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Office of the Associate Dean for Research

Requests to Do Research in Hillsborough County Public Schools

To ensure that research conducted with K-12 students, school district personnel or faculty, or district controlled programs, adhere to and complies with USF and HCPS policies and procedures, the following procedures outlined below must be followed.

USF Faculty members and/or graduate students who wish to conduct research in HCPS must: 

  1. Submit a HCPS Research Proposal Request Form to the district before any research projects can be conducted with students, faculty, or other district controlled programs.
    • “Research” is defined as data collection, observation and/or data analysis activities beyond the normal functions of a regular district/school/classroom. All such activities, regardless of whether they originate internally or externally, are construed as research.
    • “Evaluation” is defined as the process of determining the merit, worth or value of something or the product of that process.  Evaluations include methodological approaches that fall within the category of research as defined for this administrative procedure.  Therefore, evaluators are expected to follow the Research Review Process.
    • HCPS will review the requests and decide whether to permit the researcher(s) to engage in the study.  Part of the review will consider whether or not the proposed study will supports or interferes with existing activities in the particular school or school district. 
    • All research involving HCPS students must comply with the FERPA guidelines.
  2. If the research in question involves human subjects, a copy of the USF Institutional Review Board approval letter must be provided before any research is conducted in the district.
  3. A copy of all HCPS approval/denial letters and corresponding IRB approval letters will be kept on file by the Director of the Tampa Bay Educational Partnership.

Special Process for Requests to do Research in Childhood Education and Literacy Studies Partnership Schools
The following schools are strategic partners with the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies’ (CELS) Elementary Educational Residency Collaborative and other efforts:

To support these partnership efforts, HCPS will route all requests to do research at these sites through the Partnership Research Designee who will discuss proposals with the appropriate principal to determine whether the research is consistent with the shared partnership goals.  In cases in which the research does not fit these environments, HCPS will consider the appropriateness for the research at other sites in the district.



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