His research interests cover an array of topics across the fields of political science and data science. His research has always been driven more by his interests and the potential impact than by adherence to a particular subfield or attempting to establish a narrow academic "brand." Kennedy's research spans a number of areas in comparative politics, international relations, data analytics, and American politics, including: democratization, computational social science, deliberation, energy and environment, post-Communist politics, prediction models, and machine learning.
His research has been published in Science, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Politics, and the Journal of Peace Research, among other outlets. In 2010, his research on deliberation with members of the US Congress was honored with the Heinz I. Eulau award for best paper published in the American Political Science Review. His research has received funding from the Fulbright Program, the Democracy Fund, and IARPA among others.
At the University of Houston, Kennedy teaches undergraduate courses on statistics for political science, international energy politics, political terrorism, and will be developing a course on democratization. At the graduate level, he teaches seminars on democratization and machine learning. In 2013, he was honored with the Ross M. Lence Teaching Excellence Award in the social sciences from the University of Houston.