Applied Research

Our goal is to conduct applied research and evaluation which will advance knowledge that will enhance people’s lives and the effectiveness of communities to support all its citizens. The generation and organization of applied research forms the basis of policy formulation; program planning by state and local agencies; and community training, demonstration, technical assistance.

Applied research complements the other core functions and addresses the priority need areas through both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Consumers and family members assist in the in the identification, development, implementation, and reporting of applied research efforts.

Research methodology includes assessments, evaluation, and targeted applied research projects and evaluations of outcome measures for Institute activities and other agencies.  Dissemination about Institute findings informs a wide audience, including academics, researchers, service providers, policy makers, consumers, and families.

Overview of Evaluation Services

Because authentic program evaluation of outcomes and casual relationships requires consideration for both the context and the participants, each evaluation plan is design in partnership between the program and the evaluator. The following is a summary of the evaluation services and methods of which we have specific expertise. We work closely with partners to plan and implement an evaluation that is appropriate to the particular program and will yield information useful for continuation of the program and future planning.

Evaluation Services

  1. Research and evaluation design to include the development of a program logic model, evaluation approach, systematic data collection, analysis, and plan for dissemination of findings
  2. Process and outcome evaluation
  3. Review of current literature on relevant best practices
  4. Instrument development:  surveys, observation tools, checklists, etc.
  5. Report writing and presentation of results

Evaluation Methods

Quantitative methods to include:
•  Surveys: print and web-based
•  Observation tools quantifying rate or incidence
•  Meta-analysis comparing and contrasting quantitative results from relevant studies

Qualitative methods to include:
•  Naturalistic inquiry describing a situation or phenomenon from the perspective of the participants
•  Content analysis identifying and describing shared themes
•  Observations describing scenes and happenings

•  Ecological inventory pairing quantitative and qualitative data to describe the environmental context for a given phenomenon.
•  Single or multi-case study focusing on the qualities and effect of a particular phenomenon for an individual (s).

Data Collection Techniques

•  Web based and print surveys
•  Focus groups
•  Interviews
•  Document retrieval

Analysis Services

      •  Full range of statistical and qualitative analysis