Robert Boruch

University Trustee Chair Professor of Education and Statistics
Co-Director, Center for Research and Evaluation in Social Policy (CRESP)

Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-0409


Professional Biography

Before coming to the University of Pennsylvania in 1989, Dr. Boruch was a member of Northwestern University’s faculty. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the W. T. Grant Foundation and the Board of Advisors for the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Division. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Institutes for Research. He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Education, Government Accountability Office, National Center for Educational Statistics, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies. He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Education, Government Accountability Office, National Center for Educational Statistics, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies. He has most recently served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Field Evaluation of Behavioral and Cognitive Science Based Methods and Tools for Intelligence and Counter Intelligence, and has served on numerous NAS committees including on AIDS Prevention Programs, Noise Impact of the Concorde, Privacy in the U.S Census, and Scientific Principles in Education Research. Dr. Boruch is also on the advisory boards of the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy and the Board of Directors of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness and serves on the editorial boards of Evaluation Review, Journal of Experimental Criminology, and the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Dr. Boruch is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy for Experimental Criminology, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Statistical Association. He has been a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford) and at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center and a visiting fellow at research centers in Berlin, Mannheim, and Munich. He has also received awards for his work from the American Educational Research Association, the Policy Sciences Organization, the American Evaluation Association, and the international Campbell Collaboration. The Campbell Collaboration has named an award in his honor for individuals who contribute to the use of better evidence in policy

Research Interests

Dr. Boruch’s work focuses on research methods and evidence for determining the severity and scope of social and educational problems, implementing programs and policies, and estimating the effects and the effectiveness of interventions. He contributes to work on randomized trials in education and training, welfare reform, health services, housing, and crime and justice, with a particular interest in the assessment or improvement of programs sponsored by federal government agencies in the U.S. and in other countries and by private foundations.

His work in the ethics arena has focused on balancing the public interest in access to data for research and the public interest in privacy of individuals and confidentiality of the information they provide. Dr. Boruch is currently assisting on a Penn GSE randomized trial of curriculum materials in sciences and is leading an initiative focused on learning from failure to meet expectations in education interventions. He is putting together a book that is tentatively titled Evidential Epigrams, Aphorisms, and Quotations, which assembles related material from prose, poetry, drama, and historical writing.

Selected Publications

Boruch, R.F.: The null hypothesis is not called that for nothing. Journal of Experimental Criminology 3: 1-20, 2007.

Boruch, R.F. (ed.): Place Randomized Trials: Special Issue. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 598, 2005.

Boruch, R.F., Foley, E., and Grimshaw, J. : Estimating the effects of interventions in multiple sites and settings: Place based randomized trials. Socialvenitenkapling(2-3), 221-239, 2002.

Mosteller, F. and Boruch, R. (eds.): Evidence Matters: Randomized Trials in Education Research. Brookings Institution Press, 2002.

Boruch, R.F.: Randomized Experiments for Planning and Evaluation: A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1997.