Individuals and organizations interested in using data from Shelby County Schools to answer research questions must be granted approval prior to beginning a project.
SCS will only accept applications from 1) current SCS staff, 2) faculty from local colleges and universities, 3) researchers fulfilling state or federal government reporting requirements, and 4) organizations or projects with sponsorship from District executive leadership.
To begin the approval process, an applicant should submit a complete application packet which includes the following:
Drafts of consent forms (if proposing to conduct a research project)
Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, if applicable
$25 application fee
Mail check to:
Department of Research & Performance Management Coe – Room 304
Shelby County Schools
160 S. Hollywood Street
Memphis, TN 38112
Please note that completing the application process does not guarantee approval. Research questions that do not clearly benefit the District are likely to be rejected. Additionally, approval from the Research Department does not obligate any school, principal, teacher, or student to participate in a research project.
Factors considered when reviewing an application include: 1) protection of participants; 2) impact on instructional time; 3) administrative burden on schools or Central Office; and 4) quality of proposed research.
Be advised that research proposals to conduct surveys are not likely to be approved given the large volume of surveys already conducted within District and the cumulative impact this has on instructional time. SCS does not permit applicants who are current SCS school staff to ask their own faculty, other staff or students to participate in their research unless it is classroom-level action research. Additionally, any research proposals or data requests involving students with disabilities will not be approved.
Applicants can expect email confirmation upon receipt of the application and notification of a decision within 40 business days of receiving all application materials, including the $25 application fee.