Steps to Student Research Requests

Step One

The student works with a teacher at a school/program to develop a research question(s).

Step Two

If the student is not collecting new data from humans or non-human animals (if they are archival data only), no approval is needed and the student doesn’t need to complete steps 3-7.

Step Three

If the student is collecting data by observing non-human animals (without interacting with the animals), no approval is needed and steps 3-7 do not need to be completed.

Step Four

Teachers help students fill out the Student Research Approval Request form. (Note: if the student is working with a university researcher who already has IRB approval from their institution, there is no need to fill out the form unless the research involves gathering data from students or staff in LPS).

Step Five

The LPS research review team (Assessment/Evaluation office) reviews these requests as soon as possible.

Step Six

Research that involves human participants is reviewed based on these criteria:

  1. Research that involves questions about the following areas requires a signed consent letter from parents, in addition to student assent:
    • Political affiliation or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent
    • mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student’s family
    • Sex behavior and attitudes
    • Illegal, anti-social, self incriminating, or demeaning behavior
    • critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has close family relationships
    • legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers
    • religious practices, affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent income
  2. All research requests need assent for human participants (e.g. Sample paragraph for the top of surveys). If students fill out the survey, they are giving their assent.
  3. Surveys can only be distributed within the student’s program or home school - no “full district” surveys. With permission from the student researcher’s parent/guardian, students may distribute surveys outside of school (e.g. social media, personal connections, public events, etc.)

Step Seven

The research review team clarifies anything that needs to be clarified with the teacher and student researcher.

Step Eight

When the research is approved, the research review team notifies the teacher (and associated school administrator) via email about research approval. The teacher or program coordinator is responsible for notifying relevant principals about when data collection begins.

Step Nine

Any staff who have questions about project approval should contact Bethany Brunsman, Dawn Mazzie, or Rob McEntarffer,

Step Ten

If a student researcher changes their data collection plan or other relevant parts of their project, the teacher will contact the research review team to see if the plan needs to be reviewed again.


Any staff who have questions about approvals should contact: