Conducting Research with Denver Public Schools

Proposal Submission Window: CLOSED
We are currently not accepting any new research proposals. Any proposals received during this time will not be considered. If you are interested in conducting research with DPS, please submit a completed application during the next window from September 1st – September 30th.

Welcome to the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Research Review Board! Our district is a leading urban district with a wide diversity of schools, staff, and students that warrants a robust research capacity. By collaborating with universities, foundations, the State of Colorado, and the U.S. Department of Education, DPS is poised to discover practices in leadership, teaching, and learning that advance student achievement within DPS, across the State of Colorado, and throughout the Nation. Research, however, is secondary to our goal of educating each and every student we serve. Approval is reserved for proposals that support the ambitious Denver Plan 2020, avoid duplication of effort, and do not interfere with instruction or the efficient operation of DPS or its schools. DPS maintains an open attitude toward cooperative and collaborative research that can improve district practices, and also welcomes opportunities to partner with research agencies, universities, educational programs, and other organizations to co-author research publications.

The administration of research programs in the Denver Public Schools is the responsibility of the Research Review Board (RRB), facilitated by the Department of Accountability, Research, and Evaluation. The responsibilities of the RRB include: (1) review of research proposals, (2) monitoring of projects, (3) coordination of research projects, and (4) dissemination of research findings to staff members.

We welcome your interest in working with Denver Public Schools!

External Research Review Windows

All external data or research requests must be submitted to the RRB for approval within three windows before beginning the research project:

1. Window One occurs March 1st through March 31st.
2. Window Two occurs September 1st through September 30th.
3. Window Three occurs December 15th through January 15th.

Requests submitted outside of these windows will not be considered.

Who Needs to Submit a Request?

Review the External Request Flowchart for a quick reference on who needs to submit an external research request. More detailed information can be found in the DPS External Handbook.


Guidelines for Submitting an External Research

Guidelines for submitting a Research Request

The guidelines for conducting research projects and pilot programs are as follows:

An overview of the guidelines for conducting research projects and pilot programs are as follows:

  1. All external data or research requests must be submitted to the Research Review Board during one of the submission windows for approval before beginning the research project.
  2. The study must have the potential for making a definite contribution to one or more of the following district’s primary research interests:
    • Great Schools in Every Neighborhood
    • A Foundation for Success in School (Promotion of early childhood academic and literacy success)
    • Ready for College and Career (Preparing students for college or a career after graduation)
    • Support for the Whole Child (Effectiveness of supports provided for the whole child)
    • Close the Opportunity Gap (Promotion of success among underrepresented student groups)
    • Ensure Great Teachers and Leaders (Promotion of teaching and leadership success)All of these areas have student achievement as their overarching goals.The research’s connection to specific district priorities — including a detailed plan of how the research will be communicated to the relevant district staff — will be an essential component of a successful application. Proposed research must reference, evaluate, and directly inform staff in the specific action areas outlined within the relevant priority area(s).  Click the link for more information regarding the DPS Priorities.(Note that health-related research proposals follow a different approval process that is facilitated outside of the Department of Accountability, Research, Evaluation. Please see below for more information on health-related research.)
  3. To ensure alignment with district priorities, it is also required that researchers secure a research sponsor from within DPS. Your sponsor can be a director, department chair, or higher-level district administrator.
  4. Research must be pedagogically and methodologically sound with the potential for successful completion.  It must also be feasible to carry out in terms of the amount of time involved, the numbers of teachers and students participating, and the possible expense to the district.  It must not impose undue burdens upon students, staff, or other resources such as DPS funds or volunteers.  There must be a reasonable certainty that no child in the Denver Pub Schools will suffer educationally or otherwise as a result of the research.
  5. Research must protect the privacy of students and staff and ensure compliance with state and federal law.  The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is based on the idea that information about an individual student is private and confidential and generally may only be accessed with parent consent. Active Cont is required for all research that collects primary data from students.
  6. Approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required for all research proposals to assure both that the research design is sound and that DPS students, teachers, staff, and volunteers are being treated in an ethical manner as research participants. Note that DPS is not a registered IRB and thus cannot give official IRB approval.

The policies and guidelines are not intended to discourage the development of creative projects, but are set forth to ensure the greatest benefit from the time and resources expended.

What You Need to Submit a Request
Research Request Application Checklist

Request to Conduct Research Coversheet

DPS Sponsor Statement of Support

Principal Consent Form

Time Requirement Form

Research Modification Coversheet

Informed Consent Guide

DPS External Research Handbook

Additionally if you will be using surveys, interviews or any other instruments you will need to include a copy in your request.

When Are the Appendixes Required?


DPS charges a $35 hourly fee for any data handling exceeding 2 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions
Please review Frequently Asked Questions document.

Contact Us:

Accountability, Research & Evaluation Hotline – 720-423-3736

Email the Research Review Board –