Conducting Research in MNPS

If you or your organization is interested in conducting a research project, a program evaluation project, a stand-alone survey, or an action research project within Metro Nashville Public Schools, we are happy to facilitate a proposal review.

The MNPS Department of Research, Assessment, and Evaluation recognizes the benefits that can accrue from allowing internal and external researchers responsible and reasonable access to MNPS students and staff.

About the Review Process

Procedures, Requirements, and Documentation

In order to conduct research within MNPS, researchers are required to attend one Research Review Forum and electronically submit a completed research application to the MNPS Research Review Committee (RRC) for review. Action research at the MA/EdS level may be eligible for an expedited review, but all other proposals for research, surveys, and/or program evaluation must be reviewed at the monthly RRC meeting.

The RRC reviews each proposal on the following criteria:

  • Is the proposal designed so that valid and reliable results can be expected?
  • Is there a reasonable chance that the study will contribute something useful and of value to the school system?
  • Does the study make adequate provisions for the protection of personal rights and privacy?
  • Does the potential of the study justify the interruption of the work of pupils, teachers, and/or staff?

Our research review policies are guided by the Belmont Report, and any research approved by the RRC is subject to the rules and regulations as specified by Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).

Please note:

  • Executive directors and school principals continue to have complete discretion to disallow research projects to take place in their school(s), even if a project is approved by the RRC.
  • MNPS formal approval letters will indicate whether you should or should not reach out directly to principals for school-level approval.
  • MNPS employees conducting research at the Doctoral Level (EdD & PhD) should not study their own schools, students, faculty, or staff.