topic has been turned into a civic education initiative, Bull City 150: Reckoning with Durham's Past to Build a More Equitable Future