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Founded in 2016 by [] and named after Senator Paul H. Douglas, The Paul Douglas Institute (PDI) strives to be a place for aspiring policymakers to

  • Experience policymaking in practice, applying academic knowledge and rigor while gaining a broader understanding of policy processes

  • Make an impact on real-world legislative processes through solution-oriented research projects

  • Build community with like-minded peers in a supportive, collaborative environment

At the start of each project cycle (one in Fall and one in Spring), PDI takes in approximately 60(?) new researchers and 40(?) returning researchers, who altogether form the annual cohort. This cohort is split into individual teams to conduct a research project for the duration of the quarter, culminating in a variety of impactful products such as a data dashboard, public database, or policy reports.

We also provide

  • Social events

  • Talks from experts

  • Networking opportunities

  • Free food!

Years later, PDI continues to be a space for The University of Chicago's most promising policy influencers to explore their interest in policy and develop their skills.

PDI alumni have gone on to become analysts with Boston Consulting Group, the Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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