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Research & Engagement Bureau of Educational Research Office of School-University Research Relations

Bureau of Educational Research

Office of School-University Research Relations

Last update: October 23, 2023

  • We welcome our new Director of School-University Research Relations, Meghan Fisher, who has joined us on October 23, 2023.
  • Our request forms have just been updated! Note that we now have two separate forms -- for school letters of support, and for actual research project collaborations.
  • Local K-12 school districts are working hard to prepare for the coming school year.
  • Our district administrative contacts report that because of retirements and attrition, they face serious face teacher and support staff shortages, and are working hard to address these.
  • The districts do express willingness to support campus researchers, but advise that projects should be designed with care, understanding that teacher and staff availability may be limited.
  • We recommend initiating communications and planning with the districts as soon as possible for anyone seeking a school letter for Fall 2023 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:

  • School Letter of Support Request: To seek a letter of support for an upcoming funding proposal, please fill out the school letter of support request form (new).
  • Collaboration Request for an Active Study: To request collaboration in a research study where resources are assembled and work is ready to begin, please fill out the  online collaboration request form. This can include: (1) a student project; (2) a faculty/staff project with funding secured; or (3) faculty/staff project with research activities ready to proceed.

In filling out these forms, please share as much detail as possible and know that details will be shared with the districts with which you hope to collaborate. 

IRB Approvals:

  • All projects must have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before any data collection can begin.
  • IRB approval is NOT expected for a proposal letter of support, but is usually expected by the funder before a grant award is made.

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

You may submit a request for school district approval prior to obtaining IRB approval, as long as you are prepared to furnish approved IRB materials (formal district approval will be contingent.


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)

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 OSURR at to request assistance.

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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