Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC)

The CEC implements the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC)’s vision and design of activities, and is responsible for the longitudinal, consortium-wide evaluation of the training and mentoring interventions that BUILD and NRMN awardees develop and put into practice. In addition, the CEC facilitates ongoing, consortium-wide discussions of interventions, progress, outcomes and lessons learned, and serves as the focal point for disseminating effective approaches to the broader research training and mentoring communities. Dissemination of the outcomes of this complex, multifaceted experiment has the potential to enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce, and the consortium’s research findings will have implications for expanding recruitment, training and mentoring of diverse groups nationwide.

In FY 2014, the CEC award was issued to investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles, and after a limited competition in FY 2019, the award was renewed for a second, 5-year phase. This will allow for continuity in the evaluation and data collection process. Led by Dr. Keith Norris and Dr. Teresa Seeman, it has four distinct cores:

  • Administrative Core: Provides an administrative structure to facilitate collaboration, communication within the consortium, and evaluation of the DPC.
  • Data Coordination Core: Leads the establishment of program-wide goals and hallmarks of success, implements systems to support data collection and analyses/feedback to sites, and offers support to sites in the areas of data collection and management. This core also led the design of consortium logic models (graphic representations that show the relationships between specific activities, outputs and outcomes) designed to measure BUILD and NRMN programming.
  • Evaluation Core: Designs and conducts longitudinal, consortium-wide evaluations to assess the processes, outcomes and impact of NRMN and BUILD program activities; assists BUILD and NRMN sites in developing and implementing site-level evaluation plans; and provides periodic reporting to consortium members.
  • Communications and Dissemination Core: A Phase II addition, this core creates an infrastructure to develop and refine communications (for both internal DPC and external audiences) and works with other DPC awardees to amplify dissemination of the consortium’s research and evaluation findings. Additionally, they will lead consortium efforts to increase the visibility of the evidence informed training and mentoring practices, modules and other DPC products.

The CEC’s role in the DPC includes:

  • Developing the consortium-wide hallmarks of success, or key elements at each stage of the biomedical research career trajectory, that lead to the development of a successful biomedical research career and ultimately, success as an NIH-funded investigator. Hallmarks of success span the individual student, faculty/mentor and institutional levels.
  • Developing and implementing the longitudinal, consortium-wide evaluation plan.
  • Providing and supporting resources for consortium-wide data collection, storage, and management.
  • Facilitating the Executive Steering Committee and consortium-wide working groups.
  • Developing and adapting tools and instruments for measuring consortium-wide hallmarks.
  • Coordinating the development of consortium policies (e.g., data sharing, publications and presentations guidelines).
  • Coordinating communications and outreach activities, including the website, intranet, consortium-wide webinars, dissemination of best practices and research findings, producing online DPC newsletters, and utilizing social media and virtual networking tools.

For more information about the CEC Phase II, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, February 22, 2018 (RFA-RM-18-005), or contact Dr. Michael Sesma.

For information about the CEC Phase I, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, December 19, 2013 (RFA-RM-13-015).