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Madison Metropolitan School District

External Research

We are currently reviewing and updating the process for external research approvals for the 2022-23 school year. Please watch this website for additional information.

What needs to be reviewed?

Any potential research project in MMSD must go through the external research review process.. Generally, MMSD defines "external research" as any situation where someone gathers data or information about MMSD students, parents or staff and shares that information with an external party. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students working on projects for degrees or credit (e.g., a dissertation or thesis)
  • Students working on course projects they may want to publish at a later date
  • Grant-funded research conducted by postsecondary education faculty
  • Vendors looking to pilot an assessment or curriculum
  • MMSD staff working toward an advanced degree
  • MMSD staff looking to publish or present their action research outside of MMSD

Why does my project need to be reviewed?

The external research review process protects MMSD students and staff against research that puts them at personal and/or professional risk and helps MMSD determine whether the benefits of a proposed research project justify the risks and the time spent by participants and staff.

How can I access individual-level data?

Individual-level data refers to data associated with a specific person, while aggregate data refers to data associated with a group of people. A memo from MMSD indicates the only ways that individuals may access individual-level MMSD data.

More information on data use agreements.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about submitting a proposal, please contact Bri Monahan in the Research & Innovation Department ( If needed, the ERC mailing address is:

Madison Metropolitan School District
Research & Program Evaluation Office
545 West Dayton Street, Room 100H
Madison, WI 53703