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School University Research Relations

School-University Research Coordination Activities & Purposes

Key Activities & Services

  • Help connect researchers and schools with similar interests in research topics. 
  • Help researchers establish relationships with schools or districts that best fit their research needs (demographics, size, ratios, services, etc.). 
  • Help researchers navigate the requirements put forth by school districts for point of contact, research steps, and research protocol. 
  • Provide advice, for students especially, on research designs that will fit best within school classrooms and schedules. 
  • Advise researchers on what other research may be ongoing in certain schools or grades to avoid overlap or research fatigue with schools or districts. 
  • Help create, disseminate, and collect district or school letters of support. 
  • Maintain strong relationships with school districts and provide a point of contact for district administrators regarding upcoming or ongoing research. 

Rationale for Coordinating School – University Research 

  • Honor specific requests from our local school district partners that the university provide coordinated communications with area school districts, and to consider this coordination effort as necessary for engagement. This is consistent with needs articulated in the Campus Strategic Plan for Public Engagement to provide clear pathways for communication with external communities.
  • Invite early involvement and feedback from school district personnel to design research projects that address school needs and are feasible in school settings.
  • Recognize the multiplicity of relationships among school personnel and campus stakeholders, including research, outreach activities, and other forms of engagement.
  • Promote awareness and improve communications among campus stakeholders, recognizing their shared roles in the larger relationship between the university and Illinois PreK-12 schools.
  • Address the burden shouldered by school district administrators to field the multiplicity of requests coming from this campus, and provide tools to organize and facilitate these requests.
  • Provide a stable point of contact beyond the lifespan of individual projects, researchers, and tenure of school administrators.
  • Create and manage a portal accessible to campus researchers and school districts that collects and provides document project proposal details, supports negotiations, and offers a sustained record of activity.
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