• Conducting Research in Portland Public Schools

    Thank you for your interest in conducting research at Portland Public Schools. School Board policy requires that all research requests in the school district be reviewed and receive approval from the Research Review Committee in the Systems Planning and Performance Department. 

    Timeline and submission information

    The PPS Research Review Committee meets monthly during the school year to review applications. Please plan for a 4-week turnaround for initial review once you have submitted your materials. 

    For research to be conducted in the current school year proposals must be received by April 1st. Proposals received after April 1 will be considered for the following school year.

    For our district in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school year, research activities involving middle school students, high school students, middle school teachers, and high school teachers is in high demand. Please be advised that researchers seeking participation from any of these populations may be denied in order to protect instructional time and building capacity.


    Process and requirements for research

    Portland Public Schools requires that all researchers submit a proposal prior to conducting research. The Research Review Committee in the System Planning & Performance Department reviews all research proposals.

     Please use the link below to submit your research proposal including the following:

    1. A cover letter that that includes:
      1. your full contact information (email, mailing address, phone number)
      2. a brief outline of your research
      3. how your research contributes to our District mission and priorities https://www.pps.net/domain/265.
    2. A research proposal that describes
      1. scope and significance of the study
      2. research design and methodology
      3. logistics of the study:
        1. selection of population
        2. data to be collected
    • source of data
    1. Research Timeline
    2. Attach surveys and/or interview protocols, and data collection tools
    3. consent and assent forms
    4. A copy of approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB).


    <<PPS Research Review Application>> (temporarily suspended at this time)

    PPS Research Proposal Evaluation Criteria


    Action Research

    Action research is any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher researchers to gather information about the ways that their particular school operates, how they teach, and how well their students learn. The information is gathered with the goals of gaining insight, developing reflective practice, effecting positive changes in the school environment and on educational practices in general, and improving student outcomes. (Mills, 2003, p. 4, italics added). For PPS research review purposes, action research is generally limited to an individual classroom with the research outcomes/products used only to inform teacher practice and in some cases for meeting a university or college course requirement. In the case of meeting a course requirement, the research results are not published or shared beyond the college/university classroom. Theses and Dissertations are published documents. Therefore, they need to follow the regular research submission process. All action research needs to follow FERPA guidelines. Student data cannot be presented, reported, or released to universities or outside groups without submitting a formal research proposal to PPS Research Review Committee.

    If you are interested in conducting Action Reseach please fill out this <<form>> (temporarily suspended at this time)


    Additional Requirements for Approved Research:

    • All persons working with a project on Portland School District grounds must receive a background check conducted by PPS Security Services (forms available from review committee AFTER proposal has been approved.) and must always be accompanied by a PPS staff member.
    • Fingerprint—cost is researcher’s responsibility.
    • All persons working with a project on Portland School District grounds must be covered by worker compensation.
    • A copy of the final research product must be submitted to the Systems Planning and Performance Department.


    Contact information

    Research Review Committee


    503-916-2000 x74905 or x74226

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