The New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) is the largest school system in the nation with a diverse student population. Teachers College (TC) researchers interested in working within an NYC DOE site must first be approved by TC’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), and then approved by the NYC DOE IRB prior to participant recruitment.
DOE allows researchers to conduct studies in their school system, however, research activities must not compromise the privacy of their students and their families, or disrupt the work of students, staff, and educators. All research proposals must meet professional standards for the treatment of human subjects, research design, and ethical practices, and additionally must have relevance for the NYC public school system.
The participant materials on file between the two institutions (TC IRB and NYC DOE IRB) must be identical. In other words, a modification to TC IRB should be submitted to reflect the requested revisions made by NYC DOE IRB to make both IRB protocols identical. Updates to the TC IRB application should also be made to reflect changes to the research protocol. Click this link How to Submit a Modification, Continuing Review, Adverse Event, and Deviation to learn how to modify an already approved TC IRB protocol.
Researchers should consult the DOE IRB’s website for the latest policy updates and submission guidelines.
An explanation of the DOE IRB proposal submission process is available on the NYC DOE IRB website.
Researchers are encouraged to review the Institutional Review Board Information for School Principals section. This page provides information for school site principals to review. Researchers should understand what expectations principals will have of a researcher during the recruitment and research phase of a study.
Researchers may also be interested in accessing individual-level (student, staff, or teacher) data from New York City schools for research studies or evaluations. School staff (teachers, principals, administrators, etc.) cannot directly provide individual-level data to researchers. A formal data request form must be submitted to the NYC DOE IRB for review. To access individual-level data, researchers must submit an NYC DOE Data Request.
Researchers are encouraged to explore the following links to publicly available student-level data (e.g., graduate rates, demographics, etc.) prior to designing school-based research:
The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) Institutional Review Board (IRB) requires all investigators who wish to conduct research at NYC DOE sites to complete the Social & Behavioral Research – Basic/Refresher course (ID 184110) on CITI's website. Researchers can affiliate with NYC DOE through CITI’s website to complete their corresponding CITI modules. For NYC DOE IRB questions, please email IRB@schools.nyc.gov or visit CITI’s Support Center for questions about their training modules.
Depending on the research design, the following forms should be submitted with the NYC DOE IRB research protocol:
All DOE IRB consent (assent and permission) forms should include the following:
All proposals and research-related documents must be submitted online through the DOE’s IRB Manager. For information on IRB Manager, visit NYC DOE's website. For a direct link to IRB Manager, click here.
If you are unable to login to IRB Manager, please send an email to support@IRBManager.com to receive help.
Prior to contacting individual schools or principals, all designated personnel named in this protocol to conduct research in NYC public schools with NYC DOE staff or students, or using NYC public school student data, must complete the NYC DOE security clearance process. This includes but is not limited to being fingerprinted by the NYC DOE. To initiate the security clearance process, all named participants must submit scanned copies of the following required documents to IRB@schools.nyc.gov:
Information will then be entered into the PETS system and researchers will recieve a nomination email from PETSAdminSupport@schools.nyc.gov within 7 business days that will outline all the next steps in the security clearance process, including login access to Applicant Gateway, where all required forms can be found. If researchers have fingerprints on file with the NYC DOE IRB and they have been active with our system within the past six years, they simply update the online forms. For researchers requiring fingerprinting, once all required forms are completed and signed, follow the directions provided to schedule the fingerprinting appointment through IdentoGo. Please note:
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The NYC DOE IRB is currently processing a very high volume of submissions. Each round of review may take 6-8 weeks, not accounting for office closures. All protocols are processed on a rolling basis (first-come, first-served). The NYC DOE IRB meets once a month. Select protocols are assigned for review by the Full Board following initial review and revision. Selected protocols are assigned to the Full Board for review on a rolling basis.
Even if a study is deemed exempt or expedited by TC IRB, the NYC DOE IRB may determine that the study will go for Full Board Review. This can potentially affect how long the study will take until it is approved.
Site recruitment and data collection may not begin until after review and approval by TC and DOE IRB.
If you plan on conducting in person research with the NYC DOE, be prepared to justify why your study must be conducted in person.
The NYC DOE IRB requires that all consent, assent, and parental consent forms be drafted in the following required templates:
CITI training is required for all researchers associated with human subjects research submissions, and must be completed before submission to both the TC IRB and the DOE IRB. TC researchers can visit the Training & Certification page for information on CITI training.
All protocol renewals must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the protocol expiration date, which is detailed in the initial approval letter and subsequent renewal approval letters. A lapse in protocol approval must result in immediate suspension of all research activities, including, but not limited to, analysis of collected data and interactions with study subjects.
General questions about the IRB process should be emailed to IRB@schools.nyc.gov.