RAND Rapid Research Response Fund

New fund to support urgent research

RAND has launched a philanthropic fund to support urgent research in a time of global pandemic and social upheaval. The RAND Rapid Research Response Fund allows RAND experts to address issues of national and global importance when it matters most—now.

June 11, 2020

The RAND Rapid Research Response Fund allows RAND experts to address issues of national and global importance when it matters most—now. It provides RAND a new level of agility to support effective policy amid a whirlwind of change and challenges.

“The greater the uncertainty, danger, and complexity of a crisis, the more I look to RAND for insight and clarity,” said Liz Ondaatje, a former researcher at RAND whose philanthropic support provided an early boost to the fund.

“During normal times, I regularly turn to RAND research to understand critical issues involving health, national security, education, and crisis management,” she added. “The COVID-19 crisis has involved all of these and more, exacerbated by lack of trustworthy information, conflicts among local, state, and federal policymakers, and limited discussion of long-term strategies. It gives me comfort to know that ongoing and new research will help address the unprecedented challenges we face.”

RAND created the rapid-response fund as COVID-19 emptied streets and filled hospital beds. Its immediate purpose was to help RAND researchers and students at the Pardee RAND Graduate School meet the unprecedented need for fact-based research and analysis during the pandemic. The fund will continue to support quick-turn research through the recovery, into the “next normal,” and during unforeseen future emergencies.

Philanthropic support has already funded more than a dozen RAND-initiated research projects to better understand—and mitigate—the impact of COVID-19. Researchers are conducting rapid-response surveys to track the pandemic’s social and economic fallout at the level of individual households. They also have created tools to help hospitals better allocate scarce intensive-care resources, and to help policymakers weigh the trade-offs as they relax physical-distancing guidelines. One project is exploring the technological challenges and legal implications of using cell phones to track the spread of infections.

Michael “Mike” McGivern donated to the fund after losing a friend, Kevin McAdoo, a commercial pilot and Air Force veteran, to COVID-19. It was his first donation to RAND.

“RAND’s deep bench of experts can help our political leaders make better-informed, time-sensitive decisions to deal with situations like we currently face,” he said. “I hope that our family’s donation can assist one of those experts to explore just a tiny bit further than they would have been able to—and maybe that extra distance will make all the difference in the world.”

To see all of RAND’s research on COVID-19, as well as commentaries and Q&As from RAND experts, visit www.rand.org/topics/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.