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Research in APS

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

Research in APS

Page last updated:  June 12, 2023

The APS RRB meets once a month to review proposed studies. Applications submitted by 11:59pm on the first Thursday of each month will be scheduled for review in the following month's meeting.

If the information provided on an applicaiton lacks the detail and clarity necessary for the RRB to make a determination, it will be denied.

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

Access to APS Schools:

External researchers who plan to visit school sites may be required to complete a background check. The background check used for APS Volunteers is generally sufficient for researchers.

 The APS RRB does not:

  • Approve research studies that require the random assignment of students to classrooms.
  • Approve curriculum studies in a content area during the first three years of new curriculum implementation (currently: K-12 mathematics thru 2024-2025).
  • Approve studies designed primarily for the purposes of developing and/or marketing an educational product or tool.
  • Allow recruitment for research unrelated to education (e.g., medical studies) at APS sites
  • Approve research that asks about sexual activity, drug use or illegal activities. The only exceptions are the state-wide Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS), and the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • Approve research being conducted for undergraduate 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

The APS RRB does:

  • Require external review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects Research. An IRB protocol (application) and determination letter must be submitted with the APS application
  • Ensure that all research done in the district is well-designed, and has the potential to advance 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

An Application for Exemption can be completed, when all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. The primary researcher is an APS employee who, within the bounds of their job responsibilities, has direct access to all data and/or participants needed for the study (e.g., a teacher conducting action research for a graduate program);
  2. The employee's immediate supervisor, principal, and/or appropriate department head, has reviewed the study details and given their explicit permission to conduct the study (letter of approval required); 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 unsure whether your study meets all three conditions for exemption, please email your specific questions and/or concerns to .

Application Forms

The online application cannot be saved; therefore, it must be completed in a single session. Given this limitation, and for ease of editing, we strongly recommend completing the Off-Line Application Worksheet before beginning the application. The worksheet will also help ensure you are providing complete, detailed responses in the appropriate section of the application.

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