Idaho INBRE provides internal and external formative and summative evaluations and implements modifications as needed to keep the Network achieving the overall aims of the program. Evaluation is key to ensure INBRE resources are used to maximum benefit, activities have high-value outcomes, and the scientific Network remains cohesive. The overall evaluation strategy is seen in the figure shown below. The Administrative Core oversees the evaluation plan.

Idaho INBRE uses three approaches to gather accurate and timely information from all network participants.

  1. Employ an Idaho INBRE-created reporting database with searchable, sortable, downloadable information.
    a. Every INBRE participant (faculty, students, staff) has password- protected access and is requested to report information tailored to their level of INBRE participation.
  2. Create and employ a user-friendly mobile phone app. The app is multipurpose and allows us to request simple reports that take respondents 2-3 minutes to complete. The app is highly successful at monitoring the Program impact on student career paths.
  3. Gather comprehensive summative data using interviews, focus groups, pre- and post-surveys, review of project documents, standardized progress reports, Core usage rates, SC meeting summaries, EAC recommendations, researcher and student progress and satisfaction, college/university administration satisfaction, institutional records, and Idaho INBRE and NIH administration perceptions.

Using these mechanisms, every INBRE activity has a ‘post-mortem’ discussion to identify positive and negative outcomes. This analysis results in conclusions and defines choices to apply formative adjustments for the ongoing success of the program.

Finally, at the end of year-2, a formal, independent, external evaluation of the Idaho INBRE Program takes place. An independent panel that has specific expertise in INBRE and large program evaluation is commissioned to evaluate the programmatic impact of INBRE to improve Idaho’s biomedical research capacity.

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