Doing Research in New York City Public Schools

The DOE provides two options for research on New York City schools.

  1. Institutional Review Board: If you are looking to conduct research inside schools, or plan on contacting anyone associated with schools (administrators, teachers, parents, students), you must submit a proposal to the DOE Institutional Review Board.
  2. Data Requests: If you are planning a research study or evaluation that will use data on individual students (student-level data), you must submit a proposal to the DOE Data Request Committee. If you are only looking for school-level data, see what's available with our Citywide Information and Data overview

For more information on the Institutional Review Board and Data Requests, see below.

Institutional Review Board

The DOE may approve outside researchers to conduct studies within schools while insuring that research does not compromise the privacy of our students and parents, or disrupt the work of students, teachers, and administrators. In order to receive approval, researchers must submit a proposal to the DOE Institutional Review Board (IRB).

How do I submit a research proposal?

Proposals to conduct research or evaluations in schools are reviewed by the IRB. All research proposals must be submitted through the DOE’s electronic submission platform, IRBManager. For more information on how to log in to the system and create an account, see our overview How to Use IRBManager

How does the IRB review my proposal?

The IRB meets every month. Preliminary screening of proposals is conducted by IRB staff members prior to the IRB meeting. The length of time required to review and approve a proposal depends primarily on the completeness of the proposal and the researcher’s prompt response to requests from IRB members for clarification and/or additional information. Complete proposals received by the submission deadline will be reviewed during the corresponding IRB meeting (posted below).

Submission Deadline (all 5:00 PM EST) to Corresponding Meeting Date:

  • May 23, 2018 (submission) to June 20, 2018 (meeting)
  • June 20, 2018 (submission) to July 18, 2018 (meeting)
  • July 18, 2018 (submission) to August 15, 2018 (meeting)
  • August 15, 2018 (submission) to September 26, 2018 (meeting)
  • September 19, 2018 (submission) to October 17, 2018 (meeting)
  • October 17, 2018 (submission) to November 21, 2018 (meeting)
  • November 21, 2018 (submission) to December 19, 2018 (meeting)

Where can I get more information about the IRB process?

Please read the IRB FAQs for Researchers before submitting a proposal. If you are a school administrator wondering about the IRB process, please read the IRB FAQs for Principals. Other questions about the IRB process should be emailed to IRB@schools.nyc.gov.

What if I do not need to conduct research in schools or contact anyone associated with schools?

If your research does not involve human subjects, and instead exclusively relies on the use of DOE administrative data, you do not need to submit a proposal to the IRB. Instead, you must complete the data request process below.

Data Requests

The DOE may approve researchers to use student-level administrative data from New York City schools as part of research studies or evaluations. In order to receive student-level data, researchers must submit a data request to the DOE Data Request Committee. School or other DOE staff cannot provide data to external researchers. Additionally, research directly involving data collection in schools must first be approved by the IRB.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to first explore the school-level data that is publicly available. Information and Data Overview contains links to data on School Quality Reports, test results, graduation results, and demographics.

The Data Request Committee is a part of the DOE's Research and Policy Support Group (RPSG).

How do I submit a data request?

Proposals to conduct research or evaluations in schools are reviewed by the Data Request Committee. All data requests must be submitted through the DOE’s electronic submission platform, IRBManager. For more information on how to log in to the system and create an account, see our overview How to Use IRBManager

Note: The most recent data available is for the prior completed school year. Data for the most current school year will not be available until after the following fall. Please do not submit a request for data that is not yet available.

How does the Data Request Committee review my request?

Data requests are reviewed regularly for approval and prioritization. The Data Request Committee meets once a week, typically. Approval of requests are based on the completeness of the data request, expected educational value or benefit provided to the NYC education community as a result of the study, the availability and regulations governing access to data, and the amount of staff time and other DOE resources required to grant the request. Processing times will vary depending on the content of the request, the number of requests the Data Request Committee is currently processing, and the availability of Committee members.

Data Request approval requires the completion of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). NDAs are emailed to researchers during the review process.

Where can I get more information about the data request process?

Please read the FAQs for External Data Requests before submitting a data request. The FAQs include a list of datasets available to researchers. 

Back to Top