Research, Accountability, and Assessment
RESEARCH PROPOSAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The Office of Research is responsible for managing the approval of all requests from agencies, universities, companies, individuals, including BCPS employees who wish to conduct research in Baltimore County Public Schools. If you would like to conduct a research study, please follow the steps outlined in this document.

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.
  • Dissertations from non-employees will not be reviewed.

  • Anyone interested in conducting research must submit a completed proposal at least three months prior to the start of the research project.

Submit a letter of intent which includes estimated submission date of completed proposal, proposed project start date, title of project, your contact information (address, phone number, e-mail), and type of request (research, data, or both) to Dr. Maria Finger-Elam.

Submission of a Research Project 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

Please outline the following sections in the proposal. Only complete proposals will be reviewed. Please include page numbers.

  1. Cover sheet.

  2. Abstract. Include the purpose and brief description.

  3. Research questions.  List the questions you will address in your research.

  4. Data description. Describe the kinds of data to be collected or obtained.

  5. Timelines. Include anticipated start and end dates. Please refer to the testing calendar to avoid conflicts. Click here.

  6. Targeted populations. Describe the population targeted by your research.  This may include, any schools, grades, special student subgroups, teacher/staff and parents.

  7. Description of recruitment method. Describe how you will identify and contact potential participants.

  8. Consent and Assent. Include copies of all informed consent and assent forms, and describe how informed consent and assent will be collected. Ensure the required disclaimer is included on the forms.

The following disclaimer is required by board policy and rule #2361 to be placed on all consent/assent forms, flyers, posters, and any other materials that will be sent home or displayed at a BCPS site. These materials are neither sponsored by nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Baltimore County, the Superintendent, or this school or office. We strongly suggest putting the disclaimer as the footer on each page.

  1. Letters of support from your institution. Submit a signed letter of approval for the study on official letterhead from a university advisor or the supporting agency.

    Please note: Research projects cannot be implemented until final IRB approval has been obtained from the institution or supporting agency.
  1. IRB Approval. Please submit an official approval letter from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) when made available. BCPS may issue a conditional approval prior to IRB approval.

  2. Statement of Confidentiality. Explain how you will ensure the confidentiality of subjects from data collection through data analysis. How and to whom will this information be disseminated? What will happen to the data once the study is over?

  3. Alignment to Blueprint 2.0. Indicate how your study aligns with BCPS’ Blueprint 2.0. Cite the specific Blueprint goals and indicators addressed by the study.

  4. Examples of Instrumentation. Include copies of all surveys, tests, interviews, and other data collection instruments.

  5. If applicable. Request to Release BCPS Data form. Individual researchers are NOT permitted to request data directly from schools or departments. If you are seeking data files or school summaries that are not available through the Maryland Report Card Web site http://mdreportcard.org/, you may submit the "Request to Release BCPS Data" form. Please note that approval to release data are on a case by case basis.

Please mail or email one (1) copy of your completed proposal to:
Dr. Maria Finger-Elam
Office of Research
Baltimore County Public Schools
9611 Pulaski Park Drive, Suite 307
Baltimore, MD 21220
mfingerelam@bcps.org

Review and Notification Completed proposals will be reviewed monthly by a multi-disciplinary committee. You will be notified about the status of the study and your next steps by e-mail within three weeks after the committee meeting. Please be advised that the timeline can change at any time; therefore, you are encouraged to submit your completed proposal well in advance of your project’s anticipated start date. Researchers must provide BCPS one 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.

Only completed proposals will be reviewed. 

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