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Policy Engagement

For Decision Makers and Researchers

 The role of the Policy Institute is to bring together and interpret credible, relevant, and timely information and analysis for those in a position to solve problems in our communities. Otherwise, policy risks being disconnected from the very communities it aims to serve.

By integrating sound research into the policymaking process, we help:

  • Policymakers reduce risk and increase the odds of success
  • Researchers help solve real-world problems
  • Funders demonstrate the impact of their investment
  • Fellow UC entities benefit from complementary research and stronger relationships
  • Communities solve more problems more reliably

Work With Us

Our Policy Engagement Activities Include:

SB 1 Rapid Response Program

Our team of policy analysts can provide direct consultation for policymakers, including answering rapid response requests from legislators. Click here to learn more

Expert Testimony

We find the right experts to provide formal, on-the-record testimony or advice as part of a governance proceeding.

Comment Letters

We provide comments in formal legislative or regulatory processes pertaining to single bills, rules, or issues.


We produce several types of publications that can help inform the policymaking process. Our policy briefs guide policymaking around a specific issue or topic area. Issue papers provide a medium-depth answer to a specific question or evaluation of an issue that is not limited to the scope of a single research project. We also develop research briefs, which summarize and explain key research findings to an informed but broad audience. All of the publications we produce are developed in consultation with appropriate experts.


Our team organizes and convenes events that bring together policymakers and researchers. We also coordinate the participation and input of UC researchers and partner institutes in relevant meetings, planning processes, document review, hearings, and priorities development.

Policy Engagement Planning

We work with principal investigators at the onset of research projects to ensure they have the right policy connections and the right support to make those connections. Additionally, we provide templates, instructions, editing, and guidance to faculty and researchers on how to write a good policy brief.

For Students

The Policy Institute frequently hires UC Davis Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) and legal fellows to support our current initiatives and projects.

We look for students in good standing with UC Davis who have skills including strong writing skills, quantitative and qualitative research, data visualization, and community outreach experience. Any experience working in nonprofit policy advocacy, law, or as a staff person in a legislative office, is a plus. 

If you are a student interested in working with the Policy Institute team, please contact us.