I. Overview

Applications to conduct research involving students, parents or staff of Salt Lake City School District must be approved by the Assessment and Evaluation Department in conjunction with various departments of the district.  While the district is committed to the advancement of educational research, the quantity of external research projects proposed to the district on an annual basis tends to be larger than the district can accommodate.  Additionally, any project or research approved must be in alignment and continue to support the Student Achievement Plan.  In addition, proposed research generally will not be approved during the time students are participating in state testing (April-June).
Research guidelines incorporated in this application are designed:

  • to protect staff and student time from unauthorized or excessive data collection.
  • to protect the confidentiality and safety of human subjects.
  • to guarantee the integrity and quality of any research conducted in the district.
  • To ensure laws and regulations governing privacy are met.

Research is defined as the systematic collection of any data about students, parents, staff and/or schools in the district for the purpose of developing descriptions, predictions, interventions or explanations relating to various aspects of education.  Research studies may include:

  • Projects/research that address critical research needs of the district.
  • Grant-funded projects that have been subjected to peer review and have full-time faculty or professional evaluators supervising data collection and analysis.
  • Studies conducted by the district employees for the purpose of fulfilling advanced degree requirements.
  • Studies conducted by agencies that provide health and social services for children and families
  • Surveys used for grant, evaluation, or

Research must not violate state and federal code related to privacy and family values. In addition it should not impose undue burden on school or district personnel, such as excessive surveys, testing and unreasonable time demands. Specifically we do not approve external research projects dealing with family relationships, personal values, sexual behavior or orientation, alcohol or drug use or whether students have engaged in or witnessed other illegal activities are not approved. In addition, no research by students at the undergraduate level is permitted.<

II. The Application Process

The following instructions describe the forms/documentation that must be submitted for consideration of approval of external research.  These should be submitted to:
Michelle Amiot
Director of Assessment and Evaluation
Salt Lake City School District
440 East 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
valerie.hoecherl@slcschools.org  (administrative assistant)

Each application must include (1) a completed REQUEST FOR RESEARCH FORM and (2) RESEARCH PROSPECTUS. 
PROSPECTUS should include the following elements:

  1. Name of the organization, institution or agency represented by investigator and or team.
  2. Other institutional review or human subject review boards involved (attach copies of current or pending approval).
  3. Names and titles of all researchers who will have contact with subjects.
  4. The Research Prospectus should include the following information:
    • Statement of the research questions, problem, or purpose.
    • A brief literature review supporting the thesis of the research project.
    • Description of research design, sample data, data collection procedures and methods of analysis used.
    • If applicable, provide copies of any surveys, tests and questions that will be employed.
    • If applicable, provide copies of all necessary Informed Consent documents.

Forms obtaining informed consent from parties from whom data will be collected must include descriptions of: (1) the individual(s) conducting the research including contact information, (2) the purpose of the study, (3) data collection procedures, (4) the study duration and time required of those participating in the study, (5) procedures to withdraw from the study with no penalty, (6) how the data will be utilized, (7) potential risks and benefits and (8) efforts to maintain confidentiality.  In addition, Informed Consent forms must include signature and date lines.  Applications submitted to the IRB of universities and other agencies may serve as a substitute for the RESEARCH PROSPECTUS.

The last date for new research to be considered is 30 days prior to the end of the school year.  The district reserves the right to extend the period should the need arise. Any extensions of research deadlines must be requested in writing 30 days before expiration of current research permission dates.

III. The Review Process

Studies will be assessed foremost for their value to a particular school or to the the district as a whole.  In addition, the relative cost-benefit to the school district should be equitable. Accordingly, the design of the study should be congruent with the district policy and research supported educational practices.  Finally, the research design should be one from which valid conclusions can be drawn.

Prior to making the decision whether or not to approve the proposal to conduct external research, the Assessment and Evaluation Department will obtain feedback from an ad hoc committee, selected from district staff members, based on their knowledge of and concern with the proposed research.  The review process generally takes four weeks to complete. A final decision regarding the status of the application will be sent to the applicant in writing. The application may be accepted as is, approved based on stated modifications, or denied. District administration approval does not necessarily constitute approval for the study to be conducted in any specific school. It is simply a permission to request the voluntary cooperation in the research of individuals associated with the district. Researchers must obtain the approval of principals and others involved, prior to conducting research in specific schools. The research will be approved for a specific time period. The expiration date for the approval will be based on information provided by the applicant. Approval of research projects by the district does not require principals to allow research in their school.

IV. Research Conduct

The district holds the following expectations for external researchers:

  • The confidentiality of student records must be maintained and the privacy and rights of individuals and schools respected.
  • While conducting research studies in the schools, individuals should abide by standards of professional conduct and dress.
  • The disruption of the school’s routine must be kept to a minimum.
  • Meetings and data collection should be scheduled far enough in advance to allow for adequate planning.
  • It is the obligation of the researcher to secure informed consent from parents/guardians whenever necessary.
  • The researcher(s) is/are responsible for absorbing the financial costs of conducting the study.
  • The researcher(s) must notify the Assessment and Evaluation Department regarding any proposed changes in the study.
  • The the district expects the researcher(s) to provide a copy of the final research report.  The applicant agrees to release this report for use by the district without remuneration.
  • We appreciate your interest in conducting research in the Salt Lake City School District. If you have any questions regarding the application or review process, please contact
    Michelle Amiot at 801.578.8294.


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