Research Centers and Institutes
Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies
780 Urban Center
The Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies (IMS) is a neutral source of information and analysis about the issues facing the metropolitan region. A service and resource center in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, the Institute’s mission is to advance the economic, environmental, and social goals of the Portland metropolitan region by gathering and disseminating credible information, convening regional partners, and stimulating dialogue and action about critical regional issues. IMS also serves as a portal to other resources of higher education for the region’s communities.
The IMS sponsors research, holds forums and seminars, and gathers and disseminates data about the outcomes most important to the leaders and citizens of the Portland metropolitan area. By engaging students in its work, IMS offers opportunities to learn about regional issues and contribute to creative approaches to our most important challenges.
The IMS has an external governing board that ensures that its activities are aligned with the priorities of the leaders and residents of the region. Drawn from throughout the metropolitan region and from among private, public, and nonprofit sectors, the IMS fosters regional collaboration and dialogue among the region’s key community leaders. It is a resource for all departments at PSU and collaborates with higher education institutions across the state.
Population Research Center
780 Urban Center
Through demographic research and teaching, the Population Research Center (PRC) serves the people of Oregon by addressing the causes and implications of demographic change for communities across the state.
One of the earliest research centers within the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), the center prepares official population estimates for Oregon cities and counties through the Population Estimates Program. The center also operates as the Oregon State Data Center (SDC)—where the center disseminates social, demographic, and economic data to state, regional, local, and tribal governments, and to non-governmental data users. Both programs, along with responsibilities of the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE), are carried out through a long-standing partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. The center houses historical census data, along with data from the American Community Survey and other U.S. Census Bureau products and makes these data available to faculty, students, and the general public.
Typical research activities within the center include: enrollment forecasts for school districts, demographic needs-based studies, social and economic factors affecting population change, population geography, and demographic methods. Population-based research involves close-working relationships with not-for-profit groups, non-governmental organizations, service districts, municipalities, and city, county, and various governmental agencies across Oregon.
The center’s current staff includes personnel with formal training in demography, sociology, geography, economics, urban and regional planning, community health, and statistics. This variety of expertise enables the center to provide a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary laboratory of learning for students pursuing population research.
Center faculty and staff provide demographic expertise for questions relating to data availability and techniques and also teach courses in applied demography.
Northwest Economic Research Center
780 Urban Center
NERC aims to: Contribute to analysis of policies with economic implications for the region; advance the state of knowledge in applied economic research related to Oregon and the Portland Metropolitan Area; provide high- quality, unbiased research and analysis by drawing on the wealth of knowledge and expertise available at PSU; facilitate dialogue among academic, business and government institutions on issues related to economics.
The Center produces research and provides advice that is understandable to policymakers and stake holders. NERC brings together researchers from other centers and institutes on campus to serve as a hub for economic issues. In this process, the Institute provides practical outlets and experience for researchers, and trains graduate students interested in pursuing careers in applied economics.
NERC offers superior value to its clients by combining the latest in analytic techniques from the academic world with practical, immediately-implementable recommendations that can be understood by policymakers of all types.