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STEM Program Assessment

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The Research Competitiveness Program assists countries, states, agencies, universities, foundations, and others in the strategic planning, management, and evaluation of programmatic activities in order to help them improve their research competitiveness and capacity. We design program evaluation frameworks (logic models) and lead expert panel assessments providing concrete, actionable recommendations.

Our work in this category includes our longstanding involvement with the EPSCoR and INBRE communities, where we have provided external review and guidance of programmatic activities in over 20 states since 1996. This work usually entails a visit to the institutions by a panel composed of experts from top research institutions around the country, who meet with all relevant stakeholders and, after the visit, the generation of a report delivered to the client.

RCP develops analyses that capture the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of science and technology (S&T) research programs and activities; identify existing and future opportunities; and recommend specific, actionable steps for improvement. By combining stakeholder interviews, surveys, site visits, and quantitative methods, such analyses assist program managers in understanding the broad return on their investments, identifying gaps in their portfolios, and strategically planning for the future.

The Research Competitiveness Program's Recent Activities in Program Assessment: 
Panel Discussion on Underrepresented Minorities at CUR Conference
RCP led a discussion at the Council on Undergraduate Research 2018 Conference, on the topic of “Bridging the STEM gap for underrepresented minorities through undergraduate research.” Read More.

RCP Presents on INBRE Assessment Impacts
Earlier this year, RCP began a retrospective self-study of our archive of panel reports provided to INBRE programs. Carrying out this study allows us to take a step back from the many state assessments we have completed, and look at commonalities among reports across states and years. Read More.

RCP Leads Assessment of Oklahoma's Bioinformatics Core Facility
In early April, Dr. Annette Olson led a panel of three experts in bioinformatics, proteomics, and undergraduate research on a three-day site visit of the Bioinformatics Core Facility of the Oklahoma IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (OK INBRE) Program, funded by NIH. Read More.

RCP Assesses Mississippi Program's Novel Public Health and Community Engagement Partnership
In March 2017, RCP conducted an assessment of the Mississippi IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (Mississippi INBRE) program, a five-year cycle-competitive $20 million NIH-funded program designed to enhance biomedical research capacity throughout the state. Read More.

AAAS Assesses New Catalysis Joint Research Center
At the request of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM), AAAS mobilized an expert panel this past February for an on-site assessment of UPRM’s new Center for Sustainable Water, Energy, and Food Nexus (SusWEF), created jointly with the University of South Carolina. Read More.