Answers to commonly asked questions!
SEEC researchers and evaluators focus on STEM Education and our work reflects our passion and commitment across STEM areas. We perform evaluations at all stages of projects. We also serve as research partners on some projects, with staff sometimes taking on Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI roles. Occasionally, we work as consultants for projects or organizations who ask for guidance or whose research or evaluation plans are limited in scope or time frame. For more of a flavor of the kind of work we do, click here.
We would love to talk with you! Use our Contact Us form to explain what you are looking for and how best to reach you. Let us know if you are responding to a specific proposal solicitation or RFP. If you have one, attach your Letter of Intent, prospectus, or short project summary to give us a sense of your work. We will get back to you to gather more information about your goals, budget, and timeline. Together, we can discuss whether SEEC would be a good match for your project.
In addition to background information about the project itself, we’re likely to ask you questions like:
- What are the intended goals and outcomes of the project? What do you want to learn about the project during each phase?
- What kind of role do you have in mind for SEEC? External evaluator? Research partner? Design consultant? Needs assessment? Process or research oversight? Formative? Summative? A combination?
- What’s the timeline for the project? When would SEEC be involved?
- What’s the timeline for proposal submission?
- What budget do you have available for the services you seek?
There are general guidelines, but the ultimate cost for SEEC’s services will depend on the nature and scope of the work proposed for us. The biggest determining factor may be the type of evaluation. Some examples:
- An external summative evaluation of a project’s impact requires some work all along to develop and test appropriate methods and instruments, and a lot of work toward the end of a project to conduct the evaluation. This will typically cost 8-15% of the total project budget.
- Process evaluations and more advisory roles may be less expensive, costing less than 10% of the total budget.
- Large scale evaluation research, or projects in which impact evaluation is a primary goal, can require half or more of the budget.
Ultimately, the cost will be affected by numbers of participants, types of data and analyses, extent of measure and instrument development required, amount of travel, and other factors. SEEC evaluation budgets typically include costs for travel and stipends for evaluation participants as appropriate, as well as our own indirect overhead costs. SEEC evaluators will work with you to develop a scope for our evaluation work that matches your needs and budget. We generally do not charge for the cost of our time to develop the proposal with you.
It really depends on the proposal, and especially on the role of the evaluator in developing your research plan. If your project is very well-defined and the role you have in mind for your evaluator is already clearly articulated, it may take as little as a week after our phone conversation (although we prefer more lead time whenever possible).
On the other hand, we may find places where your project plan is less clear than you thought, or aspects of your research that would be very difficult, invasive, or expensive to evaluate as the proposal is currently written. In those cases, we may have suggestions for changes to your project model that would make the project clearer, and the evaluation more easily or inexpensively quantifiable. This would likely involve several additional weeks of discussion and correspondence.
If you’re interested in having SEEC evaluators co-develop the research plan, it would be best to contact us before you’ve even drafted a proposal. Depending on the project’s complexity, we might begin collaborating a few months or more before the proposal is due.
SEEC customizes evaluation reports based on the specific nature of the evaluation and the questions it seeks to address, and with consideration both for what would be most useful for our clients and partners, and for what funders expect. Contact us to talk about what would be most helpful, and we can provide some specific examples.