A Message From The Director: 2023 In Review

Katherine A. Magnuson

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As the year comes to a close, I want to thank you all for being part of the IRP community and invite you to be part of IRP’s ongoing work by making a year-end gift today. We accomplished a lot over the past year, and we could not have done it without your contributions.

Some of our graduate research fellows at a recent public policy conference.

This fall we welcomed our largest group of graduate students to our student training program ever. The 61 graduate students represent 12 different departments at UW–Madison and they come together to hear from our weekly seminar speakers and learn from each other.

2023-2025 IRP Emerging Poverty Scholars, left to right: José Loya, Monica Adams, Courtnee Melton-Fant, Andrea Gómez Cervantes, and Mariana Amorim

2023-2025 IRP Emerging Poverty Scholars, left to right: José Loya, Monica Adams, Courtnee Melton-Fant, Andrea Gómez Cervantes, and Mariana Amorim.

We selected five new early career poverty scholars to participate in a two-year fellowship that provides funding, mentoring, and training so they can grow their portfolio of poverty and economic mobility research and make an impact outside of the academy.

In 2023 we had our first ever joint research event with the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, “Moving the Field Forward: Understanding Latinx Populations in Communities with Low-Income.” We had over 40 attendees and the panels highlighted the amazing work being done by early career scholars in this area. We can’t wait for the 2024 joint event being planned with the National Center on African American Children and Families.

In partnership with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) offices, we placed a record number of National Poverty Scholars (9) and Economic Mobility Fellows (10). These fellows work in residence bringing their research and policy skills to our federal partners and better learning how to do research that can impact policy to improve the lives of low-income families.

Elizabeth Linos IRP Podcast thumbnailOur webinars, policy briefs, and podcast interviews are intended to bring the important research being done by our affiliates and other scholars to a broad audience of policymakers and practitioners. This past year our top podcast was a conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Linos on reducing stigma to increase participation in safety net programs, and the most watched webinar was “Improving How Poverty Is Measured: A Recommendation To Better Reflect Households’ Basic Needs,” which featured several IRP affiliates who worked on a new report on poverty measurement from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

IRP’s Wisconsin Administrative Data Core (WADC) is our state data resource that supports evidence-based policymaking. In 2023, IRP supported 67 active projects utilizing WADC data and 20 more currently in development. These projects are led by nearly 80 researchers, many of whom are IRP affiliates on the UW–Madison campus.

RDRC's J. Michael Collins and Kathering Magnuson at 2023 APPAM conference announcing the Retirement and Disability Research Center is joining IRP.

RDRC’s J. Michael Collins and IRP Director Katherine Magnuson.

And finally, we were pleased to welcome the Retirement and Disability Research Center (RDRC) to the IRP family in 2023. Funded by the Social Security Administration, the UW RDRC supports and conducts research related to Social Security, retirement, and disability policy especially as it relates to economically vulnerable populations.

All of us at IRP are grateful for everyone who contributes to our mission. Whether it be by sharing your research or mentoring emerging scholars, your work makes IRP a better and stronger institution. Your financial contributions also make an important difference as we seek to improve the effectiveness of public policies that reduce poverty and inequality as well as promote economic mobility and to support the next generation of poverty, inequality, and economic mobility scholars. We look forward to working with you in 2024!

Katherine Magnuson
IRP Director