Institute for Collaborative Research and Evaluation 

African-American woman presenting a chart during a business meeting

Established in 2023, VCU’s Institute for Collaborative Research and Evaluation (ICRE)

  • Designs and leads a wide variety of research and evaluation efforts focused on transforming systems and improving the outcomes of individuals, organizations and communities.

  • Provides pre- and post-award methodological support for funded projects. 

  • Coordinates professional learning opportunities on research methods with a focus on collaborative and community-engaged approaches.

ICRE was developed as an expansion of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC), a longstanding research-practice partnership between VCU’s School of Education and regional K12 school districts.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read and/or download a variety of MERC research briefs. 

ICRE builds on MERC’s collaborative research model to support projects beyond the Richmond Region and across sectors including work with non-profits, K12 school districts, state agencies, and institutions of higher education. Topics of current projects include:

  • Teacher Residency Models
  • Teacher Induction
  • Career Pathways and Work-based Learning
  • Early Childhood 
  • Computer Science
  • STEM Professional Development Models
  • Student Mental Health
  • Equitable Access to Advanced Coursework in K12
  • Professional Development for Culturally Responsive Teaching

ICRE’s experienced team of researchers and evaluators works with partners and clients to determine information needs and then co-design projects that unlock insights, trends, and queries to inform organizational decision-making. ICRE also provides developmental evaluation and strategic planning to support organizational growth.


Connect with our ICRE Team

Director: Dr. Jesse Senechal
Location: Oliver Hall, VCU School of Education, 1015 W. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23284-2020

To learn more about our services, please contact Jesse Senechal ( or Paula Ogston-Nobile ( 

Or, complete this
form, and we will contact you to get started.

Research to Classroom: Downloadable Briefs on Bullying, Absenteeism, Artificial Intelligence & More

The School of Education’s Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) published a wide range of research briefs on the emerging issues of PK12 education, including several that explore the immediacy of pandemic-related topics. 

Each brief provides a review of the literature, coupled with key takeaways and recommendations for policy and practice: