The Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont is a nonprofit, fee-for-service research and resource center working with people, communities and organizations to address their social, economic, and resource-based challenges. A part of the University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences since 1978, CRS supports the research and teaching missions of the university through its work in Applied Research, Program Evaluation, Community Data & Indicators and Economic Impact Studies. CRS also houses the U.S. Census Bureau's State Data Center for Vermont.
Have a research question, but don't know where to start? Applying for a grant? Have a specific program you want evaluated or want to conduct survey research? We can help.
Survey Research- CRS is a leader in scientific surveying and polling in Vermont. We collaborate with our clients to design survey instruments, sampling frames, analysis and reporting that are most appropriate for their needs. CRS regularly employs mail, phone, and online surveys for our clients.
CRS also conducts the annual Vermonter Poll, a state-wide telephone survey, in which questions can be sponsored by those with fewer questions than a full, standalone survey.
Interviews & Focus Groups- Sometimes the depth of knowledge sought by our clients goes beyond what is readily collected utilizing survey research methods. CRS is experienced in developing & conducting interviews & focus groups for any setting, within any subject area.
CRS staff work closely with clients to understand their evaluation needs and develop evaluation plans and tools to meet these unique needs.
Evaluation plans, instruments and measures are grounded in relevant literature and theory within each subject-area to ensure high quality work that meets the client's needs and informs the larger research and knowledge base. CRS provides process and outcome focused evaluation services.
Process Evaluation- Examines the process or implementation of a project to inform "best practices" for ongoing program improvement, mid-course corrections and lessons learned for project replicability.
Outcome Evaluation- Outcome evaluation seeks to demonstrate the impact of the program on the service-user, such as clients, participants, students, etc.
CRS utilizes qualitative and quantitative measures to carry out evaluations including surveys, focus groups, interviews, observations, archival and record reviews, and data management.
Community Data & Indicators
Data-driven decision-making, results-based accountability, community planning and program evaluation are a few reasons why access to community-level indicators data is essential. CRS is experienced in accessing, developing and curating primary and secondary community indicator data sets to track progress and enable informed decision-making.
Economic Impact Studies
CRS is experienced in accessing existing, and collecting primary economic expenditures data and analyzing and reporting impacts and contributions using economic modeling software.