RAND Corporation

Overview

RAND Corporation, was found in 1948, is one of the leading public policy research institutions in the United States, offering analysis and research in such areas as education, health care, national security, science and technology, and transportation. Its staff of more than 950 scientists and researchers offer their insights primarily to government policy makers, but RAND also serves private businesses and international organizations. The not-for-profit enterprise traces its roots to Project RAND, a research group formed during WWII by Douglas Aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas and now part of Boeing) to provide technical guidance to the military (2). Early research was conducted for only one client—the U.S. Army Air Forces—and focused exclusively on U.S. national security.  RAND diversified its research focus and for more than six decades has used scientific analysis to help individuals, families, and communities throughout the world be safer, healthier, and more prosperous (1a).

Facilities and Research Initiatives

The RAND Corporation is a global organization with offices throughout the world. RAND's North American locations include Santa Monica, California, the home of its headquarters campus and the Pardee RAND Graduate School; Arlington, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Boston, Massachusetts. The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has offices in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi. RAND Europe is located in Cambridge, UK, and Brussels, Belgium. The RAND-Qatar Policy Institute is in Doha, Qatar. RAND's newest location is Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (1a).

RAND has researched and analyzed topics ranging from terrorism to maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden to post-traumatic stress disorder among US veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to traffic issues in Los Angeles.  The company occasionally forms special divisions to study issues such as the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, an organization specializing in researching the long-term effects of hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast (2).

As part of its ongoing effort to inform public policy and decision making, the RAND Corporation offers a number of internship and fellowship programs. The Graduate Student Summer Associate Program allows outstanding students to conduct short-term independent research within the framework of an ongoing RAND project; these summer associates are mentored by RAND staff. RAND also provides postdoctoral candidates with the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills through several RAND fellowships and programs (1b).

RAND performs many different studies in the medical field.  A recent study performed by RAND was on obesity in America.  RAND found that the proportion of Americans who are severely obese continues to increase rapidly and much faster than those with moderate obesity, but the rate of growth has slowed, according to a new RAND Corporation study.  The RAND study found that from 2000 to 2010, the proportion of Americans who were severely obese rose from 3.9 percent of the population to 6.6 percent -- an increase of about 70 percent.  RAND’s findings are often used to aid state and federal policy on issues (3).

Strategic Partnerships

RAND is a nonprofit institution. Their research is commissioned by a global clientele that includes government agencies, foundations, and private-sector firms. Additionally, philanthropic contributions, combined with earnings from RAND's endowment and operations, make possible RAND's Investment in People and Ideas program, which is used to support innovative research on issues crucial to the policy debate but that reach beyond the boundaries of traditional client funding (1a).  Some of their clients, partners and grantors include Department of Defense, Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, State of California, Los Angeles County, Harvard University, University of California – Berkeley, Quantum Foundation, Amgen, Inc., Pfizer and SRI International (1c). 

The institute partners with several universities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to conduct its independent research and analysis (2).

Sources

  1. RAND Corporation (2012). Retrieved on November 20, 2012
    1. “RAND at a Glance” from www.rand.org/about/glance.html
    2. “Internships and Fellowships” from www.rand.org/about/edu_op.html
    3. “Major Clients and Grantors” from www.rand.org/about/clients_grantors.html
  2. Hoover’s, Inc. (2012). “RAND Corporation.” Retrieved on November 19, 2012  
  3. Science Daily (2012, October 1).  “Severely Obese Are Fastest Growing Group of Overweight Americans, Study Finds.” Retrieved on November 20, 2012 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001132146.htm