What problem does this study address?

ATE principal investigators (PIs) often face conflicting conditions when it comes to identifying evaluators to include in their funding proposals:

  1. NSF proposal reviewers want to see specific evaluators named in ATE proposals.
  2. Both PIs and evaluators believe proposals are stronger when evaluators are involved early in the proposal development process.
  3. Some institutional and/or state procurement policies make it difficult for project planners to select evaluators in a timely way to assist in proposal development.

Why is this study important?

Selecting a qualified evaluator is a critical first step towards having a sound project evaluation.  If PIs are unable to navigate that process in a timely way, it can limit a project’s chances for success.

How will EvaluATE (or others) use the study findings?

We will develop resources to help grant writers, project leaders, and evaluators navigate the  procurement policies and procedures. We’ll also prepare white papers and publications to inform and possibly influence those who set those policies and procedures.

How are the researchers conducting the study?

The study involves leveraging EvaluATE’s surveys of ATE principal investigators and evaluators to learn about the issues they face when establishing business relationships. We are collecting and reviewing institutional procurement policy documents and interviewing people who have had both positive and negative experiences with the process.

These methods will provide data for answering the three main research questions:

  1. How do ATE grantees and grant seekers select evaluators for their projects?
  2. What barriers do ATE grantees and grant seekers encounter when attempting to procure evaluation services?
  3. What practices or policies for evaluator procurement have enabled grant seekers and grantees to successfully secure evaluation services in a timely way?

Looking for practical suggestions to find an evaluator?


Research Team

Lori Wingate

Western Michigan University

Takara Tsuzaki

Western Michigan University

Michael Lesiecki

Luka Partners

Study Findings

Associated Resources

Nation Science Foundation Logo EvaluATE is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 2332143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.