The Center for Applied Research and Studies (CARRS) at CMU maintains social science research resources including: state-of-the-art survey software for sophisticated and customized telephone interviews (using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing), surveys delivered through U.S. mail, and on-line surveys.  In addition, CARRS works with clients to conduct focus groups and open-ended qualitative interviews. Whenever possible, CARRS attempts to maximize the ways in which clients can use the data that they have already gathered for administrative and client service purposes.

Current Projects

  • NSF Advance Grant: CMU Faculty Work Life and Climate Study
  • ADAC Project: Faculty/Staff survey on disability issues
  • CMU Employment and Engagement Research Initiative
  • Evaluation of the STEP/Pathways Programs
  • Evaluation of Game-based Learning courses
  • Evaluation of Study-Abroad programs

External Research

CARRS has worked with social service agencies in mid-Michigan to determine whether the programs they offer are having the impact that was intended. Organizations need such data for their own program improvement purposes and funders increasing ask the question "Does the program work?" before they are willing to commit new or additional funds. Increasingly, organizations are being asked to think not only about client and customer satisfaction, but also about whether programs lead to desired outcomes. 

CARRS has assisted community organizations and the University by using data to set priorities for the future.  Evidence-based decision-making and the use of evidence in planning requires that organizations gather or maintain data and that they understand both the strengths and the limitations of the use of such empirical evidence.

​Past Clients
Past Projects
  • ​President and Vice Presidents at CMU 
  • Union Township 
  • Midland Parks and Recreation Commission 
  • Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency 
  • Mid-Michigan Visiting Nurse Association 
  • Prevention Network 
  • United Way organizations in mid-Michigan  
  • Wexford County Commission





  • County wide social service assessments
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Technology, land use, health department, and library use surveys
  • Focus groups allowing customers to express their viewpoints and contribute to program improvement
  • A community-wide economic impact study
  • An alcohol prevention program evaluation
  • An analysis of existing records to document the success of new treatment regimens
  • Evidence-based strategic planning using data collected using multiple methods