This brief focuses on project/center evaluation and is divided into 4 sections. This section, Section 1, provides an overview of ATE expectations for evaluation and principal investigators’ responses that describe how they meet those requirements—who conducts the evaluations, how much money is spent on evaluations, and the extent to which these evaluations vary by characteristics such as the type of grant and type of evaluator conducting the evaluation. Section 2 describes PI perceptions of the utility of their evaluations and the extent to which PI perceptions of utility are related to the evaluation characteristics described in Section 1. Section 3 focuses on the activities of external evaluators — PI satisfaction with these evaluators, the relationship between PI ratings and standards for sound program evaluations, whether the PIs view their evaluations as meeting ATE intellectual merit requirements, and PIs’ characterizations of the attributes of their external evaluators. Section 4 draws together findings reported in Sections 1 to 3 to identify strengths and weaknesses of project-level evaluations and to suggest changes that appear likely to improve on current evaluation practices.
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