Role of MPS Review Committee and Criteria for Conducting Research/Evaluation in the District

Role of MPS Review Committee and Criteria for Conducting Research/Evaluation in the District

Role of MPS Review Committee and Criteria for Conducting Research/Evaluation in the District

All applicants must submit a research proposal (see Research Proposal Requirements) to conduct research. Requests are processed by the MPS Research Review Committee (under the auspices of the MPS REAA Department), which functions as a decision-making body and issues final, written approval or denial of a research application.

The MPS Research Review Committee is NOT an Institutional Review Board. The role of the MPS Research Review Committee is to screen applications to ensure that they meet the District criteria outlined in MPS Policy 1730 and Regulation 1730A.

Guidelines for conducting research projects in the district are the following:

  1. The study must be in alignment with district priorities.
  2. The study must have the potential to make a definite contribution to the education profession and/or to the Minneapolis Public Schools in particular.
  3. The study must be pedagogically sound and feasible in terms of its demands on student time, teacher time, and possible expense to the district.     
     The study design should minimize disruption to instructional time.
     Staff members’ time must be protected so that they can complete their assigned duties.
  4. There must be reasonable assurance that no child in the Minneapolis Public Schools will suffer educationally as a result of the research.
  5. The researcher must use appropriate methods to secure informed consent from study participants. The overall design of the study must be sound and have the potential for successful completion.
  6. The project must comply with ethical standards for research in education and with all regulations set forth in federal and state law, particularly as they pertain to privacy of data on individuals.


Research/Evaluation Requiring Approval 
Approval from the MPS Research Review Committee is required before beginning any research program that involves district staff, students, facilities, or functions in:

  • The collection of data from students, parents, teachers, administrators, or other professional staff;
  • Observations, surveys, focus groups, or individual interviews involving any of the above persons;
  • The release of private data from district records.

Please note that all data requests must be associated with an already-approved research study or be accompanied by an application for research.

We accept Ph.D. or equivalent studies from employees of MPS or from non-employees of MPS associated with a grant or other special project with MPS; all such studies must have demonstrated high value for the District. If a district employee seeks to conduct a research study to fulfill the requirements for a dissertation, a proposal must be submitted to the Committee. 


Research/Evaluation Studies That Will Not be Reviewed
The following research studies will not be reviewed:

  • We do not accept "survey only" research/evaluation studies.
  • We do not accept studies that are for class projects.
  • The District's flyer and poster distribution policy prohibits the distribution of flyers and posters solely for research subject recruitment.

Research/Evaluation Not Requiring Approval 
Studies conducted by employees as part of their normal job responsibilities are exempt from this review process. However, if the research will result in a publicly available document such as a dissertation or published journal article, a proposal application must be submitted to the MPS Research Review Committee. If you are unsure whether you need to submit a proposal, please contact the MPS REAA Department via email at


When You Can Begin Research/Evaluation Activities
No research activities may begin, including obtaining consent from study participants, until written approval has been granted by the MPS Research Review Committee. Researchers conducting research studies in our schools must also be registered with Volunteer MPS before any study activities may begin (register online at:*. This registration system is in place to ensure that all non-district partners that work within our schools have permission, background checks, and so forth. Researchers must also obtain principal signatures from all buildings in which the study will occur before study activities may begin. Email communication from the principal to the MPS Research Review Committee is acceptable.


Fee Structure
Application/Processing fee $150.00

Data Request fees:

  • Rates are as follows:  $85/hour for internal staff, $175/hours for outside researchers/evaluators.
  • No cash is accepted for any fee (application fees, fees for data runs, etc.).


Timelines for Conducting Research/Evaluation in MPS 
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The initial review of an application will take 2-4 weeks and the entire approval process may take 10-12 weeks depending on the quality, type, and number of proposals in the queue.

Proposals for research to be conducted during the 2017-2018 school year will be reviewed according to the application/process windows, beginning August 1, 2017.


Application Window Open

Processing Applications

July 1-  September 15

August 15-September 30

October 1- November 30

December 1-   January 15

February 1-     March 31

April 1-30


Role of District Co-Sponsor 
Every research request proposal must name a Minneapolis Public School administrator (who must be a department director or equivalent)as a co-sponsor; the An MPS staff member may not serve as a district co-sponsor for research in which he/she also serves as a primary investigator. The Chief of Accountability, Innovation and Research may not serve as a district co-sponsor.

Written acknowledgement of sponsorship from the co-sponsor and each building principal must be provided to the MPS Research Review Committee (email is acceptable).

The role of the co-sponsor is to:

  • Attest that the requested research will contribute directly to the benefit of the Minneapolis Public Schools;
  • Read and participate in the review process;
  • Assist with any necessary coordination during the course of the research; and
  • Assist in assuring that the results of the study are shared with the appropriate school/district personnel.

Applicants pursuing research for a degree must also provide advisor contact information and advisor signature. The advisor will be included on communications between the MPS Research Review Committee and the applicant