Methodology & Evaluation Research Core Facility

The mission of the Methodology and Evaluation Research Core Facility (MERC) is to provide state-of-the-art methodological support and services that promote and sustain excellence in the social and behavioral sciences through active collaborations with existing centers, initiatives, and units. The facility includes service units that support innovative approaches to sample design, data collection, analysis, and evaluation in a collaborative environment of transdisciplinary research.

The Evaluation Unit provides consultation on evaluation designs and the implementation of evaluations for funded grants. Evaluation services previously provided by UNL’s Survey, Statistics, and Psychometrics (SSP) operation are now provided through this unit.

The core facility’s Sampling Unit provides assistance with optimal sample designs and appropriate data collection methods. Services include developing grant proposal narratives justifying sample strategies, sample size, and appropriate power calculations within the context of analysis objectives.

Primary data collection is supported through our Data Acquisition Unit, which connects researchers with existing university resources to collect high quality data.  This unit supports the development of new technologies necessary for state-of-the-art digital data collection needs, including mobile device data collection.

Database support and consulting on statistical models and analyses is provided through our Database and Analysis Unit. Services include designing and maintaining secure databases, supporting secondary data files storage and access, facilitating access to secure data files, analytic modeling consultation, and facilitating the connection of researchers to experts in the appropriate advanced statistical analysis techniques.