Process - Brief Overview

The District School Board of Niagara receives requests from individuals, agencies and institutions to conduct research involving its staff and students. Internal and external requests to conduct research projects or to circulate questionnaires in schools MUST BE accompanied by the necessary application forms (see Forms). 

Applications to conduct research in DSBN are reviewed by the Educational Research Committee up to six (6) times per academic year, with a maximum of six (6) proposals considered per meeting. The Committee will not normally review more than thirty-six (36) proposals per year. They will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants should see Dates and Deadlines to familiarize themselves with these dates and to submit their proposals a minimum of three weeks prior to the posted Committee meeting dates. We require nine (9) copies of the application to be submitted. Any proposals received following the posted deadline dates for submission will be considered for the next Educational Research Committee Meeting.

The review involves a three-step process in which the Educational Research Committee makes recommendations that are reported to the Education Program and Planning Committee, and thereafter to the Board. Recommendations may include: approval, approval with specific conditions which must be met prior to the beginning of research, a deferral to a later meeting, or a denial. The decision of the board is final.

Criteria for approval is based on the following: 

  • All approved research projects in schools must benefit education in the District School Board of Niagara and/or the community at large.
  • All research projects must be designed to produce a minimum of intrusiveness for staff and students.
  • Participation in a research project by a school, its staff and each of its students is voluntary and requires obtaining active, informed written consent. 
  • All personal and confidential information must be administered in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and its Regulations. This means that the confidentiality of individual participants and class/school names and the name of the school board must be assured; that parental consent procedures must be included in the applicant's submission; and that the researcher(s) must agree to sign a Research Agreement.
  • The researcher(s) shall avoid the use of techniques which invade the privacy and/or threaten the integrity of the student or his/her family.
  • Upon completion of the research project, the researcher(s) must provide a copy of the summary of findings or executive abstract of the research study to the Principal(s) of the school(s) where the research was conducted and the Research Recording Secretary for the DSBN Educational Research Committee to discuss the findings and to provide a summary of the findings or executive abstract of the research project. 

The following types of research need not be taken to the Educational Research Committee: 

  1. Staff wishing to conduct research within their own school/department and which promotes professional growth, but does not involve course work leading to a Graduate Degree, or will not be published or sold, or shared with outside entities, can do so with the approval of the Principal and in consultation with the Superintendent of Schools responsible for the DSBN Educational Research Committee.
  2. Elementary and/or Secondary students doing course work in which students will be under the direct supervision of the classroom teacher, in consultation with the School Principal.

* For situations outlined in #1 and #2 above, the "Research Project Supervised by Principals" form (See Forms) must be used by the School Principal. 

* The policy for Approval and Conduct of Research contains further detailed information that is available upon request by contacting Paula MacKinnon, Superintendent of Schools responsible for the DSBN Educational Research Committee.