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Madison Metropolitan School District

Items to Check before Submitting Your Proposal

There are some corrections that we often have to ask researchers to make, so consider verifying that you are not falling into one of these traps before you submit:

  • I have IRB approval (or at least conditional approval or a letter certifying that my project is not considered research) and the letter includes the same project title as the one I will submit to the ERC.
  • I checked my application and all of my research materials for consistency (e.g., time, compensation, etc.) to ensure that the details provided in my ERC application match those found in my research materials.
  • I proofread all of my research materials for grammar and spelling.
  • My proposal is clearly written and explained and makes sense to others who have never heard of the project.
  • I provided realistic time estimates for how long my study will take and how long it might take participants to do certain parts of the study (if applicable).
  • When using any assent/consent materials, I have:
    • Completely explained what the project entails
    • Informed participants they can say "no" or stop at any time without anyone being upset with them
    • Written it in age-appropriate language.
  • If doing an interview or a focus group, I have included an interview or focus group protocol with specific questions that I will ask.
  • If conducting an observation, I have attached my observation protocol with details about what I am observing.
  • If video or audio recording any part of the research, I have included separate checkboxes at the end of consent/assent forms for participants to assent/consent to such devices being used.
  • If video recording or photography is part of my research, I have included BOTH steps taken to avoid capturing non-consenting/assenting individuals AND steps taken should the images of unintended subjects be captured in my assent/consent materials.
  • If recruiting via email, telephone, or letter home, I have attached a copy of the recruitment script that I will use.
  • I know that I cannot compensate staff for work done during the school day, so if I choose to compensate them for their participation, I have included language about the research and staff participation happening outside of contracted hours.
  • If my work involves students outside of instructional time, I have clearly stated in the recruitment and consent/assent materials that the research activity will happen outside of instructional hours.
  • If my research involves using data from standard curriculum or activities already being conducted as part of a regular day at MMSD, I have clearly indicated in my research materials that the consent/assent is to use the data from the activity, but that all students will be participating in the activity regardless of consent.  In other words, I have clearly stated what parents and students are consenting/assenting to.
  • If I am using a recruitment flyer, I have included the following disclaimer on each flyer: "This is not an MMSD sponsored research project."