The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) was established in 1966. Jack Lefcowitz and Martin Loeb, a director of the School of Social Work, were early contributors to the IRP, beginning a long relationship between the IRP and the School of Social Work faculty.
The IRP contributes major research in areas ranging from economics to social work to law. Faculty members from the School of Social Work have researched topics in child and family policy, welfare reform and evaluation, alcohol use disorders, mental retardation and poverty, and social program implementation.
As of 2016, IRP is the sole federally funded Poverty Research Center.