LAWRENCE — The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) has announced the new Center for Research Methods Consultation (CRMC). The center’s mission is to provide research methodological consultation and support services for faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas and beyond. The center will also assist researchers in industries, nonprofit community organizations, and other research and practice entities.
“I hope the center, through its services, can share knowledge about research methodology; advance rigorous, innovative research methods; promote ethical research, measurement and evaluation; and establish a diverse and inclusive research community,” said Haiying Long, director of CRMC and associate professor of educational psychology at the School of Education & Human Sciences.
Covering a variety of research activities, the center’s offerings include assistance with writing methods sections for grant applications, carrying out statistical analyses and writing results sections of manuscripts, research project evaluation, dissertation and thesis review, scale development, validation and more. The center will employ quantitative, qualitative, and mixed or multi-methods approaches in its work.
“Increasingly, external funding agencies require sophisticated forms of analysis, and both faculty and students often need support for their research. The new center will expand the reach of current support efforts and is consistent with the university’s Jayhawks Rising initiative, which prioritizes research and discovery,” said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education & Human Sciences.
The center arose from Long and colleagues’ work as faculty members in the Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics (REMS) program. There, Long and her cohort provided their services ad hoc. As more requests came in, Long said she realized it would be beneficial to “centralize efforts,” creating a one-stop center to connect her team’s efforts to individuals and organizations.
Although CRMC will initially focus on KU departments and programs, Long said her vision includes outside organizations at the local, national and even global level.
“I’ve seen communities in need of funding without the capacity to apply for it, communities fortunate to be awarded funding but lacking personnel to work on evaluation and reporting, communities needing researchers to guide them through projects or training to understand research. I believe the center can be a hub to provide these much-needed services to communities outside of KU,” Long said.
Valuing a diversity of thought and approaches, the center will embrace research methodology as a “holistic concept” and will focus on the meanings of data at a broader level, using a diversity, equity and inclusion lens to interpret data.
For Neal Kingston, AAI director and University Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, the Center for Research Methods Consultation leverages a wealth of skill and knowledge within the School of Education & Human Sciences and the Achievement & Assessment Institute.
“Having been thoroughly impressed by Haiying Long and her colleagues’ work, I am very excited about this new center,” Kingston said. “It organizes an existing base of expertise and adds research capacity and to groups that need it, aligning with the missions of both AAI and SOEHS.”