• 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.

    Durham Public Schools Board Of Education Policy 5230

    • In addition, DPS automatically disqualifies the following types of research applications: Undergraduate and Master's research studies as well as external doctoral research studies. DPS does allow and accept internal doctoral research study applications. 

    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 regard to their submitted research proposal.  The table below outlines the external research proposal due dates for the 2022-2023 school year.


    Intended Start of Research

    Submission Deadline

    Tentative Proposal Decision

    On or after August 21, 2023

    July 14, 2022

    August 14, 2022

    On or after November 6, 2022

    September 29, 2022

    October 30, 2022

    On or after February 12, 2024

    January 5, 2024

    February 5, 2024

    *On or after June 10, 2024

    April 19, 2024

    May 20, 2024


    *Submissions for the April cycle are for proposals to begin with the 2024-2025 school year and include time for summer preparation/planning prior to the July submission cycle. 

    All research must be completed by April 30th of the respective school year. 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. Payment can be cash, check, or money order made out to Durham Public Schools. Currently, we do not accept credit cards as a form of payment. 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 a research workshop with Coordinator


    District Contact:


    For all other inquiries: 

    Meredith Mooney
    Administrative Assistant to Executive Director, Al Royster Jr., Ed.

    Department of Research & Accountability

    511 Cleveland Street
    Durham, NC 27701
    Phone:  (919) 560-2000, extension 21027


Research Documents