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What we do

Founded in 1965, the Regional Research Institute (RRI) is an internationally recognized leader in regional science research and teaching. RRI conducts pioneering research on methods for analyzing regions with its multidisciplinary approach to studying regional development, while providing learning opportunities and research support for faculty members and students at West Virginia University. The RRI continues to evolve by integrating new econometric methods from spatial analysis and data science. Our research focuses on theories and history of regional development, methods for studying regions, and policies for stimulating their development. 

Our goal is to provide a team-oriented approach to regional science research, bringing together scholars from across campus and around the world to create an intellectually rich environment that supports the generation of new ideas. To this end, we have a Visiting Researchers Program to host scholars from other institutions who would benefit from collaboration with members of the RRI staff. We also sponsor seminars, workshops, and conferences, providing a forum for exchanging ideas and discussing regional development research and issues. To find out more about the current research the Regional Research Institute engages in and who we have collaborated with go to Sponsored Research | Regional Research Institute | West Virginia University (

The Institute actively engages graduate students as they learn and conduct research. Graduate students are often involved in the preparation of and execution of state, federal, and private institution grant proposals. The RRI also provides opportunities for graduate students to present their work at various regional science conferences.

Since 1999, the Institute has published the "Web Book of Regional Science", which provides a menu of course materials that instructors can use to enhance their course offerings for their students. The free "Web Book" is a valuable learning resource used by teachers and other professionals world-wide.