Designing STEM Research
and Evaluation Studies
- Review the literature about STEM career and workforce
mentoring. Start the Mentoring
Report and then review with
Suzanne Brainard's perspective on
the quality of the research base in Mentoring:
Lessons Learned and Research Questions [PDF].
- Identify a clear definition of mentoring. Becky Wai-Ling Packard
provides some guidance for developing A
Definition of Mentoring to Guide Research [PDF]. Also,
see a summary on
this topic and a 2005 letter to Science on
Mentor, the legendary character.
- Review gaps in
the research on STEM career and workforce mentoring
identified by leaders in focus groups. In general, the quality
of the research base on STEM mentoring is limited, particularly
in regard to studies on career and workforce skills. Areas
for STEM mentoring research include studies on (a) types, structure,
and process of STEM mentoring; (b) STEM mentoring in business,
government, and academia; and (c) student mentoring in academia.
- Determine how you are going to unpack variables related to the
STEM mentoring research or evaluation question. Multiple factors
affect students' choice of college major or career in
STEM, as well as career advancement. In addition, STEM career
and workforce mentoring is a continuous process that begins during
the primary and secondary school years, continues during the college
and university years, and into the workplace.
- Review resources on methodology, including the following:
Pursuit of a Diverse Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics Workforce: Recommended
Research Priorities to Enhance Participation by Underrepresented
The 2002 User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation [PDF]
Friendly Guide for Mixed Method Evaluations [HTML]
Center for Social Research Methods
Policymaker’s Primer on Education Research
Compiled from a project report by Yolanda
S. George and David Neale, American Association for the Advancement
of Science, October 2005.