Research Submission Page

The BCPS Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for managing the approval of all requests from agencies, universities, companies, and individuals (including BCPS employees) who wish to conduct research in BCPS. If you would like to conduct a research study, please follow the steps outlined below.

Currently, Baltimore County Public Schools is limiting the amount of new external research projects by entities, such as government agencies, private organizations, and institutions of higher education.

  • Internal research projects from BCPS staff members will continue to be reviewed.
  • Doctoral dissertations, undergraduate/master's theses, capstone projects, or other course requirements, from non-employees will not be reviewed.

Complete the online Proposal Interest Form. To complete this form you will need the following information:

  • Principal Investigator Name and Contact Information
  • Name(s) of any Sponsoring or Affiliated Institutions
  • Title and topic area of study

Once the proposal interest form is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent with next steps. Please review the Research Proposal Submission Checklist document for information on all of the materials needed to complete the proposal application. Please see a summary list of information you will need to complete the proposal application:

  • Basic study information (title, summary, research questions, and detail timeline)
  • Recruitment process (target populations, recruitment materials, and consent/assent documents)
  • Data collection process (types of data, instruments, method, and security provisions)
  • Institutional Support (IRB approval or letter of support)
  • Request for release BCPS data (if applicable)

Submission of a research proposal does not guarantee approval. All participation by BCPS students, parents, and staff is voluntary. Each proposal will be evaluated on the following:

  • Burden to students and staff
  • Impact on instructional program
  • Benefits to BCPS

Review and Notification: Once a proposal is submitted, an initial review is conducted to ensure completeness and clarify initial questions. After the completion of this review, proposals will be reviewed by the full IRB at monthly meetings. You will be notified about the status of the study and your next steps by e-mail within ten days after the committee meeting. You are encouraged to submit your completed proposal well in advance of your project’s anticipated start date. Researchers must provide BCPS a copy of each report or product developed as a part or outcome of the research project. Researchers may not charge BCPS for any of these reports, projects, or summaries.


Action Research

An action research project is defined as any systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, principals, or other school or office staff in the educational environment with the intended purpose to uncover solutions to everyday challenges within the school or office setting. BCPS staff may be conducting action research projects to fulfill part of their education requirements. In addition, Professional Development School (PDS) interns may need to conduct action research projects under the supervision of their mentor teachers.

Action research projects do not need the approval of the IRB if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The person conducting the action research project is a BCPS teacher, principal, central office staff member, or a PDS intern under the supervision of his/her mentor teacher.

  • The staff member will be working in his/her assigned work location(s).

  • The staff member will be working within her/his assigned content area.

  • The staff member will be working with her/his assigned students.

  • The action research project is part of the staff member’s degree or educational requirement.

If all of the above conditions are met, the action research project only requires the approval of the principal and/or office head. If any of the above conditions are not met, the action research study should be submitted to DRAA for approval per the approval process for conducting research. For PDS interns, the action research requires approval of the principal and must be conducted under supervision of the mentor teacher.

If you have any questions about the research proposal review and submission process, please e-mail Research-IRB@bcps.org.