Research and Publications

Get involved with policy-changing research.

Our faculty, students, and affiliates are actively engaged in research on the enduring problems of political violence and economic development, and their effects on people and communities.


Current Working Groups  


Climate Change  

As concerns about climate change continue to mount, this group extensively researches the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in relation to urban climate action and energy use. Currently, they are preparing to present their findings at a national sustainability conference.  

Gender Equality in Public Administration  

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, you will collect and analyze data on women’s representation in civil service jobs. Student researchers present annually at the UN Headquarters in New York City. This project is part of the Gender Inequality Research Lab (GIRL), a new interdisciplinary research forum for scholars and practitioners to collaborate on policy-relevant findings regarding gender inequality.

Hacking4Humanity: Human Trafficking  

Partner closely with University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Policy, Security, and Law (Pitt Cyber) as they work to end human trafficking. You will serve as a mentor and policy adviser to participants and will summarize the outcomes to share with policymakers.  

Humanitarian Intervention  

Delve into over a decade’s worth of research on humanitarian intervention to assess the most important academic and policy debates. The group has been tasked with writing an encyclopedia article to be published as part of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.  

Search and Rescue Operations in the Mediterranean Sea  

Research current missions operating in the Mediterranean Sea to manage the flow of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa to Italy. Your research will help shed light on the evolving European discourse on migration, border security, and human security.  

Simon Reich Writing Award

Named for Ford’s founding director, Dr. Simon Reich, this writing award promotes high-quality student research in human security. Announced at graduation, the winner receives a cash prize and their paper is published the next year's Pitt Policy Journal.

The most recent award was given to Emma Lamberton (MID ‘20) for her paper, “Chinggis Khaan as a Nationalist Symbol: Is he the egalitarian figure Eurasia needs to stem violence against women?”

Get involved

Ford Institute for Human Security

3930 Wesley W. Posvar Hall


Taylor Seybolt, Director —

Diane Cohen, Assistant to the Director —