Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI)

The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) seeks to spur original urban research on the cutting edge of social science and public policy. In conducting and interpreting this research, BARI seeks to forge mutually beneficial relationships among the region's scholars, policymakers, practitioners and civic leaders.  BARI is also part of a larger effort, "Big Data Meets Urban Social Science."

BARI's organizers have focused on four primary strategies for achieving these goals: 

  • Providing opportunities for scholars and students to work with public officials on a variety of concrete projects, including support through internships and fellowships;
  • Creating two-way “data pipelines” and mapping tools that give researchers easier access to public data in ways not heretofore possible, and to give public officials easier access to academic analyses of the data;
  • Identifying core questions that concern both policymakers and scholars with the goal of facilitating original research that has both practical relevance and also addresses scholarly questions; and
  • Developing mechanisms that bring together officials and researchers in ways that ensure officials are aware of research findings and researchers are aware of policymakers’ knowledge and can learn from policymakers’ experiences in working on these topics.  The major initial effort of BARI in this area was a symposium held in the fall of 2011 at the Radcliffe Institute--click for symposium agenda:

To join the BARI Network click here.

See also:

"Boston Neighborhoods Talk: Academics, City Government Officials Listen." Harvard Crimson. Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Think Local: Why don’t Boston’s great professors study Boston? Top academics and city officials dig into a mystery."  Boston Globe, "Ideas" Section, October 9, 2011.

"When Town Meets Gown."  Harvard Gazette, October 27, 2011.

"Harvard and Boston" and "High-Tech Intersections."  Harvard Magazine, October 27, 2011.

"The City-University Connection."  NPR, November 14, 2011.

BARI is an interuniversity research partnership housed at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Funding for BARI’s activities is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Academic Ventures program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Key institutional collaborators are the City of Boston and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.  (Robert J. Sampson, Director; Christopher Winship, Co-Director).