Research Request Application

  • Research is defined as any data collection activity which seeks to obtain information from students, staff, or parents including (but not limited to) opinion polls, focus groups, interviews, and surveys.

    Research projects which do not propose new data collection activities and seek only to obtain access to directory information, can receive approval to access the directory information in accordance with Policy 1080.1 - Directory Information. Projects which seek access to student records not covered in Policy 1080.1 must comply with the following procedures.

    Exemptions
    Only those research activities initiated by the School Board or Superintendent are exempt from this process. Exempt research activities will be coordinated through the Research and Accountability Department.

    Internal research
    Internal Research is defined as research which is initiated by school district students or by school district employees who are conducting research in conformance with their normal duties and responsibilities. Examples of internal research are: students wishing to collect data from other students for a class or student group, teachers and principals wishing to conduct surveys in their own classrooms and schools for internal use only, and grant coordinators or program directors wishing to conduct focus groups or interviews within their own programs.

    Any research project that is not part of a staff member’s normal responsibilities (e.g. research required by a college course) must be screened in accordance with the external research process detailed in Part B, and conducted outside of the staff member’s duty day.

    Internal researchers, as part of their normal responsibilities, must also request and receive approval prior to collecting any data. The Research and Accountability Department will review all data collection methodology to ensure compliance with FERPA, PPRA, and Alaska Statute.

    Approval for Internal Research may be requested by submitting to the Research & Accountability Department:

    • An Internal Research application form with all items completed. The applicant must specify the target population and timeline for the data collection and must certify that the data collected will not be used for purposes other than those described in the application.
    • Copies of all data collection instruments (survey questionnaire, interview questions, etc). 

    The approval process for internal research may take up to two weeks from the receipt of a complete application. Application forms will be available in the Research and Accountability office located at 520 Fifth Avenue in Fairbanks and online at the school district’s website.

    External research
    External Research is defined as research initiated by individuals not employed by the school district or by district employees who want to perform research for non-job-related purposes (e.g. research required by a college course). External research conducted by district employees must not involve students or staff in their own building or over whom they have authority; external research must be conducted outside of the staff member’s duty day.

    Instructional time is valuable. Research that takes time away from the instructional day will not be approved.

    Research proposals will not be approved unless the research will have clear, direct, and immediate benefit to the district in terms of informing educational practice.

    Research proposals that require parental consent will not be approved.

    External researchers must request and receive approval prior to collecting any data. Approval for External Research may be obtained by submitting to the Research & Accountability Department the following:

    • An External Research Proposal form with all items completed. Applicants should submit one electronic copy and at least one signed copy of the form. Application forms will be available in the Research and Accountability office located at 520 Fifth Avenue in Fairbanks and online at the school district’s website.
    • Copies of all questionnaires, forms, tests, and other instruments and communications that would be part of the proposed study.
    • Any supplementary material that is appropriate.

    Research and Accountability will review the applications and submit the proposal for review to a committee of at least three district staff members that will be affected by or interested in the proposed study. The application and recommendations will then be submitted to the Superintendent for a final decision. This process will take approximately three weeks to complete. When a decision has been reached, notification will be sent to the researcher. If the study is approved, the researcher will contact the appropriate principals or program administrators to complete arrangements for conducting the study. All principals and program administrators may refuse to allow research to be conducted in their school or program except for those studies mandated by the School Board or the Superintendent.

    No research applications will be accepted after the start of the fourth quarter of the current school year.

    1. All representations made to participants respecting anonymity, confidentiality, purpose, and procedures must be honored by the researcher. Data collected may be used only for the purposes of the study approved.
    2. If the applicant is affiliated with an institution where specific approval for research with human subjects must be obtained, a copy of such approval must be received by the Research and Accountability department before final district approval will be granted. Because of the length of time involved in processing research applications, researchers who are Ph.D. or Master’s candidates may submit applications prior to the approval of their prospectus with the understanding that final district approval may be withheld pending Human Subjects Review committee approval.
    3. To avoid undue inconvenience to building personnel and students, no research activities will be allowed in the schools:
      • during the two weeks after the opening of school or during the two weeks prior to the closing of school,
      • one week before and one week after the winter and spring vacation periods,
      • two weeks prior to and during any state-mandated testing
      • during the first week of the second semester,
      • where there are already a number of research projects underway,
      • where a number of research projects have already been conducted.
    4. All research applications must be signed by the principal investigator and the person ultimately responsible for the study (e.g. supervisor, agency head, or professor).
    5. Any media publicity regarding the research must be approved first by the Director of Research and Accountability.
    6. Substantial use of district resources may require fees.
    7. Within three months of its completion and prior to submission for publication, the researcher will supply the Research and Accountability department with one copy of the final report and an executive summary or abstract. The applicant agrees to release his/her final report for publication by the FNSB School District without remuneration.

    FNSBSD Administrative Regulation 1250: Research in the Schools
    FNSBSD Policy 1250: Educational Research in Schools
    Department of Education - Federal Register: FERPA Rule


    FERPA: The Keys to Compliance
    PPRA: Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
    Alaska State Research Regulations
    Does research involving children include special requirements?

    External Research Application
    External research is defined as research initiated by individuals not employed by the school district or by district employees who want to perform research for non-job related purposes (e.g., research required by a college course.
    Internal Research Application
    Internal research is defined as research which is initiated by school district students or by school district employees who are conducting research in conformance with their normal duties and responsibilities.