Conducting External Research

Conducting External Research

Research within The School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia frequently receives requests from individuals and organizations to conduct research studies with students, teachers, principals, and administrators. While it is District policy to cooperate with researchers whose projects might benefit education, all individuals and organizations interested in conducting research in the District must have their proposals reviewed by the Office of Research and Evaluation's Research Review Committee (RRC).


What Kinds of Studies Does the RRC Review?

In order to be considered by the RRC, research must fit into one of five categories: 1) Academic Study; 2) Ph.D. Dissertation; 3) National Survey; 4) Grant Mandated Evaluation; 5) Program Evaluation. To ensure alignment with Action Plan 3.0, released March 2015, the District is limiting all research falling under categories one, two and three (Academic Studies, Ph.D. Dissertations and National Surveys) to studies that directly align to the District's Anchor Goals.

Please Note: The RRC discourages the submission of program evaluations conducted by the program provider. In order to promote rigorous and impartial evaluations, the RRC requests that program providers partner with a third party evaluator. Alternatively, the Office of Research and Evaluation can provide evaluation services at a reduced cost, if the cost of a third party evaluator is prohibitive.


Steps for Proposal Submission

Prior to submitting a proposal, please review the District's Action Plan 3.0, and ensure that the answer to each of the following questions is, "yes."

1. What category of research does my proposal fall into? Does your proposal fall into one of the preferred research categories?

2. If your proposal is an Academic Study, a Ph.D. Dissertation, or a National Survey, does it align with the Anchor Goals outlined in the District's Action Plan?

3. Will findings from this research provide actionable outcomes that can help improve the educational experiences of children in Philadelphia?

4. If requesting data or survey administration: Have you thoroughly explored all publically available data, including the District-wide survey results, before determining the need to make a specific data request and/or administer your own survey instruments?

*PLEASE NOTE* As of October 2016, all dissertation proposals must first be discussed via a phone consultation with an ORE staff member. Any dissertation proposals submitted without prior consultation will immediately be denied. If you wish to your dissertation study to be considered within the District, please email researchreview@philasd.org.

Ready to Submit?

If you are interested in submitting a research proposal for the committee's review, please CLICK HERE. All research activities must adhere to the District's policies and procedures.

If your research has already been approved by the RRC, please CLICK HERE.

If you are seeking DATA ONLY and will not be submitting a research proposal, please CLICK HERE for to submit an online data request. Due to the volume of requests we receive, it will take at least 30 business days for your data request to be filled (beyond the research review process, if applicable). 

For questions or concerns, please contact Kelsey Weir at researchreview@philasd.org. If you would like to meet in person, please schedule an appointment.