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Our research services include thorough evaluation studies for people who are in the process of setting funding priorities or policies as well as quick turnaround, pinpoint data analyses for entities who need to make quick decisions or need immediate answers to questions about the impact of existing policies. Depending on the client's needs, these services may involve a combination of work products including establishing benchmarks, locating and verifying facts, figures, and testing statistical relationships among various events, outcomes and behaviors.  Political Research will identify the best available researchers and draft a detailed proposal  and staffing profile for each client to review before beginning any project.
In addition to original research and analysis, we provide meta-analyses for establishing benchmarks, identifying best practices, evaluating program implementation, and making comparisons with existing policies and practices.  These studies are conducted on contract with a specific client or consortium of clients and carefully selected experts who have the technical expertise and research backgrounds to provide the best quality products.
Many real-life circumstances limit the availability of data or weaken the validity or reliability of available data.  To the extent possible, given the data available, we will advise clients on the level of uncertainty as to outcomes and the weight of evidence in simple layman's terms, with clear technical notations to allow others to inspect the methodologies.  Whenever possible, Political Research will conduct its own sampling and measurement.
General Terms of Engagement
Political Research charges a 15% administrative fee for managing the contract, plus the researcher's fee and a flat $1,500 for for three independent reviewers to review and provide detailed comments on the final product. Projects must be approved by a 2/3 vote to be considered complete.  Reviewers, who are selected in advance by mutual agreement with the client, submit their votes in confidence to the client and Political Research for review (approved, needs revision, rejected).  Each reviewer is paid $500 for their review, which includes a short, one-page summary of their assessment of the research product's suitability as an answer to the client's written question. Projects needing revision are resubmitted to reviewers at no additional costs.
Political Research employee rates are available at this link.  If outside researchers are selected for a project, their research fees are negotiated separately according to established rates of pay established by the researcher's institutions or agencies.  Unaffiliated researchers will be paid at a rate consistent with those published in the latest labor market analysis for Austin for an economist (entry, median, or experienced*).   Hourly estimates will by used to calculate the cost based on the duration of the project.  Project contracts include specific, negotiated delivery deadlines.
Costs of data collections, access to specialized data sets, or special materials requested by the client will be billed separately by itemized invoice, subject to prior approval by the client.
An initiation fee of 50% of the total research fee is payable upon execution of the contract.  The remainder is payable upon completion of the project.
Political Research reserves all rights to data, workpapers, and materials produced, including any work products produced by its researchers and delivered to clients and may publish such material at its discretion.  Clients and researchers are not granted permission to publish work products produced under contract without the previous written permission by Political Research.  Extension of copyrights with researchers and clients are negotiable.
All valid agreements with Political Research are in writing with the signatures of all parties involved.
* Five years or less past terminal degree - entry; five to ten years - median;
ten  or more years - advanced.

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