Research Projects

The Institute is presently engaged in research related to traffic safety (drinking and driving), public health, law enforcement training, electoral systems, democracy at the state and local level, and human rights. Other recently completed Institute research projects have examined a program in public high schools to increase post-secondary training; the academic achievement gap between African-American and white students; a program for disabled college students, the effectiveness of behavioral health services, evaluations of library systems, and identity politics. The reports from these projects are generally for a particular funder and are often not publicly released.

If you would like to know more about the Institute’s research and program evaluation capacities, contact AJ Simmons at (217) 206-8109 or at

Recent Research

ILLAPS Visiting Researcher Manuel Gutierrez recently co-authored a chapter in Binational Commons with Kathleen Staudt, from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Their chapter analyzes how federal and state policies shape binational cooperation between the US and Mexico. They argue both countries enact legislation at the federal level that affects the border but it is not common to see legislation aimed at local level institutional cooperation. The authors also discuss best practices for cooperation across the United States-Mexico border, as seen in San Diego – Tijuana and Laredo – Nuevo Laredo as well as an example of challenges in El Paso – Ciudad Juarez. They end their chapter with recommendations for border governance.

Binational Commons was edited by Tony Payan and Pamela L Cruz. It will be released by University of Arizona Press on October 6th.

In the 2019-2020 school year, ILLAPS launched the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) Intern White Paper Series to spotlight the research work completed by ILSIP interns in the academic component of the program. The first paper, submitted by Aaron Albrecht (2019-2020), looks at pension systems in Illinois. This project won the “Best Social Science – Graduate” award at the 2020 Science Technology and Arts (STARS) Symposium here at UIS. Aaron was thrilled to receive the award and most appreciative of the assistance of his faculty advisor, Dr. Ken Kriz of the Institute for Illinois Public Finance and Department of Public Administration at UIS.

Copy of Aaron’s white paper

Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program

Explore more information about the STARS Symposium

Explore more information about the Institute for Illinois Public Finance

Archived Reports

Access information about select research projects conducted in the past 20 years.