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Research in APS

Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) has a Research Review Board (RRB) that reviews both external and internal research conducted in the district.

Research in APS (last updated June 28, 2022)

Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) has a Research Review Board (RRB) that reviews both external and internal research conducted in the district.

APS considers program evaluation to be a specific type of research, therefore program evaluations studies are NOT exempt from RRB review.

The APS RRB meets once per month to review proposed studies. Applications submitted by 11:59pm on the first Thursday of each month will be reviewed in the following month's meeting. If a determination cannot be made due to lack of detail or clarity, the application will be denied.

Information for Researchers

External researchers should use the district's current COVID-19 Guidelines for Volunteers & Non-School Personnel to determine whether planned data collection activities will be permitted at schools and/or other district sites.

 The APS RRB does not:

  • Approve research without external review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects Research. An IRB protocol and determination letter must be submitted with the application.
  • Approve research studies that require the random assignment of students to classrooms.
  • Approve curriculum studies in content areas that are in the first three years of new curriculum implementation (currently: K-12 mathematics thru 2024-2025).
  • Approve studies designed primarily for the purposes of product development or for use in the marketing of an educational product or tool.
  • Allow recruitment for research unrelated to education (e.g., medical research) at APS sites
  • Approve research that asks about sexual activity, drug use or illegal activities. A single exception is made to participate in the state-wide Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS).
  • Approve research being conducted for undergraduate level classes or projects
  • Ever require or encourage APS personnel or students to participate in outside research/evaluation, even if the study is approved
  • Provide letters of support for inclusion with grant applications

The APS RRB does:

  • Ensure that all research done in the district is well-designed and has the potential to further our understanding of teaching and learning
  • Expect all researchers to demonstrate: high ethical standards, no conflict of interest, and a low probability of negative impact on APS participants
  • Support employees enrolled in degree programs that require completion of a research component whenever possible
  • Review all doctoral dissertation studies*

Conditions for Exemption from RRB Review

Approval from APS's Research Review Board is not required, and an Application for Exemption can be completed, when all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. The researchers are APS employees who, within the bounds of their job responsibilities, have direct access to all data and/or participants needed for the study (e.g., a teacher studying his/her students' writing improvement);
  2. The employees' immediate supervisor, principal, and/or appropriate department head, has reviewed the study details and given the employee researchers explicit permission to conduct the study; and
  3. Study findings will not be submitted for publication* and will only be presented to a university class and/or at the school where the research took place unless additional permissions are obtained.

If you are unsure of whether your study meets all three conditions for exemption, please email your specific question(s)/concerns to .

Application Forms

The online application cannot be saved and therefore must be completed in a single session. Given this limitation, we strongly recommend downloading and completing the Off-Line Application Worksheet prior to beginning the online application process. This will allow you to more easily edit the lengthier, more detailed sections of the application and ensure you are providing appropriate, complete responses in each section of the application.

* Note: Because doctoral dissertations are published by default, they must be reviewed by the RRB.