Evaluation and Research

TRAILS got its start as a university research organization in 2013. Scientific evidence has been the cornerstone of our work ever since.


As we grow, TRAILS is committed to conducting rigorous evaluation of our programming and implementation model. Our team of evaluation experts works collaboratively with a range of partner organizations to measure program outcomes with precision, provide detailed reports to our stakeholders, and identify opportunities to refine and strengthen the services we provide.

Our work with the Youth Policy Lab

In partnership with the Youth Policy Lab, a joint initiative of the Ford School of Public Policy and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, TRAILS is conducting several randomized controlled trials to measure the impact of our programming. These trials – a gold-standard evaluation approach – will help us better describe program outcomes for students and school staff, and explore new avenues for growth.

How we share our progress

When TRAILS collects implementation data, we make it a priority to share the results of our analysis back with the communities they came from. By providing communications such as summary reports, newsletters, and community briefs, we are working to keep all TRAILS stakeholders up to date about the projects we take on together.


TRAILS has a long history of scholarship in the fields of youth mental health and implementation science: We spent nine years as a University of Michigan research organization before transitioning to a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship model in 2022. Today, we continue to collaborate with faculty at the University of Michigan and other academic institutions on initiatives that inform best practices for school-based mental health.