Doing Research in or about New York City Public Schools

The DOE provides two options for research on New York City schools

  1. Institutional Review Board (IRB): If you are looking to conduct research inside schools, or plan on contacting anyone associated with the DOE (administrators, teachers, parents, students), you must submit a proposal to the DOE IRB.
  2. Data Requests: If you are planning a research study or evaluation that will use data on individuals (student- or staff-level data), you must submit a proposal to the DOE Data Request Committee. If you are only looking for school-level data, see what's available with our Citywide Information and Data overview

Institutional Review Board

The NYC DOE IRB may approve researchers to conduct studies within schools or other DOE in-person or virtual sites or undertake research activities that involve contacting anyone associated with the NYC DOE while ensuring that research does not compromise the privacy of our students, parents, and staff or disrupt the work of students, teachers, and administrators. In order to receive approval, researchers must submit a proposal to the DOE IRB.

External or outside researchers must submit a proposal along with documentation of approval from their IRB of record. The NYC DOE IRB serves as the IRB of record for NYC DOE affiliates or research carried out on behalf of the NYC DOE only. The NYC DOE IRB may require external researchers to change research proposals approved by their IRB of record. These required changes, including, but not limited to, any/all changes to consent procedures or documents, must also be reviewed and approved by the external researcher’s IRB of record. 

How do I submit a research proposal?

Proposals to conduct research in DOE in-person or virtual sites or that involve contacting anyone associated with the NYC DOE are reviewed by the DOE IRB. All research proposals must be submitted through the DOE’s electronic submission platform, IRBManager. For more information on how to log in to the system and create an account, see our overview How to Use IRBManager. Note that all applicable guidance and policy documents as well as required templates are available for download in IRBManager.

What is the NYC DOE IRB review process?

Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis. Studies that require review by the Full Board are placed on the agenda for the next available meeting date once they are determined to include all required elements for review. 

Where can I get more information about the IRB process?

Please visit the NYC DOE IRBManager platform to access all applicable guidance and policies as well as required templates . If you are a school administrator wondering about the IRB process, please read the IRB FAQs for Principals.

IRB Registration:
The NYC DOE IRB is registered with the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The DOE IRB registration number is: IRB00011754 and IRB00012206

Federal Wide Assurance:
The DOE has filed a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) with the US DHHS OHRP, which documents the DOE’s commitment to comply with federal regulations for the protection of human subjects in research. The DOE FWA number is as follows: FWA00005811

Contact:
General questions about the IRB process should be sent to IRB@schools.nyc.gov

Regulatory or compliance questions should be directed to:
Marianna Azar
Director and Chair of the New York City Department of Education Institutional Review Board
Email: MAzar@schools.nyc.gov

What if I do not need to conduct human subjects research but require DOE data for non-research purposes ?

If your project does not meet the definition of human subjects research and instead exclusively relies on the use of DOE administrative data, you do not need to submit a proposal to the IRB. Instead, you must complete the data request process below.

Data Requests

The DOE may approve researchers to use individual-level (students or staff) administrative data from New York City schools as part of evaluations. In order to receive individual-level data, researchers must submit a data request to the DOE Data Request Committee. School or other DOE staff cannot provide data to external researchers. Additionally, individual-level data requested for activities that constitute human subjects research require review and approval by the IRB.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to first explore the school-level data that is publicly available. Information and Data Overview contains links to data on School Quality Reports, test results, graduation results, and demographics.

The Data Request Committee is a part of the DOE's Research and Policy Support Group (RPSG).

If you are a DOE Central Administrator in need of data from a DOE source system, please visit the Office of Data Management's Data Request Form page.

To request individual student records or transcripts, please visit this page.

How do I submit a data request?

All data requests must be submitted through the DOE’s electronic submission platform, IRBManager. For more information on how to log in to the system and create an account, see our overview How to Use IRBManager

Datasets for the 2018-19 school year and earlier years are currently available for request.

How does the Data Request Committee review my request?

Data requests are reviewed regularly for approval and prioritization. The Data Request Committee meets once a week, typically. Approval of requests are based on the completeness of the data request, expected educational value or benefit provided to the NYC education community as a result of the study, the availability and regulations governing access to data, and the amount of staff time and other DOE resources required to grant the request. Processing times will vary depending on the content of the request, the number of requests the Data Request Committee is currently processing, and the availability of Committee members.

Data Request approval requires the completion of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). NDAs are emailed to researchers during the review process.

Where can I get more information about the data request process?

Please read the FAQs for External Data Requests before submitting a data request. The FAQs include a list of datasets available to researchers. 

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