Skip to content

HOUSTON – (April 23, 2020) – The Texas Policy Lab (TPL) in Rice University's School of Social Sciences has joined Harris County in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

TPL is providing support to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's office by drawing upon the expertise of its research scientists, professional staff and Rice faculty. Researchers have already been working around-the-clock for the past several weeks to provide the county the most pertinent, up-to-date scientific information to inform various aspects of its plans to combat COVID-19, including analyses on the effectiveness of the county's "stay at home, work safe" order. The support is being provided at no cost to taxpayers.

“All along, our response to this crisis has been guided by science, research and expertise,” Hidalgo said. “Thousands of lives across Harris County depend on our work to respond to this crisis strategically, and we’re delighted to have the best and brightest minds from the Texas Policy Lab supporting our effort to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. We’re fortunate for their willingness to partner with us at such a critical time in our history.”

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer our support,” said TPL Executive Director Ekim Cem Muyan. “Our researchers have been working nonstop to identify the most pertinent, up-to-date scientific information possible so we can assist our government partners with their responses to the pandemic. We are also leveraging our established connections with the scientific community at Rice and in the Greater Houston area to provide additional access to experts in relevant fields."

The Texas Policy Lab was founded in 2018 with a $6.6 million grant from Arnold Ventures. The Lab conducts cutting-edge scientific analysis in collaboration with Texas policymakers to improve the effectiveness of public programs. It focuses primarily on public health and health care, early childhood and youth development, labor markets, and criminal and juvenile justice.

TPL invites other government agencies or partners who are interested in coordinating efforts to contact them at texaspolicylab@rice.edu.