About the Public Policy Research Lab

The Public Policy Research Lab is a joint effort of the Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at LSU. We provide a variety of services including survey research, ‘big data’ analytics, social media tracking, and focus group interviews.

The Lab is primarily known for its telephone survey work. PPRL has 54 computer-assisted telephone interview call stations and a corps of highly-trained, well-supervised professional callers. It is one of the largest phone survey data collection facilities in the Southeastern Conference.

The Lab is dedicated to meeting the unique goals and objectives for each project by working closely with those seeking data, research expertise, or analysis. We combine professional capability, the latest data technologies, and the variety of intellectual assets available at LSU to serve our clients’ research needs.

Our Staff

  • Michael Climek, Operations Manager


    Michael Climek joined the PPRL after working as a project manager in the research department at Ketchum, a New York-based leading global public relations firm. He has nearly 10 years of experience in the market research industry and has worked for clients in a variety of fields, like Adecco, Kodak, Playstation and Wendy’s. Climek specializes in phone surveys, focus group moderation, social media conversation analysis and online surveying. Climek completed his MBA at Baruch College in New York with a dual major in marketing and international business.

  • Belinda C. Davis, PhD, Associate Director


    Dr. Davis serves as Associate Director of the Public Policy Research Lab and chairs the lab’s Faculty Advisory Board. Davis is an associate professor in the department of political science specializing in public policy and state politics. Her work appears in numerous top scholarly journals, and she has broad experience in program evaluations for state government agencies and non-profit organizations. She is deeply involved in all aspects of the lab’s operation including instrument design, data analysis and report writing.  As liaison to the university community and other academic and professional institutions, Davis plays a leadership role in promoting the lab as a multidisciplinary asset to advance a rigorous research agenda.  She received her Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University in 2001.

  • Michael Henderson, PhD, Director


    Dr. Henderson is the Director for the Public Policy Research Lab and an assistant professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication specializing in public opinion, campaigns and elections, and social policy. He brings extensive experience in high quality survey design, analysis, and interpretation to the lab. His record includes projects with the Associated Press, Duke University’s Initiative on Survey Methodology, and Harvard University’s Program on Survey Research. The Brookings Institution Press, Public Opinion Quarterly, and several other top academic journals have published his research. Additionally, his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic. He earned his Ph.D. in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2011.