Academic Researchers

Conducting and sponsoring rigorous academic research since 1998

With a team of economists and program staff, Fellows and strategic partners, the Institute conducts research and organizes convenings on critical issues related to financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations.

Academic Researchers

Initiatives to advance the academic community

The Institute provides an environment in which academic researchers can exchange ideas and expand their reach to affect public policy. Leaders use the knowledge provided by the Institute to make better-informed decisions.

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Institute Fellows are nationally recognized thought leaders and prominent scholars, experienced in matters of importance to TIAA and those we serve. These experts extend our knowledge, skills and reach, and advance our thought leadership. Fellows have conducted more than 100 Institute-sponsored research studies.

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The TIAA Institute supports original research and thought leadership through its grants program. Leading scholars are encouraged to submit innovative research ideas on financial security, higher education and endowments and foundations. The TIAA Institute, with the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, funds high-quality, cutting-edge research on retirement policy and practice.

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The Institute’s signature award programs are designed to advance knowledge and recognize leadership excellence. The TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security recognizes an outstanding research publication that helps advance Americans’ lifelong financial well-being. The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education recognizes a current higher education leader for commitment to higher education, leadership and contributions to the greater good.

Latest Research Reports

August 2022

Although debt is an important tool institutions use to meet strategic goals, many higher education stakeholders have only a limited understanding of the process of institutional borrowing.

August 2022

Significant improvement in women’s financial and social status in recent decades has been accompanied by favorable increases in their confidence in many aspects of life—ranging from developing career paths to playing an active role in household decision making.

July 2022

When it comes to retirement, women and men are not on equal footing. Women have just 70% of the overall retirement income men have as a result of a number of factors, including the gender pay gap and less access than men have to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

July 2022

Family caregivers—i.e., unpaid care providers, the majority of whom are women—provide an average of 23 hours of unpaid care per week, the equivalent of part-time employment.

July 2022

Women are paid less than men for many comparable positions at our nation’s colleges and universities.

July 2022

Women comprise nearly 40% of provosts and academic deans at our nation’s elite research universities (R1 Carnegie Classification), yet their numbers drop precipitously at the next rung such that they account for only 22% of campus presidents and 10% of multicampus system presidents.