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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Academics and Training

A central goal of CHASP is to educate and prepare the next generation of leading scholars, policy makers and analysts who will work to identify new ways to shape and improve health and social policy and individual and societal outcomes. CHASP offers students a range of opportunities for enhancing their education and training and for applying their research and analytical skills to real-world policy issues that reinforces what they learn in coursework at the LBJ School. In addition Social, Health and Economic Policymakers (SHEP), our partner student organization, works with CHASP to host events and publicize opportunities.

Research Opportunities and Internships:

CHASP offers opportunities for students to gain practical and academic experience beyond their graduate coursework. Collaborating with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), CHASP assists in placing students in internships that give them high-quality, real-world experience that expands their skills sets as well as their horizons for applying them. In addition, CHASP faculty members offer project-specific research assistantships and support to students who wish to enhance their qualitative and/or quantitative analytical skills or focus more deeply in a particular policy area.

The CHASP/DSHS Internship Programs

In 2006-2007 CHASP and DSHS began formally collaborating to place graduate students in paid internships within the agency. The internships are designed to provide flexible support for various initiatives and programs at DSHS and workforce development, and to create "community ambassadors," or students who learn about health services delivery in Texas and then apply and communicate that knowledge in pursuant diverse policy careers. Some students remain in CHASP/DSHS internships throughout their two years of study at the LBJ School, and a few interns have been hired into permanent positions within the agency.

Currently CHASP places students in the following DSHS divisions and/or programs.

The Texas Primary Care Office (TPCO) strives to improve access to medical, dental and mental health services providers in underserved areas of the state by administrating financial incentive programs created to attract providers to such areas and helping to match providers with practice sites. Read more >>

Internship hours are flexible, and selected interns may work up to 30 hours per week on projects generally tailored to each student's backgrounds and degree requirements.

Contact Julie Montgomery for additional information.

Research Assistantships

Many students have been employed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) under the direction of CHASP Executive Committee faculty members, enabling them to study a variety of policy issues in depth. Graduate Research Assistants have contributed to many CHASP publications, including peer-reviewed journals; assisted in planning and holding conferences; and created websites and newsletters to highlight particular issues. CHASP Executive Committee members offer GRA positions directly to students. CHASP is hiring now.

Read about available positions >>

Certified Specialization in Social and Economic Policy

CHASP Professor Jane Lincove coordinates a program at the LBJ School that allows students to obtain a certified specialization in social and economic policy. The certificate program encompasses substantive areas of inquiry related to social policy, economic policy, and the intersection between the two. The program is intended for LBJ School master's students who have central interests in problems of health, education, and welfare as they relate to inequality, segregation, security, justice, population aging, immigration processes, gender, and labor market segmentation in the United States. The specialization allows for students to address a broad range of critical social issues confronting communities in the context of economic globalization.


Policy Research Projects

Policy Research Projects (PRPs) have been a hallmark of the LBJ School since it opened its doors in 1970. Led by faculty, students work for a client over an entire school year or longer to produce defined deliverables, enabling students and faculty to work together with clients on real world policy research contracts. Following are just a few of the PRPs offered this Fall Semester.

Revising Texas's Child Support Guidelines (Cynthia Osborne)

The Texas Office of the Attorney General contracted with CHASP's Child and Family Research Partnership to review the state's child support guidelines. Participants in this PRP will conduct research to determine the cost of raising a child in Texas, how various models of child support systems work and how they are used in other states, what impact various models might have on other assistance programs, and how any changes to Texas child support guidelines would affect families. The final report for this project will include recommendations to the Texas legislature for ensuring that child support awards are appropriate, sufficient, and equitable to the noncustodial and custodial parents.

Children's Issues in Texas (Pat Wong)

Texans Care for Children (Texans Care) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that strives to improve policies related to child well-being. Members of the PRP will conduct research on anticipated legislative issues and revise A Report on the Bottom Line: Conditions for Children and the Texas of Tomorrow, a publication distributed prior to each state legislative session that provides analysis of focus issues. The class also will organize a conference on Texas children policy issues, working with Texans Care to define the issues for the conference and produce issue briefs and other products.

Higher Education Productivity (Harrison Keller)

Students will examine the intersections between the financing of higher education and the educational goals of institutions, states, and nations, considering also how policy can facilitate or impede student success. To inform current policy deliberations about university productivity students will engage in intensive study of selected issues and develop reports for university leaders.

Read Reports from Policy Research Projects >>

Student Organizations

Social, Health, and Economic Policymakers (SHEP) is CHASP's sister student organization. Recognized by the Graduate Public Affairs Council in April 2007 and by the University in October 2007, SHEP serves as a forum where students can share job and internship opportunities, news articles of interest, and academic work. SHEP's policy purview encompasses health, education, economics, and other policy issues that are inter-related and have significant societal impact. SHEP and CHASP frequently collaborate to host events and student networking opportunities. Read more >>

CHASP also happily collaborates with other LBJ School student organizations with overlapping focus areas, including the Feminist Policy Alliance (FPA, formerly POW), the Public Affairs Alliance for Communities of Color (PAACC), the Harvey Milk Society, the Progressive Collective (ProCo), and the Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC).