Home Events Evaluation TA Share and Learn Virtual Discussion: Effective Practices and Strategies in PI-Evaluator Engagement and Collaboration

Evaluation TA Share and Learn Virtual Discussion: Effective Practices and Strategies in PI-Evaluator Engagement and Collaboration

A cornerstone to a successful NSF S-STEM grant is the working relationship between the Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI, and program staff with the evaluator- both internal and external. Everyone brings a set of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that define how successful the S-STEM grant becomes. This virtual share-and-learn session will address strategies for engagement from the perspectives of the PI/Co-PI and the evaluator.  
The discussion will also address the reality of today’s institutions: leadership, staff, and faculty turnovers, financial hardships, increasing and compounding needs of the S-STEM Scholars, and the limited resources and capacities of higher education institutions. Moreover, collecting consistent and meaningful quantitative and qualitative data from S-STEM Scholars, project team members, and other stakeholders strategically and at regular intervals requires considerable coordination and negotiation. PIs and evaluators also find reporting on actionable findings challenging. A fishbowl presentation from an S-STEM grant will include discussion by Brandon J. Mitchell (PI, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, S-STEM Award # 2028230) and Kavita Mittapalli (Evaluator) to kick-off the session. 


PIs, CoPIs, Evaluators, Researchers, and Institutional Researchers of awards as well as prospective S-STEM Tracks 1, 2, 3, and Collaborative Planning grants are encouraged to participate in the 75-minute virtual session with an optional 15-minute technical assistance opportunity afterward. Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences for this share-and-learn session!


Meet Our Fishbowl Presentation Speakers!

Headshot of Brandon Mitchell.

Brandon Mitchell

Professor of Physics, West Chester University

Brandon Mitchell is a Professor of Physics at West Chester University who specializes in using rare earth-doped semiconductors for next-generation micro-LED displays and quantum information. He is the Director of Undergraduate Outreach and engagement for the WCU Center for Nanomaterials and the Director of Outreach and Access for the WCU Center for STEM Inclusion. He is also the Director of the WCU S-STEM Program, which focuses on Nanoscience in Health and Technology. Prof. Mitchell has hosted several hands-on events and workshops introducing students in Grades 7 – 10 to the basics of nanoscience and the benefits of its applications to society.

Kavita Mittapalli


Kavita Mittapalli, Ph.D., CEO of MN Associates, Inc. (MNA) brings about two decades of experience in conducting PK-16 research and evaluation for various programs and initiatives across the nation. To date, MNA has engaged in completing over 60 evaluations of NSF grants in 22 programs including currently providing evaluation technical assistance for the AAAS REC. At MNA, Kavita is supported by a team of six researchers and evaluators including a statistician and an administrative staff member. Kavita is a trained mixed methodologist with a Ph.D. in research design (Education). She has a Master’s in Applied Sociology and a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Sciences. She opened MNA in 2004.




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