Rockefeller Institute to Host Inaugural SUNY-wide “Future Leaders in Policy” Competition

Virtual competition will provide unique opportunity for SUNY students to share policy research with New York State leaders and experts


Participants will receive training on effective communication, an opportunity to publish original work, and a chance to win a $500 prize


Albany, NY — The Rockefeller Institute of Government and the State University of New York today announced the inaugural “Future Leaders in Policy” competition to be held in the Spring of 2021. The competition will showcase the best of SUNY undergraduate and graduate research in public policy from a range of fields including history, sociology, economics, political science, public administration, education, and health.

The COVID-19 public health emergency has put in stark relief the importance of effective government for responding to challenges and delivering critical services to citizens. Central to effective government is evidence-based public policy research. Such work allows policymakers to understand, evaluate, and devise solutions to problems we face.

As the State University of New York’s premiere public policy think tank, the Rockefeller Institute is taking the lead in providing opportunities for the next generation of policymakers and New York State leaders to develop and share their research. The “Future Leaders in Policy” competition will showcase the best of SUNY undergraduate and graduate research related to public policy while offering professional skills development and networking opportunities with established subject matter experts and leaders.

“Students across SUNY are engaging in research that addresses important social challenges, including inequity, climate change, criminal justice reform, and public health. As New York State leaders tackle these issues, it is important to identify innovative ideas generated by those who will be impacted by these policies for decades to come,” said Rockefeller Institute Executive Director of Research Laura Schultz. “In hosting the ‘Future Leaders in Policy’ competition, the Rockefeller Institute is proud to add another SUNY learning opportunity to engage students.”

The “Future Leaders in Policy” competition will culminate in a virtual event held on April 16, 2021. Students will present their research to a panel of “judges” from the New York State Legislature, Executive Chamber, and state agencies who will identify the three best presentations. Each of the three winners will be mentored by a Rockefeller Institute researcher and given an opportunity to publish their presented work through the Institute. Upon publication approval of their final research, researchers/teams will be awarded a prize of $500.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, students will have the opportunity to participate in training sessions on effective communication, poster preparation, and professional development hosted by Rockefeller Institute experts.

For more information on the “Future Leaders in Policy” competition, including complete application instructions and the application form, see here.