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Office of Research

Research and scholarship are core values at MSPP. The Office of Research (OR) is charged with advancing that agenda through leadership and support to the entire community.

MSPP is committed to social responsibility, social justice, and professional development through experiential education. OR supports decision-makers in these and other emerging areas of practice through identifying, collecting, or supporting the collection of reliable, valid and timely data, analysis and interpretation.

MSPP’s tag line is “Meeting the Need…Making A Difference.” The Office of Research helps to realize that aspiration through data-driven decision making: helping to identify and document the need; supporting the planning, implementation and adjustment of the approach to meeting that need; and evaluating whether we are making the difference we set out to achieve.

In the execution of its charge, OR subscribes to a number of practice principles:

  • Research and evaluation need to be developmentally sound – appropriate activities depend on a program’s stage of development: from establishing the need for a program and planning it, through pilot implementation and adjustment, full implementation and efficacy, to dissemination, management, quality assurance and ongoing quality improvement.
  • Methods need to be responsive to key stakeholders’ needs and perspectives.
  • Questions should come before answers – and appropriate methods are the ones that are responsive to what we need to know and what we want to learn, as well as when we need to know it.
  • “Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.” (John Tukey)
  • Mixed methods combining rigorous qualitative and quantitative approaches can provide important insights and lend themselves to different uses and audiences.
  • “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” (Yogi Berra)

OR’s activities can be organized around a number of themes. The following is a functional framework:

  1. Policies & Procedures
  2. Institutional Review Board (IRB) & Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
  3. Institutional Research
  4. Clinical Research and Scholarship Initiatives
  5. Reports

Updated 9/11/14



Edward De Vos, EdD
Associate Vice President for Research

Sonia Suri, PhD
Senior Research & Evaluation Associate

Rebecca Solberg, MA
Administrative Assistant, Office of Research; Human Protections Administrator, IRB

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