Austin ISD is always striving to be committed to allocating budgets, programming, and personnel shifts to better serve schools and students. We have shifted our research focus to priority areas listed by the district. While we are always interested in furthering educational research, we will be granting priority to research aligned with our district scorecard.

Austin ISD does have a formal application process for all parties looking to conduct research within the district.

Contact external research with questions on research, collaborations, data, and more. Please read below for specific information pertaining to:

  1. those interested in new research,
  2. those with currently approved projects, and
  3. Austin ISD community partners.

Be sure to check the site as we will update messaging to include the latest news on external research. This will include any modifications in capacity, new protocols for 2024-2025 and beyond, etc.

Please know that partial applications will not be considered complete until receipt of all components of your submission. If you have questions, please email the Survey & Research staff at

For Those Interested in Research

Austin ISD expects extremely limited capacity for research, including new projects. For those interested in new research and/or evaluation projects, we have created a short protocol to help build thoughtful communication.

Research Interest Protocol:

  • If interested in a new research project, please fill out our External Research Interest Form.
  • The external research team will overview information for interest and capacity.
  • Your project contact (i.e., the contact person listed in the form) will hear back on individualized next steps

Please note that this protocol does not take the place of a full application and there are no fixed timelines or practices. The external research team will communicate on a case-by-case basis as long as the limited capacity. 

Previously Approved Projects

Projects who have already obtained a dated and signed approval letter may start, continue, and/or complete research where possible. We ask that researchers be sympathetic and flexible around current contexts. Continued impacts of the organizational shifts may impact research implementation.

As always, principal approval must be obtained annually, using the Principal Recruitment and Agreement to Participate (PRAP) form. Researchers should gain site approval and collect signatures, then return PRAP forms to external research via email.

Projects must follow design and data collection methods as approved in the application, or researchers may request a change to a project through the Change Request for Approved Projects form. Changes may include: time, logistics, location(s), sampling/participants, methods, and/or protocols. Once the form is received, the request will be evaluated and approved according to fit with the intended scope of the original, approved project as well as current Austin ISD capacity.

NOTE: As capacity is limited and the number of projects is being carefully considered, researchers should only submit a Change Request if it is unavoidable. 

Students, Families, and Data Privacy

Learn more about how AISD maintains research compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and other regulations regarding students' privacy rights.

Notice: The district is committed to supporting our current employee’s graduate research requests, and will do so as much as our capacity allows. All external research requests are reviewed by a content review committee.


2024-2025 External Research Calendar

Request Type Submission Deadline
Campus Research Request June 2, 2024
Data Research Request November 1, 2024

Principles and Criteria for Review

NOTE: Receiving an R# after submitting an application IS NOT APPROVAL TO CONDUCT RESEARCH.

The proposed research must directly provide educational value to Austin ISD as well as the field of education in general.

The proposed research addresses an identified research priority of the district and does not duplicate research already occurring in the district.

The proposed research should not intrude upon instructional time or disrupt the educational process. Due to spring time being currently burdensome for campuses all research that requires on-campus attention must be conducted in the fall.

The Researcher affiliated with the project must notify , in writing, about the intent to submit reports or articles for publication or conference presentations. One electronic copy of the final report must be furnished for the files of Austin ISD.

The proposed research must manifest a sound research methodology using valid and reliable techniques.

The proposed research must document that the researcher or organization has the capacity and experience to successfully complete the project.

The proposed research must protect the privacy of students and staff and ensure compliance with state and federal laws as well as Austin ISD board policy. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is based on the premise that information about an individual student is private and confidential and generally may only be accessed with parental consent.

All state and federal laws must be observed, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

All persons having one or more contacts with one or more students must provide documentation of a background check.

Data agreements between the Researcher and the District must be entered into for any case where data is requested from the District. Data received from the District may only be used for approved research and evaluation studies. Use or transfer of the data to another entity will be in violation of District policy and FERPA regulations.

External Research Process Flow Chart