CSR's top priority is to support evidence-based decisions through innovative social-scientific research that contributes to community development and improvement. CSR offers the following services to a wide variety of clients including academic, public-sector, nonprofit, religious, and business organizations seeking creative problem solving through social research. We provide problem-solving services directly and emphasize collaboration, consulting, supporting and advisory roles to empower clients to conduct their own data collection and research effectively.


At any given time, CSR is generally supporting or conducting several long-term projects and at least a dozen shorter-term projects.

  • Steelcase - Coded over half a million images for research analysis, created statistical analyses, and provided experimental research services.
  • Kid's Food Basket - Built a collaborative community food survey with partner organizations and collaboration of funders, distributed to 7500 local random residential addresses and hundreds more online, and facilitated human-centered design listening sessions with residents to get feedback and ideas to inform future food and nutrition programming.
  • The Essential Needs Task Force of Kent County - Continually working with five subcommittees comprised of dozens of local leaders in the areas of Food and Nutrition Coalition, Economic and Workforce Development, Transportation, Energy Efficiency, and the Coalition to End Homelessness to develop public dashboard metrics, maps detailing access to produce retailer/produce deserts, Tableau data visualizations on public transportation resources to determine gaps and needs, data-sharing agreements, meeting and workshop facilitation, grant and proposal writing, Trello collaborative online task management boards training and usage, and presentations to stakeholders.
  • Sisters Who Lead - Co-designed and administered surveys, led focus groups, and producing a report on findings and recommendations for the project led by Shannon Cohen, MPA and Dr. Pat VerDuin.
  • Greater Grand Rapids YMCA - Facilitated strategy workshops for program impact teams, developed department mission statements, created logic models, and improved program evaluation tools and plans.
  • Greater Grand Rapids Survey of Congregations - Funded by the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, CSR conducted a ten-year update to the Kent County Congregational Study, supervising a team of eight field interviewers who interviewed more than 350 religious leaders throughout Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Kentwood. CSR managed data collection, database management, analysis, and created data visualizations, as well as produced charts for the report.
  • Plaster Creek Stewards - Providing research consulting and survey services to the environmental effort led by Calvin's Dr. Gail Heffner and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Frequently Asked Questions


Research Design and Project Management

  • Planning and meeting participation and facilitation: We'll help you focus on what you really need to know and how to get there
  • Expertise in a wide variety of social-scientific methods
  • Data management and logistical planning
  • Project scheduling and cost estimation working with your budget
  • Trello collaborative online task management
  • Proposal and grant writing

Survey Research

  • Online surveys with Qualtrics
  • Hybrid paper mail-and online surveys
  • Face-to-face interviews

Qualitative Research Support

  • Transcription of interviews
  • Spanish and Korean translation of interviews, surveys and other content
  • Listening sessions and focus groups
  • Human-centered design
  • NVivo content-analysis software

Project Logistical Support

  • Coordination and scheduling
  • Recruiting participants and stakeholders
  • Mailing and mail receiving
  • Supply ordering
  • Filing and organization
  • In-person, mail, and phone outreach to project partners

Data Preparation and Analysis

  • Database design
  • Custom database-driven web applications with PHP/MySQL, QuickBase and other platforms
  • Statistical modeling, including advanced models with SPSS, Stata and other packages
  • GIS data mapping and analysis with ArcGIS, Google Earth, GeoDA and others
  • Kumu system mapping


  • Report writing and support
  • Interactive data visualizations with Tableau software
  • Charts and graphics
  • Public speaking and meeting leadership
  • Infographics

Project Accounting

  • Support for faculty projects
  • Estimation and invoicing
  • Grant writing
  • Time tracking

Request Services

CSR provides free initial consultation on prospective projects.
Feel free to contact us:

By phone: (616) 526-7799
By email: csr@calvin.edu
By mail: Center for Social Research, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546