University announces $1 million research project on pandemic policy response


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

The Weber Arch. The initiative will research how states should address socioeconomic and health disparities during a pandemic.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Northwestern announced a $1 million project to develop effective pandemic policy responses, according to a University release. 

The initiative will research how states should address socioeconomic and health disparities during a pandemic in addition to estimating economic impacts of pandemic policies and healthcare delivery challenges. 

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Program is funded by the foundation of the same name, a non-partisan group founded by a NU alumnus that seeks to increase awareness of long-term economic challenges in the United States.  

“This new support from the Peterson Foundation will enable our faculty to continue making invaluable contributions by examining the full range of issues related to the pandemic and identifying key lessons to be learned,” University President Morton Schapiro said in the release. 

The research program will disburse individual grants up to $150,000, managed by the Office of Research Development. Starting early April, the office will distribute requests for proposals to NU faculty with expertise in areas such as public policy, economics, medicine and public health. The University said it expects research to commence in the summer. 

Milan Mrksich, the vice president for research, will serve as the project director for the new fund. He said that the grant will enhance existing pandemic-related studies. In particular, he said, the project will accelerate “high-impact, policy-related” COVID research. 

“Our faculty have been working to unlock the mysteries and understand the impact of COVID-19 in many different ways,” Mrksich said. “(The fund) will help ensure that Northwestern scholars remain at the forefront of examining the pandemic’s effects on our society and economy, investigations that will continue to yield important insights.”


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