SERL is the Applied Research arm of the Center for Public Policy, in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. SERL provides research and evaluation support for governmental units, public and private nonprofit agencies, by conducting surveys, data analysis and written reports. In addition the SERL provides programming and technical support for a variety data warehousing needs for state and local governments.


Support innovative social, behavioral and economic research that translates into actionable knowledge to engage public policy discourses for greater societal benefit

Founded in 1982 in Virginia Commonwealth University's College of Humanities and Sciences, the SERL has been actively involved in survey research since its inception. In 1994 the SERL became the applied research arm of VCU's Center for Public Policy, an innovative interdisciplinary university center for teaching, research, training and community service. The Center for Public Policy is located within the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, and the College of Humanities and Sciences.   

As an integral part of the research community at VCU, the Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory supports VCU’s mission to become a premier urban research university. SERL employs a two-fold approach to accomplish this goal:

  1. Provide a full array of research services that support faculty research efforts at an affordable fee. (Data collection and storage, design methodologies, analysis and reporting)
  2. Provide fee-for-service research and evaluation support for state and local governments, non-profits and academic units.