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Founded in 1989, Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) harnesses the power of scientific research tools to address social problems. An interdisciplinary unit within the Capital School of Public Affairs, the ISR’s 16 regular staff-members, 12 students and 35 faculty associates (from across 15 different disciplines) offer broad expertise conducting survey research , performing program/policy evaluations, and gathering/analyzing data (both quantitative and qualitative) for government agencies, non-profits, and the academic community. The hundreds of projects we have completed for government agencies , nonprofit organizations and the academic community have provided actionable information that has enhanced public accountability, program fidelity, and the overall quality of policies designed to serve the region and the state.

Message from the Director: Click here to view.

  • PIE

    Project for an Informed Electorate

    The Project for an Informed Electorate’s mission is to empower citizens by fostering greater understanding of politics, policy, and government. We are dedicated to identifying, creating, and disseminating accurate, trustworthy, open, and non-partisan information. We do so by conducting academic research, organizing public events, and pursuing innovative means of achieving widespread civic knowledge. View the Project for an Informed Electorate website.   

  • Drought

    Agricultural Water Research

    ISR is conducting agricultural water use research for a multi-institutional consortium that includes environmental and atmospheric scientists, agriculture economists, and public policy makers from across the US. This research is being conducted in conjunction with California State University-Long Beach, and will include execution of an agricultural water use survey in the drought stricken states of California and Alabama.
  • cigaretteout

    Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS)

    The Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey is a statewide data-collection effort capturing the illegal sales of tobacco to youth under the legal purchase age of 18 years old. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, youth were successful at purchasing cigarettes 60-90% of the time, and purchased approximately 1 billion packs of cigarettes each year despite laws banning the sale of tobacco to minors. The Synar Regulation requires all states to enforce youth access laws, develop plans to decrease sales of tobacco to youth and to provide documentation to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

    View the YTPS page here:



    AAPOR Transparency Initiative - ISR

    The ISR is happy to annouce our official charter membership in the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, furthering ISR's commitment to an open science of survey research. The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry. For more info please head to


California Speaks (CALSPEAKS) is an ongoing collection and investigation of citizens' voices in California, focusing on the distinctive economic, social, political, and environmental issues that confront our state.





Institute for Social Research Contact

Institute for Social Research | California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street | Sacramento, CA 95819-6101 | (916) 278-5737 | FAX (916) 278-5150