The Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI) is an interdisciplinary training institute for evaluation studies at the University of Minnesota. MESI’s academic home is in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (http://www.cehd.umn.edu/olpd/) in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). The institute brings together faculty expertise from CEHD, the School of Public Health, the Humphrey School for Public Affairs, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), and Minnesota Extension.


Goals of the Institute:

  • Build an interdisciplinary network of program evaluators across the University
  • Provide high quality evaluator training and professional development which includes MESI Spring Training and the Summer Institute
  • Provide high quality, cost-effective consulting, technical assistance, and capacity building
  • Conduct research and development for program evaluation


High Quality, Low Cost Evaluation Consulting

MESI seeks to partner with community organizations and University programs that have missions that align with MESI’s goals and a demonstrated need for high quality, low cost evaluation services. In these mutually beneficial partnerships, organizations/ programs receive the benefit of working with qualified evaluation students with close supervision and mentoring from MESI faculty and/or staff. MESI students gain real-world experience with organizations/programs in a supportive environment. The level of student experience and expertise and degree of supervision and support is negotiated by project, according to the needs and budget of each organization/program.  Click here to see a list of some past and current projects.

Opportunities For Students

In partnership with departments within the University and organizations within the Twin Cities, MESI supports a cadre of graduate student interns to address a wide range of evaluation needs. Student interns receive a modest stipend or graduate assistantship to conduct a set of prescribed evaluation tasks.  Click here to learn more or to submit your resume.

Opportunities For Evaluator Mentors

Many projects require that students be paired with an experienced evaluator mentor.  This mentor gives the students opportunities for leadership and growth while coaching them on varying aspects of evaluation from methodological approaches to working in politically charged situations.  These are part-time, project specific opportunities. 

Opportunities For Evaluator Trainers

MESI partners with organizations to build capacity and deliver trainings.  A list of trainings offered by MESI will be posted soon.