• 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.

    Also, please refer to Durham Public Schools Board Policy 5230 to get additional guidance regarding research projects in DPS.

    • 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 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 2021-22 school year.


    Intended Start of Research

    Submission Deadline

    Tentative Proposal Decision

    On or after August 16, 2021

    July 13, 2021

    August 5, 2021

    On or after October 31, 2021

    October 9, 2021

    October 30, 2021

    On or after February 27, 2022

    January 30, 2022

    February 17, 2022

    *On or after June 12, 2022

    April 20, 2022

    May 26, 2022


    *Submissions for the April cycle are for proposals to begin with the 2022-23 school year and include time for summer preparation/planning prior to the July submission cycle. 

    All research must be completed by April 30, 2022. All research projects that require multiple years of study still require annual submission and approval. DPS staff may apply for dissertation research.  A planning meeting with Research and Accountability is strongly recommended.

    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



    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