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Welcome to the DPS Research Review Board

The Research Review Board (RRB) is facilitated by the Impact Office at DPS. The RRB ensures responsible administration and facilitation of external research practice in the District. The primary responsibilities of the RRB are: 1) reviewing external research proposal submissions, 2) monitoring modifications to approved research projects, and 3) ensuring engagement in the research results with DPS staff, educators, and students to confirm mutual benefit of the final product to the District and external researcher on a Partnered Study. Approval of external research proposals will be reserved for projects that support District priorities and will be reviewed based on the level of effort required from DPS staff, as well as time required from DPS educators and students. The policies, processes, and proposal submission requirements outlined below and within the RRB Handbook encourage the greatest benefit from the time and resources expended to support external research proposals. 

Further, the Research Review Board (RRB) will prioritize external research proposals that have the potential to impact Denver Public Schools (DPS) students, teachers, and school leaders and are aligned to the Denver Plan 2020 strategies:

  • Great Schools in Every Neighborhood,
  • A Foundation for Success in School,
  • Ready for College and Career,
  • Support for the Whole Child, and
  • Close the Opportunity Gap

 To learn more about the Denver Plan 2020 strategies, visit this webpage.

Research Requests

External Research Study Proposal Review Windows

All external research, and associated data requests, must be submitted to the RRB for review and approval in one of three windows, prior to beginning the research study. Please note, applying does not guarantee approval. 

Window 1 Window 2 Window 3
September 1-September 30 December 15-January 15 April 15-May 15

Requests submitted outside these windows will not be considered.

Study Proposal Submission Window: CLOSED

The Research Review Board is not currently accepting proposals to do research with the District. The next window will be open from December 15, 2019 through January 15, 2020. Please check this website again at the start of the window to ensure understanding of the current submission requirements.

Initial Inquiries to Propose Partnered Research Between Windows

While the Research Review Board does not accept full proposals between submission windows, initial inquiries to do research with DPS are welcome. We recognize that good partnered research takes time and would love to start conversations about initial inquiries well in advance of the submission windows. Communication around initial inquiries for research will also assist with identifying the most appropriate DPS sponsor for the study to ensure that the proposal is aligned with the DPS strategies and priorities. Please send an introductory e-mail to RRB@dpsk12.org with your initial inquiry.

To support with the initial inquiry outline, please use the Executive Summary contents here as a guide.

Who Needs to Submit a Study Proposal?

External Researchers who are interested in doing research that involves students, teachers, school leaders, or central office administrators, or data about these people and contributes to generalizable knowledge should submit their proposals to the DPS RRB. External Researchers include:

  • Research organizations, 
  • Universities, including students in master’s or doctoral programs, 
  • Grantees or foundations, 
  • Educational programs or service providers who wish to evaluate their programs, 
  • DPS employees who wish to conduct research for personal purposes outside of their normal work duties (e.g., research for the completion of a master’s thesis or doctoral research project), and
  • Other individuals (e.g., consultants) interested in doing research with the District.

Please note: Current DPS employees who are interested in doing research outside of their standard job duties (i.e., for graduate programs) are considered external and must complete the RRB proposal application process.

Types of Research Study Proposal Reviews

The DPS Research Review Board has a dual mission: encourage external research that has high potential to be actionable, while also removing barriers for DPS educators who seek advanced master’s or doctoral degrees. To that end, we have defined two distinct types of research that will be reviewed by the RRB: Partnered Study and Standard Study.

  • A Partnered Study is research developed collaboratively with a DPS sponsor (Central Office Director, Executive Director, or Division Chief) and has strong potential to benefit the District. Because of the potential benefit, these researchers will have additional review and data support from the RRB, and may have respectful access to educators and students during instructional and planning time. In addition, Partnered Research projects may be provided with custom data sets that are aligned with the proposal’s research questions.
  • A Standard Study is any research that is not developed collaboratively with a DPS sponsor. Researchers working on Standard Research projects will not: 1) have access to teachers and students during instructional or planning time and 2) be able to request DPS staff time in assembling custom data sets. Researchers on these projects may use the same data sources that are accessible through a CORA request, and subject to the same costs that apply for CORA requests. 

