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 and Board of Education goals.

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 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.

If you are a researcher affiliated with Duke University, the Center for Child and Family Policy has a school liaison team that you must contact prior to submitting your research proposal.  They will provide guidance regarding your research and the DPS review process.  Please contact Leslie Babinski, Director of the School Research Project, at or 919.613.9296. 

Please note that Durham Public Schools does not advertise or recruit participants for studies that have not been approved through the Research Process.

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 external research proposal due dates for the 2016-17 school year.


Intended Start of Research

Submission Deadline

Tentative Proposal Decision

On or after August 15, 2016

July 14, 2016

August 5, 2016

On or after March 1, 2017

January 20, 2017

February 17, 2017

*On or after June 13, 2017

April 14, 2017

May 12, 2017


*Submissions for the April cycle are for proposals to begin with the 2017-18 school year. 

All research must be completed by April 30, 2017.

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

No fee


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:

Amy E. Davis
Coordinator of Grants, Research, and Development
511 Cleveland Street
Durham, NC 27701
Phone:  (919) 560-2000, extension 21617

Research Downloads