District Research Sponsors
We require that all researchers have a Boston Public School central office department leader or executive-level district sponsor for each unique research project. District sponsors also serve as the local “owner” of the research. This means district sponsors will actively commit to use the results of the research to improve department practices and inform policy. However, this does not mean the sponsor will develop the research plan or write any part of the proposal. The sponsor may suggest possible research question(s) and should be willing to assist in the interpretation of findings using local expertise and context. The sponsor may not be a building administrator and may not be a researcher's direct supervisor. Research study sponsorship should be established prior to research proposals being submitted with a required template letter confirming the support of the study.
It should be noted that BPS staff should not feel obligated or required to sponsor a research project, since their ability to sponsor will depend on their office's required mandates, priorities and goals. The sponsor should be willing to assist with facilitating the process such as suggesting possible schools and how results will be disseminated and used across the district.
District sponsors are responsible for the following tasks:
- Reviewing the research proposal before it is submitted to the Office of Data and Accountability
- Facilitating the relationship between researchers and school leaders for research that includes primary data collection, including the selection of appropriate school sites for research
- Annually reviewing interim findings submitted in the form of a policy brief
- Assessing research progress
- Writing annual letters of support for the research to continue
- Committing to use the results of research to further the department goals