Centers and Institutes

The Wilder School’s Centers and Institutes aim to advance research and training that informs public policy and decision-making to improve our communities.

Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of Wilder School faculty, we provide diverse public-facing services including leadership development and training, economic and policy impact analysis, survey insights and program evaluation to clients in state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses and the general public, across Virginia and beyond.

Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE)

The Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE) within the Wilder School serves as a vehicle to advance racial equity and social justice through multidisciplinary scholarship, research, training, and engagement. The goal of RISE is to be the national leader in advancing social justice to inform public policy, governance and practice to improve conditions for marginalized voices within our society, including communities of color, LGBTQIA individuals, people with disabilities, incarcerated populations, survivors of domestic violence, and women.

Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA)

The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) partners with towns, cities, regions, state agencies, and nonprofits to conduct economic development studies, evaluate policies and programs, and build decision support systems with user-friendly data dashboards for visualization. CURA works to identify strategies and solutions for the most pressing socioeconomic issues, including affordable housing, workforce development, industry cluster targeting, and more.

The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute (GEHLI)

The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute promotes the development of current and emerging leaders in academic institutions, other public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and communities. Consistent with the mission of VCU, the Institute is committed to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders through leadership training and public policy research.

The Performance Management Group (PMG)

The Performance Management Group (PMG) provides fresh insight, proven tools and techniques, and the skilled staff needed to meet individual and organizational objectives. PMG provides a wide array of customized consulting services to assist organizations in the development of strategies and practical action plans for enhanced performance. PMG also offers an integrated series of professional development institutes that develop critical skills at the supervisory, management, and senior leadership levels.

RVA Eviction Lab

The RVA Eviction Lab focuses on meeting eviction data and research needs and supporting the work of local government, community-based organizations, elected officials, and other advocates. The RVA Eviction Lab takes the necessary deeper dives into the qualitative and quantitative aspects of evictions. Because this problem and the associated research questions will continue to shift both regionally and locally, we make data public, reliable, and responsive to the needs of the community, region, and the state.

Survey and Evaluation Laboratory (SERL)

The Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory (SERL) has been creating collaborative research and evaluation partnerships with public and private entities at the local and state levels since 1982. SERL’s overall mission is to examine public issues and social problems through applied research and evaluation techniques to broaden and improve public discourse and decision-making.