PREM Evaluation

PREM Program
Assessment and Evaluation

Dr. Robert de Groot, CSEM - Caltech

Why are we evaluating PREM?

  • It helps us document the program (i.e. tells the story of the program)
  • Provides data for us to improve the program from year to year. (e.g. identifies successes and areas of improvement)
  • Provides data for us to make some conclusions about the program at the end of the funding period
  • Provides data for reporting to the funding agency (NSF)
  • Provides a basis to learn from other PREM sites.
  • Provides data for renewal

Two major types of evaluation:

  1. Formative Evaluation - Assesses ongoing project activities.
  2. Summative Evaluation (also called impact or outcome evaluation) - Assess a mature project’s success in reaching its goals. Information is collected about outcomes and related processes, strategies, and activities that have led to them.

"When the cook tastes the soup, that's formative;

When the guests taste the soup, that's summative"

You are a key partner in the evaluation of PREM
and your participation in this process is essential.

PREM Evaluation Activities

  • We are going to do what is practical and within the limits of our resources.
  • We will collect information that will be useful for the purposes described on the previous slide.
  • We do not want to take you away from your research more than is necessary

There will be eight activities:

  1. Personal Statement (Due: Fri 11 Jul 2008)
  2. Site Visits (Fri July 25, 2008 and Mon August 11, 10 am - 1 pm)
  3. Research Abstract (Due: Fri 15 Aug 2008) - (Potentially a group activity)
  4. Research Highlight (Due: Fri 15 Aug 2008) - (Potentially a group activity)
  5. Research Presentation (Due: Fri 22 Aug 2008) -(Potentially a group activity)
  6. Experience Statement (Due: Fri 22 Aug 2008)
  7. Broader Impacts Activity (04 Oct 2008 ~ 10 h commitment) -(Potentially a group activity)
  8. School Site Seminar (By 31 Dec 2008)

Activity 1:

Personal Statement

(Due: Fri 11 July 08) (Suggested length 4 pages typed, 12pt font, 1” margins all sides, double spaced)

Describe and Discuss:

  • Your academic and career interests
  • Your previous research experience (if any). If you are new to research discuss your expectations
  • Your working environment including interaction with your colleagues (e.g. who are you working with?)
  • Briefly describe your project
  • Describe how doing research (so far) has influenced your academic and career interests.
  • Describe how your mentor is playing a role in your experience as a researcher.
  • Share some things about your other goals, ambitions, ideas, hobbies. This can be brief but give a bigger picture of who you are.

Activity 2:

Site Visits

(Due: Fri 25 July and Mon 11 Aug 2008, 10 am - 1 pm)

  • Individual presentation
  • Give de Groot a tour of your lab
  • A photo opportunity doing something you do in the lab
  • Plan a day when advisor (mentor) is available for brief discussion and photos
  • Duration of visit per lab 30 minutes.

Activity 3:

Research Abstract

(Due: Fri 15 Aug 2008)

  • 250 words maximum
  • Follow ACS style guide
  • Should be in publishable condition

Activity 4:

Research Highlight

(Due: Fri 15 Aug 2008)

  • Tells the story of your research in text and images to the public
  • Must be clear and concise
  • Have compelling images
  • Written for the public (non-specialist, avoid jargon, etc)
  • No text limit but it must capture the essence of your research and convey excitement.
  • It is NOT an abstract.
  • This product will most likely go through several drafts.
  • Must occupy no more than one powerpoint slide

Activity 5:

Research Presentation

(Due: Fri 22 Aug 2008

  • A 5 - 10 slide presentation on your research
  • This is designed for the standard 15 - 20 minute research presentation at a professional conference (e.g. MRS, ACS, etc.)
  • This will be a revised version of the presentation you give at the August PREM retreat.

Activity 6:

Experience Statement

(Due: Fri 22 Aug 2008) (Suggested length 5 pages typed, 12pt font, 1” margins all sides)

  • Describe and Discuss: A set of questions will be sent to you at least 2 weeks before this is due.

Activity 7:

Broader Impacts Activity

(Due: 31 Dec 2008)

  • Devise a small outreach activity that shares science with a group of non-specialist K-Gray Audience
  • You may work in groups

You must:

  • Submit a short plan of your activity by 01 Sept 06
  • Document the activity (images, short descriptions of outcomes)

Two Opportunities:

  • Sally Ride Science Festival: 04 Oct (Sat)
  • (To be determined)

Activity 8:

School Site Seminar

(Due: 31 Dec 2008)

  • A 20-minute research presentation at your school or other location.
  • Same presentation as described in Activity #5.
  • Presentation will include:
  • Background on the general research project
  • Your project (e.g. what you did, what you learned, etc)
  • A bit about you.


  • -All products (e.g. personal statement) must be written using standard English grammar and spelling. Deficient products will be returned for revision. Time to resubmit a given product will be no more than 1 week. If you use images make sure you have permission to use those images. Always give credit where credit is due.
  • Due dates must be followed. Please contact Dr. de Groot if there is a problem. Dr. Gomez and your advisor will be informed if you fail to turn in your work.
  • All products must be sent (as email attachments) to Dr. de Groot, Dr. Gomez, and Jennifer Cedano. Large documents can be submitted via CD or downloaded from an ftp site. Ask your advisor if she/he would like a copy. If you need to submit your work on a CD please give it to Jennifer and inform Dr. de Groot and Dr. Gomez that you turned something in on a CD. You will be responsible for sending your products to your mailing list and keeping everyone abreast of the status of your assignments.

Contact Information

Dr. Robert de Groot

Caltech Chemical Engineering
Mail Code 210 - 41
Pasadena, CA 91125-4100
626-395-3598 (office)
626-826-1157 (cell)

Dr. Frank Gomez:

Ms. Jennifer Cedano: