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Conduct Research or Obtain Confidential Data at DCPS

Thank you for your interest in conducting research in DC Public Schools! We want to make DCPS the best urban school district in the country. To this end, we welcome high-quality research in DCPS. We strive to create favorable conditions for research while respecting instructional time and individual privacy.

For existing publicly available data sets, visit dcps.dc.gov/service/dcps-downloadable-data-sets.

In the 2021-2022 school year, the DCPS Research Review Board will consider proposals monthly on the following schedule. Review dates are subject to change without notice. Contact [email protected] with questions.

Submission Due Date

Proposal Review Date

August 27, 2021

September 2, 2021

October 1, 2021

October 7, 2021

October 29, 2021

November 4, 2021

November 26, 2021

December 2, 2021

December 31, 2021

January 6, 2022

January 28, 2022

February 3, 2022

February 25, 2022

March 3, 2022

April 1, 2022

April 7, 2022

April 29, 2022

May 5, 2022

May 27, 2022

June 2, 2022

About Research at DCPS

  • DCPS believes in the power of research to improve the body of knowledge related to learning and development. We welcome partnerships with the research community whose findings and results will benefit our students and/or staff or contribute to the wider improvement of public education.
  • DCPS exclusively approves proposals that meet professional standards for research design and ethical practices and have merit and relevance for the school system.
  • DCPS requires that research supports our values of equity and anti-racism. Equity at DCPS means creating an environment in which we eliminate opportunity gaps, interrupt institutional bias, and remove barriers to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. Read more from the DCPS Equity Strategy and Programming Team.
  • DCPS does not approve proposals that include randomized control trials in which students are denied services or there is deceit of students in their application to a program. Please see Appendix II of the DCPS Process and Requirements to Conduct Research or Obtain Confidential Data for additional information.
  • “Research” refers to any activity aiming to increase the existing body of knowledge. It encompasses all investigation, measurement, and evaluation activities, including design, pilots, data collection and analysis, interpretation of results, and conclusions and recommendations. Research may include primary data collection, secondary data usage, or both. “Data collection” includes, but is not limited to, interviews, focus groups, surveys, tests, observations, analysis of written documents, and experimental designs.

DCPS Research Priorities

  • Promote Equity: Define, understand, and promote equity so that we eliminate opportunity gaps and systematically interrupt institutional bias.
  • Empower Our People: Recruit, develop, and retain a talented, caring, and diverse team
  • Ensure Excellent Schools: Increase the number of excellent schools throughout the city
  • Educate the Whole Child: Provide rigorous, joyful, and inclusive academic and social emotional learning experiences to ensure all students are college and career ready.
  • Engage Families: Ensure communication and deepen partnerships with families and the community.

Submitting a Research Proposal

For a guide to submitting a research proposal in DCPS, download the DCPS Process and Requirements to Conduct Research or Obtain Confidential Data[PDF]. This document governs requests to conduct research in DCPS or obtain data that:

  • Exist, must be constructed based on existing data, or do not exist and must be collected; and
  • Are disaggregate (including student- and other individual-level data) or aggregate where identification is possible explicitly or implicitly (e.g., school-level data on subgroups smaller than 10 individuals).

Please use this cover sheet[DOC] for your proposal.

We accept the following types of proposal for review. Note that we do NOT accept proposals from graduate students UNLESS they are current DCPS employees.

  • Proposals for research activities originating within DCPS offices, departments, divisions, and other units, transmitted through their central office administrative channels.
  • Responses to DCPS requests for proposals for external audits and research.
  • Unsolicited research proposals from individuals (non-students or DCPS employees who are students) or organizations independent of DCPS that support DCPS’s strategic priorities.

Starting October 1, 2021, please use the Box link in the DCPS Process and Requirements to Conduct Research or Obtain Confidential Data to submit proposals. Direct all other inquiries to [email protected].

Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

Full DCPS policies related to PPRA can be found in the DCPS Process and Requirements to Conduct Research or Obtain Confidential Data.

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