Conducting Research in GCPS

  • COVID-19 Modification to the Research Approval Process for External Research

    The review and decision process for research proposals submitted for the September review will continue to be coordinated by the Office of Research & Evaluation as indicated below.

    • Researchers who submit research proposals will be notified whether the GCPS IRB will accept the proposal for: 
      • full consideration (to include a decision) or 
      • interim consideration (to receive review and commentary only). 

    Generally, proposals requesting extant or GCPS-routinely-collected data will receive full consideration while proposals requesting the collection of new data (e.g., from students, staff, and/or families) are likely to receive interim consideration.

    • Researchers may withdraw their proposal upon learning of interim consideration. If they choose to continue with interim consideration, the submission will not count among the total allowed and the commentary is intended to improve the proposal for a later submission when it can receive full consideration.

    In a continuing effort to focus first on student well-being and learning, the Office of Research & Evaluation appreciates your understanding of these necessary adjustments to the coordination of the approval of research during these unusual times.  

    Researchers may opt to submit their proposals during the November review period at which time we will return to our normal process of reviewing and then approving or denying all proposals.

    Board Policy ICC - Educational Research

    The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognizes that systematic study of the educational process and related variables can contribute significantly to the development and implementation of high-quality instructional programs. The Board, therefore, encourages the conduct of well-designed educational research projects within the district.

    While recognizing the value of educational research, the Board also has a responsibility to protect students, parents, and staff from harassment; invasion of privacy; physical, psychological, social, and educational injury; and substantial distraction from teaching and learning. Consequently, the Board requires that all research proposals be carefully screened by the Executive Director of Research and Evaluation and the Gwinnett Institutional Review Board to ensure that the proposed research has potential value for the district and is consistent with district philosophies, legal obligations, and standards of good scholarship.

    The Executive Director of Research and Evaluation must provide written approval before a research project may be conducted in the district. The Director and the appropriate division will be responsible for monitoring any approved research.

    The Research & Evaluation Office therefore accepts proposals of well-designed educational research projects within the district that adhere to GCPS Research Standards:

  • How does GCPS define research?

    Research is any data collection and or analysis from or about Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) students, staff, parents, or school communities.

    Internal Research:

    • Any research initiated by a GCPS employee as related to their roles, responsibilities, and job duties; or research initiated and commissioned by GCPS and conducted under the direction of GCPS staff (e.g., literacy screenings, pre/post-test administration).

    External Research: 

    • Studies initiated by GCPS employees for the purposes of degree fulfillment or program requirement
    • Studies initiated by Non-GCPS employees

    The Executive Director of Research and Evaluation must provide written approval before a research project may be conducted in the district.

    GCPS Employee requesting to conduct research at their assigned location only:

    • When GCPS employees plan to conduct research at their assigned location only, the researcher will not complete an IRB proposal. The employee must complete a Local School Research Request Form that is approved/signed by the employee's principal. A photocopy or fax (678-301-7088) must be sent to the Department of Research and Evaluation at the Instructional Support Center for documentation and filing. No further approval is necessary or available.

    GCPS employees requesting to conduct research at a school other than the school where they are employed, at multiple schools, all central office employees and all non-GCPS employees: 


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