To my mind there is no scarcity of important questions and no limit to the need for quality research of potential interest to city and state officials. What is scarce are good data and the time needed for careful analysis. It is on these margins that quality student research can make a valuable contribution. With no limit then to important questions: Go where the data are.
- Are there new programs adopted by the city or state in the past couple of years that had been oversubscribed and where information on applicants and chosen participants before and after participation will be available?
- Have there been “surprise” policy announcements that might be expected to have significant impacts on the private economy or on citizen utilization of government programs? This will mean talking with school officials, health department officials, community development officials, and staying in touch with the central issues of your city or state. Read the local newspaper!