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Guidelines for Conducting Research

All requests for conducting research within and/or through the ECISD must follow specific guidelines which were established for the following reasons:

  • To protect the rights and privacy of students, parents/guardians, and staff
  • To promote continuous program improvement
  • To add to the body of knowledge in the chosen research field
  • To protect the integrity of the Ector County Independent School District


Research: Research in/through ECISD is defined as any data collection from or about ECISD schools, students, parents, or staff. Research includes, but is not limited to, data collection for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of a thesis or dissertation, publication in a journal or book and/or completion of an education class project.  Any study that involves data collection through observation, interviews, surveys, tests, etc., from students and personnel in the Ector County ISD schools is defined as "Research" and is subject to the approval process.

Certain data are publicly available, so researchers may be able to access what they need without submitting a formal request:

External research:

  • Research conducted by a person or organization for their own use, not affiliated with ECISD;
  • Research conducted by an ECISD employee for purposes outside the scope of their regular work duties, including research conducted for school coursework;
  • Research conducted by a person or organization affiliated with, or contracted to do research for, ECISD
  • Research by ECISD students that is not part of their ECISD coursework

Internal research: ECISD employees conducting research as part of their official duties, and research conducted by internal parties that shall not be used for any other purpose (these data and results are exclusively for use by ECISD)

ECISD requires that researchers receive permission to conduct research from the ECISD External Research Review Committee (ERRC) prior to any data collection, including the distribution of surveys, taking place.  Please see chart below detailing submission deadlines for applications to conduct research or request data.

  • Researchers may not request data or access to staff or student information directly from campuses or departments prior to official ERRC approval.
  • District approval to conduct research does not imply campus consent. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure individual school approval prior to conducting research (form here). (District approval must precede campus contact.)
  • ECISD employees who are collecting data, testing students, etc., not as part of their regularly assigned administrative or instructional duties, are required to secure permission prior to conducting research. 
  • Employee access to ECISD data as part of their regular job duties does not confer permission to use the data for purposes not in the scope of their employment.
  • Research activities will not be allowed to cause a significant departure from routine or instructional time for ECISD students or staff.
  • Research may not personally identify students or staff, and the research may not identify the district (either directly or indirectly), campus(es), or department(s) in the study.
  • Researchers must complete the Confidentiality Contract and the Request for Research Application¹ found at this link.
  • Completed applications will include all data collection instruments and consent documents/procedures.
  • Researchers will submit the two documents via e-mail to


The research approval process flowchart is here.

Approval criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Benefit to ECISD
  • Time and resources required from ECISD
  • Adherence to confidentiality and ethical standards
  • Quality of research design

If the External Research Review Committee (ERRC) approves the proposal as submitted, an approval letter will be sent to the researcher with copies to the Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability. 

The ERRC will notify the researcher of its decision within approximately 45 days (see chart below) after all materials have been received by ECISD.

Windows of application review:

For research starting in:

Application (completed) due date:

Approval notification by:


June 15  

August 31  


July 15 

September 30 


August 15 

October 31 


September 15 

November 30 


October 15 

December 31 


November 15 

January 31 


December 15 

February 28 

April (no research involving campuses during testing window)

January 15 

March 31 

May (no research involving campuses during testing window)

February 15 

April 30 


March 15 

May 31 


Applicants Currently Employed by the District:

If, upon the External Research Review Committee’s (ERRC’s) review of your External Research Application, the Committee determines that the District’s contribution to your work will be substantial, then you will be required to agree to grant to the District a non-exclusive, non-transferable, perpetual, royalty-free, District-wide license to use the results of your research project and permit the District to be listed as co-author or co-contributor to the research. Employee’s refusal to so agree may result in the District’s refusal of permission to use District resources, materials and/or equipment in your proposed research.

[1] Form adapted from Hall County School’s Research Proposal Submission Form

Some of the information on this page was adapted from the publicly available policies and documents of:

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Fairfax County Schools
  • Palm Beach County Schools
  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools