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Hunter College

Case Study

The Challenge

The Center for Translational and Basic Research (CTBR) at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) requested an evaluation of CTBR activities and experiences in order to comply with the policy of its primary funding agency, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and to provide independent information of its progress in its forthcoming competitive renewal application. hunter-logo1

The Solution

A team at CSI worked closely with a planning group at CTBR to determine the scope, parameters, and level of effort for the evaluation.  The team and the planning group discussed decisions regarding the participants, data collection methods and analyses.  CSI used a mixed-methods evaluation and six impact constructs promoted by NIMHD served as the guiding structure for the evaluation.  CSI collected the following three primary sources of information for analysis and evaluation:

  • Interviews with key faculty and staff of CTBR
  • A review and synthesis of grant applications and reports
  • An online survey to faculty and staff

The evaluation was descriptive in nature, providing a snapshot of CTBR activities its efforts to achieve its stated objectives.  In addition, the results enabled CTBR to identify priorities for future focus and additional assessment.

The Results

The evaluation findings reflected and confirmed the progress that CTBR reported in the first three years of the current five-year funding cycle and illustrated how CTBR achieved the progress noted in its annual reports.  Rather than determining the effectiveness or efficiency of CTBR activities, the evaluation on understanding the degree to which the CTBR was making progress towards meeting its stated objectives.  Overall, the CTBR appeared to be making good progress towards meeting it established objectives, as evidenced both by faculty and staff observations, and by data reported by CTBR on NIMHD impact parameters.

Based on the evaluation results, CSI made the following recommendations to the leadership, faculty, and staff of CTBR:

  • Establish a set of priorities for the next funding cycle that balances input from faculty and staff as well as institutional and management needs.
  • Define a set of key indicators upon which to measure progress across areas of focus.
  • Continue to support minority researcher development.
  • Develop ways to seek regular input from affiliated faculty and staff.
  • Consider more objective analysis to determine the impact of the science conducted at CTBR.

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