Doing Research in New York City Public Schools
Institutional Review Board
The New York City public school system, the largest in the nation, has much to offer educational researchers. We allow outside researchers to conduct studies within our system while insuring that any research does not compromise the privacy of our students and parents, or disrupt the work of students, teachers, and administrators.
Proposals to conduct research or evaluations in our schools are reviewed by the New York City Department of Education Institutional Review Board (IRB). If you are planning to submit a proposal, here are some guidelines. If you are a principal, here are some FAQ's about the DOE's IRB.
The IRB meets every month, including in July and August. Preliminary screening of proposals is conducted prior to the IRB meeting. The length of time required to review and approve a proposal depends primarily on the completeness of the proposal and the researcher’s prompt response to requests from (IRB) members/staff for clarification and/or additional information. Complete proposals received by the submission deadline will be reviewed during the corresponding IRB meeting (posted below).
New York City Department of Education
Institutional Review Board Calendar
| Submission Deadline|
(Close of Business)
| Meeting Date |
| October 16, 2013|| November 20, 2013|
| November 20, 2013|| December 18, 2013|
| December 18, 2013|| January 22, 2014|
| January 22, 2014|| February 19, 2014|
| February 19, 2014|| March 19, 2014|
| March 19, 2014|| April 23, 2014|
| April 23, 2014|| May 21, 2014|
| May 21, 2014|| June 18, 2014|
As of October 13, 2011, all research proposals must be submitted through the NYC Department of Education’s electronic submission platform, IRBManager. To log on to the system go to: https://login.irbmanager.com and follow the instructions for creating a password (click here).Questions about the IRB should be emailed to IRB@schools.nyc.gov.
If your research does not involve human subjects, and instead exclusively relies on the use of DOE data, you do not need to submit to the IRB. However, you must complete the data request process below.
If you are planning a research study or evaluation that will use NYC DOE student-level data, you must request the data through the Research and Policy Support Group (RPSG). School or network staff cannot provide data to external researchers. Please note that research directly involving human subjects must first be approved by the IRB.
We strongly encourage researchers to first explore the school-level data already publicly available. This page
contains links to data on graduation outcomes, Math and ELA tests, Progress Reports, demographics, and the New York State Report Cards (which includes information on enrollment, attendance, suspensions, dropouts, teachers, etc.)
The data request process begins when you complete and submit the “Data Request” form in IRBManager. Directions for how to create an IRBManager log-in and how to start the Data Request form are further down on this page.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are requesting identifiable student data (including name and student ID) or a combination of variables that could make the data identifiable (including a combination of values such as ethnicity, gender, and name of the school) as an external research, you must have parental consent. Data requests should include a final version of the consent form, an example of which is available here
, for approval. Data requesters will eventually need to submit electronic copies of all complete consent forms.
External data requests are reviewed biweekly for approval and prioritization. Approval of requests are based on the completeness of the data request, expected educational value or benefit provided to the NYC education community as a result of the study, the availability and regulations governing access to data, and the amount of staff time and other DOE resources required to execute the request. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the request, the volume of prior requests, and competing priorities. Researchers who have received data from the DOE must provide final reports of all research projects back to the DOE.
The most recent data available is for the prior completed school year (currently up through the 2011-12 school year). External data requests are only approved for data available at the time of the request. Data for the most current school year will not be available until after the following fall. Therefore, external requesters must re-submit the Data Request form in IRBManager after the new data is available. For instance, a requester would need to re-submit their request for data from the 2012-13 school year after the fall of 2013.
Requesting data may require the completion of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which will be emailed to the requestor after the approval of their scope of work.
Once the scope of work is approved and the NDA is completed, data requestors are also responsible for ensuring a secure file transfer system such as an FTP server. Most IT departments can typically provide this service.
Registering a New IRBManager Account
NOTE: If you already have an account and are unable to login, please do not create a new account. Instead, go to the IRBManager login page and click on ‘Forgot Password’ and enter your email address to receive a new password. If you are still unable to login, please send an email to support@IRBManager.com
to receive help.
How to Create an IRBManager Login
- Go to https://login.irbmanager.com
- Enter Username: newuser
- Enter Password: newuser
- Enter Client: NYCDOE
- Enter Type
- If you are a principal investigator, choose investigator
- If you are a coordinator who will be submitting for an investigator, choose coordinator. NOTE – The Principal Investigator will need to register him/herself using this same process before you submit the new Submission Form.
- Please answer all pertinent questions.
Submitting a New Data Request Proposal to NYCDOE RPSG For Review
- When asked for a username, use the email address from your login process.
- Once you’ve logged into the homepage, click on your Settings in the upper right. Once in that section, enter your address and phone number information.
NOTE – If this information is not completed, your submission will not be reviewed until it is finished. If you’d like to see what the full Submission Form looks like, including all questions, and potential values for dropdown type questions, click ‘Start xForm’ under actions in the upper left. Click on the printer icon next to the `Data Requests’ Submission Form. This will give you a view of the form that you can print. When you’re ready to start entering information, choose the blue link for the ‘Data Requests’ Submission Form. Enter your study information. Once you’ve completed and submitted the form, NYCDOE personnel will begin the review process.