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Linking Research and Practice: Considering Skills for and Careers in Program Evaluation and Assessment


Jessica Sperling, Ph.D., Director of Applied Research, Evaluation, & Engagement for Duke SSRI and Director of Evaluation & Strategic Planning for Duke CTSI

A graphic for the "Linking Research and Practice: Considering Skills for and Careers in Program Evaluation and Assessment" event on October 21.

Jessica Sperling, Ph.D. will discuss her path from a social science Ph.D. to a career in evaluation–an area of work that utilizes Ph.D. conceptual and empirical training in applied settings. She will discuss how doctoral students can use their skills and knowledge for potential careers in evaluation, and she will discuss how interested graduate students and postdocs could gain experience in evaluation through SSRI.

Jessica Sperling, PhD

Speaker: Jessica Sperling is Director of Applied Research, Evaluation &Engagement for the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and Director of Evaluation and Strategic Planning at Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Jessica is dedicated to developing community-engaged and applied research, improving programs through responsive and collaborative evaluation, as well as developing educational programming with hands-on learning opportunities. Prior to joining Duke, she was a Research Analyst in the CUNY Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support and also managed the research and evaluation program for StoryCorps, where she developed an overall framework for evaluation, as well as specific data collection and analysis projects. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she focused on immigration, race/ethnicity, and inequality and was funded by the NSF, the Social Science Research Council, and Zeit Stiftung/Bucerius. As a sociologist, Jessica brings a focus on institutions and social structure to her work, and she appreciates being actively engaged in solutions to social problems.

This event is sponsored by SSRI and the the Department of Political Science. Questions? Contact Dr. Jessica Sperling at



Professional Adaptability, Professional Development