American Institutes for Research

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. We do this work because when we look to the future, we see opportunities to close gaps that are rooted in injustice. At AIR, we know that equity begins with systems that work for everyone, so we lead with expertise, follow the evidence, and never stop drawing new connections to build a better, more equitable world.

AIR's mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. Our mission is more than just a statement—it is the foundation of our organization. It inspires our people, informs our work, and drives how we partner with others to improve lives. 

At AIR, we are collaborative, inquisitive, and visionary – we support one another, and work nimbly and collaboratively to make a greater impact. We believe that intellectual diversity and respect for the contributions of each individual is central to our success.

Our commitment to diversity goes beyond compliance. It is integrated into our strategy, operations, and work environment. It is reflected in our efforts to recruit, develop, and engage the diverse staff we need to achieve mission and serve our clients and communities.

We serve our mission through client-driven work as well as our AIR Equity Initiative. Through the AIR Equity Initiative, we invest our own talent and resources to tackle seemingly intractable, long-standing problems that prevent too many people from having access to good health care, education, and pathways to employment.

AIR’s Center for Applied Research in Postsecondary Education (CARPE) focuses on postsecondary education’s most pressing challenges by generating actionable insights and helping the field implement effective solutions. CARPE addresses every part of the postsecondary continuum, following students’ transition into postsecondary education, postsecondary education, and transition out of postsecondary education. 

We ground our work in practice, leveraging our extensive experience working with postsecondary institutions and partnering with practitioners, policymakers, and students to infuse our work with real-world context and nuance. 

We apply our deep research expertise, drawing on innovative methods to collect data, conduct research, and evaluate programs to drive continuous improvement. 

We build the field’s capacity to improve outcomes, working directly with key stakeholders to increase their capacity to implement evidence-based practices and transform systems. 

We share what we discover, synthesizing what we learn from practice, research, policy, and evaluation to engage and advance the field.

AIR's mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world is directly aligned with the Higher Ed Equity Network’s vision that higher education be a launching pad that dramatically improves the economic and social mobility of Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, and other historically underserved students. We look forward to contributing our social science research, technical assistance, and postsecondary expertise to help the Network communicate a new imperative, elevate policy solutions, and leverage practice improvements.

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