• Research Proposal Review and Approval Process

    Step 1
    To initiate the research review process, the researcher must submit a completed online application and the full proposal, as described in this document, to the Office of Data and Accountability.  The website has specific time windows when research applications may be submitted and review times when new applications will not be accepted. Please plan accordingly. In general, the research submission and review calendar is as follows:

    Review Period

    Submission Month

    Review Month

    Decision Letter Sent


    June 1-30

    July 1-31



    October 1-31

    November 1-30



    February 1-28

    March 1-31


    Step 2
    Upon receipt of the complete online application and additional documentation, ODA will review the proposal to determine whether or not it satisfies the criteria outlined in this document. Applications that are incomplete, lack an appropriate sponsor, or improperly formatted will be rejected. ODA reserves the right to require changes in the research design, procedures, or times when it will be conducted by the schools prior to its approval.  In general, complete applications are reviewed after the submission window closes. Decisions will usually be made within the timetable shown above, but consultation with other BPS offices may result in a longer time for a final decision. 

    Step 3
    Once the proposal is approved, it is the responsibility of the researcher to submit copies of the research executive summary along with a Research Proposal Review Form to the appropriate headmaster(s) or principal(s) of each school where the study is to be conducted for their approval and signature.

    All copies of the signed Research Proposal Review Forms from the schools must be emailed to research@bostonpublicschools.org before research can begin.  Only if the principal(s)/headmaster(s) are willing to participate in the study can the research be conducted in the given school. Initial approval by ODA does not ensure that selected schools will be willing or able to participate. 

    Step 4a
    If your study involves primary data collection at a school site, a CORI application will need to be completed for each researcher who intends to enter a school site. CORI applications can be submitted at www.bostonpublicschools.org/cori. Additional details for submitting a CORI review can be found here

    Step 4b
    If your study requires administrative data from BPS central records, you will need to submit a formal data request (link to be shared in approval letter). Once the data request is submitted, a fully executed non-disclosure agreement (NDA) will be required which will include mutually agreed upon data to be shared by BPS with the researcher.  Note: A charge may be levied for studies receiving grant funding or that are mandated research or evaluation projects. 

    Step 5
    After all Research Proposal Review Forms form have been submitted and approved, the researcher may begin the study.

    • Twice annually, the researcher is expected to submit policy brief updates to the district sponsor and the Research Team (research@bostonpublicschools.org). 
    • Once the study is completed, a copy of the final research report must be emailed to the BPS Research Team (research@bostonpublicschools.org). 
      • Please also provide a copy of all findings to participating schools and/or programs.  Whenever feasible, the researcher should visit the school(s) to explain the findings to the principal(s) and headmaster(s) and other school staff.

    If you have any questions, please contact the BPS Research Team at research@bostonpublicschools.org