• Durham Public Schools understands the importance of educational research. We want to ensure that research projects in DPS support teaching and learning yet minimize classroom disruption. Research projects must align with the district’s educational goals and Strategic Plan.

    Researchers must secure district approval before they begin a research project in Durham Public Schools. We have an application process that must be completed, and all documents and associated fees must be submitted by one of the dates listed below. We have created a set of Guiding Principles, Research Standards, and Frequently Asked Questions to assist researchers in completing their application materials.

    In addition, DPS automatically disqualifies the following types of research applications:

    • Undergraduate research studies
    • External master’s or doctoral research studies

    DPS strongly encourages anyone interested in submitting a proposal to do so as far in advance as possible of the proposed start date. It is important that researchers submit a complete, well-conceived, thorough application for the Research Review Committee to make an informed decision on the applications. If your research proposal is denied, you must wait 12 months before resubmitting your application package.

    All proposals are reviewed by the DPS Research Review Committee. It is the goal of the DPS Research Review Committee (RRC) to notify all researchers within 4 weeks of the submission date of their research proposal of the RRC’s decision in regards to their submitted research proposal.  The table below outlines the external research proposal due dates for the 2019-20 school year.


    Intended Start of Research

    Submission Deadline

    Tentative Proposal Decision

    On or after August 14, 2020

    July 14, 2020

    August 7, 2020

    On or after November 2, 2020

    October 9, 2020

    October 30, 2020

    On or after March 1, 2021

    January 29, 2021

    February 19, 2021

    *On or after June 14, 2021

    April 22, 2021

    May 28, 2021


    *Submissions for the April cycle are for proposals to begin with the 2021-22 school year and include time for summer preparation/planning prior to the July submission cycle. 

    All research must be completed by April 30, 2021.

    All research projects that require multiple years of study still require annual submission and approval.

    Research Application Fees: 

    A non-refundable payment must be submitted along with the application by each cycle’s deadline to be considered for review.  Please note that if the research study is not approved, the payment is still non-refundable.



    Fee per application

    University or University-Affiliated Program including Centers or Departments


    Community or Partnering Agencies




    Research Agency (Federal or Regional)


    External Evaluators


    Durham Public Schools’ Staff/Employee

    Waived if the employee attends research workshop with Coordinator


    Available Data:

    Durham Public Schools makes available to the general public aggregate data on many test scores and metrics, and will also provide information as required by North Carolina public records law and the Freedom of Information Act.  These reports may be accessed via the district’s website ( or via North Carolina Department of Public Instruction ( 


    District Contact:


    For all other inquiries: 

    Julie Spencer, Ed.D.
    Assistant Superintendent of Research & Accountability
    511 Cleveland Street
    Durham, NC 27701
    Phone:  (919) 560-2000, extension 21027


Research Documents