Proposal submission requirements for these two types of research will be the same. Please see more detail about the process and proposal requirements in the subsequent sections. 

Steps to Submit a Research Study Proposal

1 Review the RRB Handbook, including the appendices regarding insurance and background checks.
2 Complete a full proposal, such as the RRB Proposal template.

Gather all other required documentation to submit.

3 Complete the Google Intake Form. In addition to providing information in the form, the Researcher will be required to upload:

  1. Full Research Proposal outlined in the RRB Handbook
  2. IRB approval letter
  3. Copies of informed consent letters for study participants (e.g., school leaders, teachers and/or students) 
  4. Study instruments (e.g., survey items, protocols, rubrics)
  5. Signed Statement of Support
  6. MOU, contract, or partnership documentation, if applicable

*Note: a Gmail address is required to submit an application via the intake form. If the Researcher does not have a Gmail account, an account can be created for free.

4

Submit the application fee, where applicable, via MySchoolBucks using the link provided after submission of the Google Intake Form.

Upon request, the DPS RRB will ask for proof of insurance coverage and background checks for all studies with the District. Please review Appendix C for Insurance Requirements and Appendix D for Background Checks of the RRB Handbook to ensure the proper documentation is on file for the Researcher, or Principal Investigator, and all other research team members. 

Fees

Starting with the September 2019 proposal submission window, the DPS RRB is charging a non-refundable fee to review applications. Applications will not be reviewed until fees have been paid in full. If the Researcher is currently a member of Team DPS, the application fee will be waived upon submission of a valid Employee ID#. If the Researcher has extenuating circumstances that prohibit payment of the fee, please contact the RRB.

Researcher Type                           Fee
DPS Employee Fee waived (with valid employee ID#)
Graduate Student $25
Other Studies $50

For data pulls associated with an approved study request, a $30/hour fee for any request exceeding one hour will be charged. 

Research proposals are typically reviewed by the RRB within 3 weeks of a complete submission. The Researcher will be contacted by the RRB after the review with questions and/or feedback on the study proposal.

Federal Regulations Compliance

All external research proposals must comply with the following federal regulations:

  • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): FERPA is a federal privacy law that gives parents certain protections with regard to their children’s education records. Education records include, but are not limited to: report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, personally identifiable information, and class schedules. For more information on FERPA, visit this webpage
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA gives students and parents the right to be informed of privacy practices of health providers, as well as their privacy rights with respect to their personal health information. These requirements will be more relevant to health related studies (e.g., chronic illness, mental or physical issues). For more information on HIPAA as it pertains to education, visit this webpage
  • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA): PPRA affords parents of minors (below the age of 18) the right to consent to survey questions of a personal nature (e.g., political affiliations, mental problems, sexual behavior, illegal behavior, religious practices, or income). See the full list PPRA survey consideration areas on this webpage
  • National School Lunch Act (NSLA): NSLA protects the privacy of information that the District collects from families of children who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch meals. Therefore, individual student free or reduced-priced records cannot be shared by the District. For more information on NSLA, visit this webpage.  

To ensure the protection of DPS students and families, any proposals that violate the terms of these federal regulations and District Board policies will not be approved by the RRB.

Data Protection Agreement (DPA)

In order to request secondary data from DPS, a Data Protection Agreement (DPA) is required with the District. If the Researcher or Researcher’s Institution does not have a DPA in place, please complete the latest version of the DPA. Please use this DPA to outline the data request in more detail as it relates to the study’s proposed research questions and methods.

Data pulls for secondary data requests related to studies that are quantitative or mixed methods in nature require DPS staff time and resources. To account for the use of DPS staff time and resources, the DPS RRB will charge $30 per hour (after the first hour) for secondary data requests, starting in the September 2019 proposal submissions window. Fees for secondary data requests will be charged via MySchoolBucks, after the data has been pulled and actual time has been recorded for the charge. Before the data will be provided, the data pull fee must be paid in full. Data will be provided based on an agreed upon due date.

A Data Protection Agreement (DPA) will be required for the following types of custom Partnered Study requests:

  • De-identified individual records for students or teachers
  • Aggregate, unsuppressed records showing less than 16 individuals per aggregate (e.g., school)

Standard Study requests for secondary data will have access to the same data available through CORA. A DPA is not needed for this level of secondary data request. 

  • Aggregate, suppressed records showing no less than 16 individuals per aggregate

Modifications to Existing Studies

It is common for the need to adjust studies while they are taking place. Anytime changes are made to the study, contact the RRB with the assigned RRB number in the subject line and the following: 

  1. A completed copy of this Modification Form, with the DPS Sponsor signature, 
  2. Institutional Review Board approval of the modification, if applicable, to ensure proper review of legal and ethical research standards, and 
  3. Supporting updated “proposal” materials (e.g., revised proposal, revised consent letters, revised instruments, etc.), where applicable.

Here are some examples of study changes:

  • Statement of purpose, research problem, or justification of research
  • Research questions or hypotheses
  • Benefit or cost to DPS schools and education
  • Methodology
  • Sample population for the study (e.g., recruitment of schools or teachers)
  • Changes to study materials (e.g., informed consent, instruments, etc.)
  • Extension to research study timeline recruitment and/or data collection period
  • New DPS sponsor, new Principal Investigator, or co-Principal Investigators
  • Newly executed Data Protection Agreement (DPA), including changes to policies for sharing data (secondary data collection)
  • Updated or different dissemination or publication plan
  • New funding source (e.g., grant, contract, MOU, etc.)
  • Human subject protection, including changes to Institutional Review Board approval

Dissemination of Final Results

Final & Interim Results

Final results are required to be sent to the Research Review Board upon completion of the study and prior to publication of results or further distribution of the findings to other parties. For Partnered Research, please also send a copy of the final results to the DPS Sponsor. Use this Research Brief Template if the Researcher does not have a report template from their institution or want to provide a shorter version of results to DPS.

Publication

For all studies, DPS reserves the right to the following prior to the publication of results: 

  1. Review the final results and provide feedback to the author, AND
  2. Restrict further dissemination if research participants, schools, and/or District anonymity is compromised. 

Researchers, and associated institutions, who do not share the final results with the DPS RRB upon completion of the study will not be permitted to do research with the District in the future. Other ongoing studies and related activities (e.g., data requests) with the District may be impacted as a result of not sharing the final results appropriately.

Naming the District in Publications

At the time of submitting a research proposal, the Researcher may have indicated interest in naming “Denver Public Schools” in publications. If interest was indicated, please submit all final reports to the RRB for review and approval by the DPS Sponsor, Division Chief, and the Director of Research and Evaluation for the study. The DPS RRB will coordinate this review once the Researcher has submitted final results to the District. DPS has the right to deny the publication or sharing of results if there is the potential for undue harm (or risk) to DPS principals, teachers, and students.

Questions?

Contact the Research Review Board at RRB@dpsk12.org.

Internal data requests pertain to current Denver Public School employees. If you would like to request student achievement data and/or family/student satisfaction survey data that is currently not available on the district websites, please contact AR&D at 720.423.3736.

Please provide the following information:

  • What questions are you trying to answer?
  • How will you use these data or analyses?
  • What data or analysis do you need?
  • When do you need the data? Please provide the last date for which the data will be useful.

Note: If the data you are requesting is not directly linked to your day-to-day work (e.g., doctoral dissertation), you must submit an External Research Request.

Available Data

Current Student Assessment Results
Illuminate
Teacher Portal
Principal Portal