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Bureau of Educational Research

School University Research Relations

2022-2023 School Year, Fall Update:

  • Local K-12 school districts began the school year during the week of August 18, with full in-person instruction.
  • With changes in CDC guidance for COVID-19, which has very recently removed capacity limits, social distancing requirements, and many testing requirements for schools, in-school activities will be proceeding with few restrictions. Please be aware that, should local outbreaks be detected, things could still change, and researchers should plan accordingly.
  • Our district administrative contacts report that districts are busy and focusing intensely on ensuring a successful year start. Because of retirements and attrition, some school buildings face teacher shortages, while support staff resources are short across the board. They do express willingness to support campus researchers, but advise that projects designs should minimize time and effort required of teachers and staff, as much as possible. 
  • We recommend initiating communications and planning with the districts as soon as possible for anyone seeking a school letter for fall funding proposal submissions.
  • Chicago Public Schools will only review new and ongoing research projects that have been explicitly flagged as high-priority by school and district leaders. For more information please follow this link.

Research Approval Process:

Please fill out the online collaboration request form to submit a research study for approval. The information you include in this form will go directly to any school districts with which you would like to collaborate. Please include as much detail on this form as possible. 

All projects must have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before data collection can begin. You may submit a research study for school district approval prior to obtaining IRB approval. Please include with your research request submission:

  • Any consent letters and questionnaires you plan to use in your research and / or flyers for recruitment
  • A copy of your IRB application and approval (if already approved)

Please visit the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects website for more information.

Questions? Please contact us by email at:

Research Requests are sent to partnering school districts on the first and third Fridays of each month. Research requests that are submitted in the interim will be held until the next submission date. Response times vary by district.

For Assistance:

We invite you to contact BER at to request assistance. While BER conducts a search for a new School-University Research Coordinator, Director of Strategic Initiatives Beth Niswander is monitoring that dedicated email account and will respond.

Alternatives to School-Based Research

If you are unable to complete research with a school partner, here are some available online education data sets:

School district personnel are cordially invited to direct researcher inquiries to us for information and assistance, by sharing a link to this page.

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