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Internal Review Process       

Application packages will be reviewed as they are received. Initial review of applications will take between 4 – 6 weeks.

The Educational Research Advisory Committee considers the proposal by taking into account the criteria and policy guidelines outlined on our Advisory Committee Guidelines page.

There are circumstances where a researcher may have contacts in a particular school or may wish to include particular schools for a reason related to the design of the study. This reason should be included in the proposal. The applicant will be notified in writing and/or by e-mail regarding the final disposition of the project.

When a proposal is approved, the Chair of the Committee will typically make the initial contact with the principal. The principal will be provided with general information about the research project and the name of the researcher who will contact him/her to discuss whether the school will consider participating. Committee approval does not obligate schools to participate in the study. Principals decide whether or not their school will be involved.

The applicant will then contact the principal to make practical arrangements for implementation of the project and to ensure that minimal interruptions take place. Potential participants (staff, parents and students) also have the right to decide whether or not they wish to participate in the project. All consent forms should clearly state that participants can refuse participation or withdraw from the study at any time without penalty, and that the decision to refuse/withdraw participation has no impact on their relationship or standing with the school, school staff, or school board.

What criteria does the committee consider?    

Relevance to education:
Is the study relevant to education in general? Is the study relevant to education in Simcoe County? Is the study consistent with Board policies and priorities? What is the value and/or benefit to the system? Is there an acceptable process for providing feedback or results to participating schools?

Research methodology:
Is the study well designed? Is the methodology appropriate given the purpose of the study? Are the theory and research questions clear and presented in plain language? Are there clear procedures for sample selection? Are the research instruments adequate and appropriate?

Protection of staff and students:
Are the demands made on the system and on the time of students and staff realistic? Is the study free from sensitive or intrusive items? Are the confidentiality of data and the rights and well-being of the participants protected? Are there clear procedures for obtaining informed consent? Is there an appropriate protocol to deal with sensitive issues arising during the research (e.g., students' who wish to withdraw from the study, disclosure of sensitive information by participants, debriefing participants)?