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External Research

The Department of Assessment & Feedback reviews and approves all requests for research conducted in Georgetown ISD.

Research requests typically fall into one of three categories, Action Research, External Research, and Letters of Support. More information on these kinds of research is found on our forms page.

All researchers and evaluators, including graduate students and Georgetown ISD employees, must submit a completed application and follow all required procedures and timelines. Please note that no research activities can begin until approved.

Applications for research are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications for research conducted during the current school year (2022 – 2023) are open until June 30, 2022. Exceptions to application deadlines can be made for Georgetown ISD staff conducting graduate research such as dissertations and theses. Approved research can take place in Georgetown ISD year-round, including in the Spring semester. 

Action Research

What is Action Research? In schools, action research refers to a wide variety of evaluative, investigative, and analytical research methods designed to diagnose problems or weaknesses—whether organizational, academic, or instructional—and help educators develop practical solutions to address them quickly and efficiently. Action research may also be applied to programs or educational techniques that are not necessarily experiencing any problems, but that educators simply want to learn more about and improve. The general goal is to create a simple, practical, repeatable process of iterative learning, evaluation, and improvement that leads to increasingly better results for schools, teachers, or programs.

Action Research is conducted by Georgetown ISD staff and may be approved directly by campus principals or department managers.  Please review this document to determine if your project is considered Action Research.

If a research request is approved by a campus principal or department manager, the principal or supervisor should sign and locally file the completed Georgetown ISD Application for Research Study.

students studying

External Research

According to Georgetown ISD Board Policy, all external research activities in Georgetown ISD must be approved by the Department of Assessment & Feedback.

External research includes research conducted for master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. This type of research also includes research or evaluations conducted by external organizations, such as for- or non-profit organizations and university faculty.

Georgetown ISD defines “research activities” as any activities where data (qualitative or quantitative) are collected from Georgetown ISD students or staff for analysis or publication. This includes design research, user experience research, and the collection of extant data sets, along with interviews, focus groups, surveys, and assessments.

External research projects involving one adult participant (e.g., interview of one campus principal, a survey of one department head) do not require the approval of the Department of Research and Evaluation.

Please reach out to us if you would like to better understand if your project requires approval. We outline the process for acquiring approval for your research below.

External Research Application Process

  1. Submit a completed application (GISD Application for Research Study) and all supporting documentation via email to the email address on the final page of the application (If you are unable to apply an electronic signature, print and scan the signature page).
  2. Mail the application fee to the address on the final page of the application. The required fee is $100 for universities, non-profits, and other organizations. The fee is waived for graduate students and Georgetown ISD employees.
  3. The External Research Committee will review the application and seek additional campus and departmental approval as appropriate. The committee reviews applications on a rolling basis; please allow 30 days for this process. Due to the volume of requests, we cannot re-review denied requests until the following school year. There is no appeal process.
  4. Seek campus principal permission. Campus principals must acknowledge permission to research their campus by signing a Principal Agreement to Participate Form. Committee approval does not guarantee campus participation. All research conducted in the district must be voluntary.

After district approval and campus permission are acquired, please note:

  • Researchers should complete GISD Volunteer Applications if research involves multiple campus visits.
  • Researchers should securely provide a digital copy of all signed consent forms.
  • Approval of a research application does not automatically provide access to the data. Individuals must secure an approved Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) with GISD for access to individual data records. If the project is approved, data requests are processed at $50 per hour.

Letters of Support

Researchers can use letters of support from school districts when applying for external funding such as grants. Letters of support can indicate the District’s support for a research idea or topic.

We use an expedited process to review applications for letters of support. Please complete and submit the GISD Application for Research Study. No application fee is required. Please explicitly note in the application that you are applying for a letter of support. When the project receives funding, you will need to reapply to conduct the research.