School Research Partnership FAQ

(last update: 9-15-2016)


  • Who can I contact if I have questions about the submission process or status?

Please email the School Research Partnerships Team at, and include a phone number where you would like to be reached. We will respond to you, by email or phone.

  • Who is currently supporting the School Research Partnership Development initiative?

The Fall 2016 interface development team includes:

  • Elizabeth Niswander, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Bureau of Educational Research
  • Joey Merrin, Graduate Assistant
  • Ozge Evcen, Graduate Assistant
  • Kim Hubbard, Tech Services at Education (programming)

For Fall 2016, the interface development team is also staffing school partnership development.

  • Where can I access the partnership application form?

Until the interactive online interface is released, please submit all research projects from the online form (university login required).

  • Is there a deadline to submit research partnership requests?

To accommodate local needs, we have asked that projects seeking partnership with Champaign Unit 4 during Fall 2016 be submitted by September 12. 

For other districts, no formal deadline to submit research requests has been established; we will work with them on a rolling basis. However, the best time to submit projects is during the beginning of each semester when schools are in session. 

 Project Partnership with Schools and Districts

  • What type of research projects can be submitted for partnership?

University-led research projects that are seeking partnership with local schools. Project PIs must be university faculty, staff or students (the application submission interface requires a university login and email address).

  • What school districts are part of the research partnership system?

The university has partnership with Champaign (Unit 4), Danville, Mahomet-Seymour, University Primary School, and also works with other area districts and schools.

  • Can I request to work with specific schools?

Yes, please indicate in your submission the schools you would like to work with. Especially indicate if you have existing relationships and have had preliminary conversations with particular teachers or other school personnel regarding your project. The BER will attempt to help place your research project at the specified schools. 

  • Are research partnerships with early childhood education programs supported?

Although we are beginning with a focus on K-12 schools, we welcome inquiries from both researchers and early childhood education sites, and will be working to include them in the partnership system.

  • What should I do if a school or classroom declines to participate in the research study after I have been matched through the placement system?

Please contact us. We will work to identify and direct you to possible alternate locations. 

Ongoing Partnerships

  • Do I need to submit a research request if I already have a partnership with a school and or school teacher/administrator?

Yes, please submit a research request and select “continue ongoing partnership” to indicate that you have an existing relationship. This will help both the university and partnering school and districts, keep track of the active research projects that are currently being conducted. 

Partnership Application Attachments, IRB Approval

  • Do I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to submit a research request?

Preliminary inquiries may be fielded and forwarded to school districts for feedback before an IRB application has been completed and approved. However, full research partnership request must be accompanied by a copy of the IRB approval to be deemed complete and ready for school district agreement.. A copy of your completed IRB application and letter of approval need to be attached to your partnership request form at time of submission.

  • If I make amendments or renew my IRB, should I resubmit the full IRB to the partnership system?

Yes, please resubmit the full IRB with research materials. If you are renewing your IRB please submit the renewal letter as well. 

  • Should I submit materials related to my research projects (i.e. surveys, assessments, etc.)?

Yes, please attach and submit all data collection materials related to the research project.

Partnership Establishment

  • How will I know if I have been matched with a school(s)?

You will receive an email from the the Partnership System confirming that you have been matched with a school(s), providing information on who to contact to proceed with the research study. 

Project Completion

  • When the study is complete do I need to notify?

Yes, A special interface to report completed projects will be posted later this fall for researcher use. 

Documenting Partnership Development: School Letters for External Funded Submissions

  • The external grant proposal I am preparing to submit requires a school/district letter of support. What should I do?

Letter templates will be posted shortly for download and use. For any immediate needs, please email us ( to ask for template materials and further assistance.