DEADLINE: Friday, June 21, 2010

The American Evaluation Association welcomes applications for its Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program that provides paid internships and training opportunities for academic year 2010/2011. The GEDI program works to engage and support students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field of evaluation. The goals of GEDI are to:

  • Expand the pool of graduate students of color and from other underrepresented groups who have extended their research capacities to evaluation.
  • Stimulate evaluation thinking concerning underrepresented communities and culturally responsive evaluation.
  • Deepen the evaluation profession's capacity to work in racially, ethnically and culturally diverse settings.

Interns may come from a variety of disciplines, including public health, education, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, social work, and the natural sciences. Their commonality is a strong background in research skills, an interest in extending their capacities to the field of evaluation, and a commitment to thinking deeply about culturally responsive evaluation practice.

The Internship: Building on the training content described below, the Interns work the equivalent of approximately two days per week at an internship site near their home institution from October 1 to July 1. The interns may work on a single evaluation project or multiple projects at the site, but all internship work is focused on building skills and confidence in real-world evaluation practices. Interns receive a stipend of $8,000 in recognition of their internship work based on completion of the internship and satisfactory finalization of program requirements, including any deliverables due to the host agency, progress reports, and reflections on the internship experience.

Training and Networking Components: It is assumed that students come to the program with basic qualitative and quantitative research skills. The GEDI program then works to extend those skills to evaluation through multiple activities:

Fall Seminar. A four-day intensive seminar, held in September in North Carolina, provides an orientation that expands the student's knowledge and understanding of critical issues in evaluation, including thinking about building evaluation capacities to work across cultures and diverse groups. The interns complete a self-assessment in the Fall, clarifying their own goals during program participation.

AEA Annual Conference. Interns will spend a week November 10-13 in San Antonio at the American Evaluation Association annual conference. While there, they attend (a) pre- and post-conference workshops selected to fill gaps in their knowledge and skills, (b) conference sessions exploring the breadth and depth of the field, (c) multiple networking events to connect them with senior colleagues. The interns also conduct a small-service learning project in the form of an evaluation of one component of the conference.

Winter Seminar. A three-day seminar, held in February (at a location to be determined) provides the students with additional training, coaching on their evaluation projects, and panel discussions with evaluation practitioners working in a range of contexts.

Evaluation Project. Interns will have the opportunity to provide support to an agency's evaluation activities in close proximity to their graduate institution. Interns will provide three updates on their evaluation project activities as part of the internship program, describing and reflecting on the application of their evaluation knowledge to the actual project activities.

Monthly Webinars. The students gather each month for a two-hour webinar to check in on evaluation projects and site placements, add to existing skill-sets, and learn from invited guest speakers.

AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. The program ends with attendance at the Summer Evaluation Institute held in Atlanta each June. There, students once again connect and finalize project reporting, attend training workshops, and participate in a graduation ceremony.

Specific Support Mechanisms: Interns are supported by colleagues at school, at their site placements, and within the sponsoring association:

An Academic Advisor. The academic advisor at the Intern's home institution supports and coordinates coursework and other activities, while helping to integrate the internship program with the student's plan of study.

A Sponsoring Agency. Students generally are matched with sponsoring agencies near their graduate institution that provide the opportunity to perform evaluation activities compatible with students' research interests and skills. Last year among the 90 applicants, nine interns were competitively selected. Seven GEDI interns were placed based on available sponsorships in the following cities: Atlanta (2), Baltimore/Washington (2), Seattle (1), NY/NJ (1), and Chapel Hill (1). The program then matched the two remaining top applicants with cooperating agencies near their graduate institutions. Similar placements are expected this year. GEDI is currently finalizing sponsor recruitment for 2010-11; sponsors pay Intern's $8,000 stipend, plus travel and training costs to the four meetings.

Supervising Mentor. A colleague at the host site with evaluation experience acts as a guide and mentor throughout the program.

GEDI Program Co-chairs. The GEDI program co-chairs, Dr. Rita O'Sullivan (University of North Carolina) and Dr. Michelle Jay (University of South Carolina), are experienced evaluators who oversee the curriculum and site placements. Throughout the internship the co-chairs are available to guide, advise, and support the interns in achieving their professional goals and the goals of the program.

AEA Staff. AEA staff provide logistical support throughout the internship. Post-internship, they work to connect program graduates with opportunities for leadership, participation, and networking within the association.

Online Community. The GEDI cohort uses an online community space for checking in, turning in updates, asking questions, and informal networking.

Student Benefits: Interns receive support from advisors and mentors, quality training focused on evaluation, real-world work experience, registration waivers and guidance at two professional evaluation conferences, and multiple opportunities for professional networking. In recognition of the time involved in the program (approximately 2 days per week), each intern also receives an $8,000 stipend and is reimbursed for major travel expenses related to the program (airfare and hotel specifically).

Eligibility: We seek students who are NOT already enrolled in an evaluation program/specialization or pursuing an evaluation degree who:

  • Are enrolled in a masters or doctoral-level program and have completed the equivalent of one full year of graduate level coursework;
  • Have already been exposed to research methods and substantive issues in their field of expertise;
  • Demonstrate via written essays the relevance of evaluation training to their career plans and their commitment to culturally responsive practice;
  • Are eligible to work in the United States (non-U.S. citizens will be asked to provide documentation of eligibility); and
  • Have support from his/her academic advisor.

Criteria for Selection: The interns will be selected based on their completed applications, materials provided, and subsequent finalist interviews focusing on:

  • Their thinking around and commitment to culturally responsive evaluation practice;
  • The alignment between their skills, aspirations, locale, and internship site placement needs;
  • The quality of their academic, extracurricular, and personal experiences as preparation for GEDI; and
  • Their capacity to carry out and complete the program, including support from an academic advisor.

To apply: Download the GEDI Application and return all requested materials via email as described on that document on or before June 21, 2010. Please note that it may take a few weeks to compile the requested information and thus we recommend that you begin as soon as possible before the deadline.

Questions: We recommend beginning by reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions Page. Should you have further questions, please contact Dr. Rita O'Sullivan via email at [email protected] regarding the program.