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Research Seminar

October 25, 2023

Location: SB 156

Time: 12:00 pm

Presenter: Stephen Mattingly

Incorporating Evaluation into Research Projects and Training Programs


Many funders such as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health require either internal and/or external evaluation of research projects or training programs to improve the processes and outcomes of the funded activities. Principal investigators on such projects must include evaluation plans and budgets in their proposals, collaborate with evaluation teams to ensure quality evaluations for the funded project, and include evaluation reports in their periodic reports to the funder. Principal investigators may also choose to conduct evaluations of their projects even when they are not required by funders for continual quality assurance and improvement. 

This presentation discusses program evaluation from grant application to project closeout for research and training grants. It explains what to expect from an evaluation team and an evaluation plan, including the various roles that an evaluator may perform during the life cycle of a project. The presenters discuss the differences between internal and external evaluators and the differences between process and outcome evaluation. We provide strategies for incorporating evaluation into research and training activities and provide examples from our program evaluation of the Houston DES AGEP project that includes TSU. 

Participants will be able to:

  • describe the role of evaluation in research projects and training programs; 
  • explain the difference between process and outcome evaluation
  • identify strategies for a successful evaluation of research or training programs


Stephen Mattingly is a Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).  He completed his B.S. in civil engineering in 1991 at Rice University and his MS at UTA in 1994.  He completed his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Mattingly is the Director of the Center for Transportation Studies at UTA and serves on the Executive Committee for the National Institute for Transportation and Communities and as the Associate Director of Research for the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions, and Dollars. He has held previous positions at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF) and the University of Southern California.

He has authored more than 175 technical papers, conference proceedings, research reports, and book chapters. While at UAF (2000-2002), he served as the PI or co-PI on six projects. Since joining UTA, he has served as the PI and co-PI on over sixty projects totalling more than $10.4M in funding and including over twenty federal awards and fifteen state Department of Transportation (DOT) projects. He currently serves as an external evaluator for the National Science Foundation funded AGEP STRIDES Texas DES Alliance.  His most recent research projects address a variety of interdisciplinary topics including transportation equity, transportation mobility for the transportation disadvantaged, developing an app for crowd-sourcing bicycle and pedestrian conflict data, transportation public health performance measures, data fusion of bicycle count data, nudging older adults to increase physical activity using technology, and the development of planning and transit performance measures for access to opportunities.

Light lunch will be served.