Jess Sperling in a classroom

SSRI and DCTSMission and Purpose

The Office of Evaluation and Applied Research Partnership (O-EARP) utilizes evaluation and associated responsive and community-engaged research to improve initiatives’ practice, to augment impact, and to advance evaluation and responsive practice and itself.

This initiative is a collaboration between the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). We serve as a coordinated and interdisciplinary hub that unites foundational work underway at SSRI at and CTSI; in particular, we align SSRI’s Applied Research, Evaluation, and Engagement (AREE) team and CTSI’s Evaluation & Strategic Planning team.

Our combined efforts facilitate leadership in evaluation and associated research partnership across the university, and they provide a facilitated mechanism to offer specialized expertise to university and community entities. In addition, our ability to draw on and bring together diverse disciplinary bases, including across the social and clinical/translational sciences, can build critical learnings to inform and advance both research and evaluation practice and ultimate societal improvement.

Our Values

In line with Duke’s aims as well as SSRI and CTSI commitments, our office maintains a strong priority on societal improvement and equity advancement. This includes supporting efforts with equity and societal improvement aims and utilizing equitable research and evaluation practice in our own processes.

In addition, we prioritize collaborative partnerships where the expertise and context of all parties contribute to project development and learning.

Finally, we place emphasis the use of evaluation and research processes to inform real-world action and decision-making.

Alignment with University Strategic Plan

Our efforts address multiple Duke University strategic plan aims, including the following:

University and research development:

  • Support and further Duke research efforts, including enhancing development of funding proposals & fulfillment of funding requirements by providing key expertise on program evaluation across multiple disciplines
  • Foster the informed development and ongoing improvement of internal university programs using evidence-based practice

Community engagement and research-practice partnership:

  • Provide meaningful civic/community engagement that draws on Duke’s research expertise, as part of Duke’s community engagement efforts
  • Engage with civic/community entities, as part of Duke’s community engagement efforts and drawing on Duke’s research expertise
  • Set a foundation for integrating external/community programs into university faculty/research
  • Support the informed development and ongoing improvement of community programs using evidence-based practice

Teaching and learning opportunities:

  • Add to Duke learners’ diversity of experiential research opportunities
  • Address relative dearth of educational offerings on evaluation at Duke
  • Build supports for diverse career paths, including for doctoral students
  • Provide community engagement opportunities through research and evaluation