• CMSD Department of Research and Evaluation


Before submitting a proposal to the Research Review Committee, review the goals of the Cleveland Plan and the District’s mission and be sure that you can answer “YES” to each of the following questions.

  1. Does your proposal fall into one of the permitted research categories? (See below.)
  2. If your proposal is an academic study, a doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, or a national survey, does it align with the goals outlined in the Cleveland Plan or another strategic district initiative?
  3. Will findings from your proposed research provide actionable information that can help improve the education experiences and outcomes of children in Cleveland?

Research Categories

Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation is any project that involves activities attempting to measure the outcomes of a particular program or intervention. It is required that all third party evaluators submit an application to the RRC. Programs and vendors must submit a rationale if seeking to evaluate their own effectiveness.

National Survey or Study

National Surveys are broad-scale, nationally-sampled studies that typically contribute to federally supported or mandated work.

Academic Study (Not in pursuit of a degree)

Academic Studies are any study, whether grant-funded or not, proposed for the sole purpose of answering a specific question and/or expanding upon the current literature in any given field. Proposing researchers must be affiliated with an institute of higher education or organization dedicated to conducting research and evaluation studies. Academic study proposals must include IRB materials from the supporting organization.

Academic Study (In pursuit of degree)

Academic Study, in pursue of degree, are accepted for review by the RRC, but are subject to additional requirements. Such proposals must also meet the requirements of the above Academic Study

Submitting your Proposal

All individuals and organizations interested in conducting research within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) must submit a request to the Research Review Committee (RRC) through the Research Request Portal in the Office of Research and Evaluation website. Please submit proposals well in advance of the study start date; proposals should be submitted at least 3 months before their intended start date. This is to ensure that there is adequate time to address any questions or concerns that the RRC may have about your proposed project.

All submissions must follow the Research Proposal Template Outline*. All sections must be included in the structured Abstract-- labeled and in sequence-- in each research proposal submitted to the Research Review Committee. If a particular section is not relevant to your proposal, please include the section header and describe why the section is not relevant (for example, if you are requesting information to conduct a national longitudinal survey, you will likely write “N/A. This is a national survey”). Incomplete submissions or proposals that do not follow the RRC template are automatically denied approval.

*Templates and forms are provided in our R&E site (e.g. proposal outline, template, cover page, checklist)





Requirements for Submission

  1. Student researchers should contact the Research Review Committee for a personal consultation. This allows the RRC to learn about your potential research and guide you as to whether or not it will be possible at its current form within the District. Please contact externalrequests@clevelandmetroschools.org to schedule your consultation.
  2. Standard Cover Page. The cover page is provided as a fillable PDF and can be found on the Submission Materials page of our website. Please fill out the form, print, sign, and scan. Cover pages should be submitted as PDFs through the submission link in the R&E portal.
  3. Please use our template to fill out a standard Study Proposal and the Structured Abstract. Forms and instructions are available in the Submitting your Proposallink in the R&E portal.
  4. Appendices must be summited once the project has been approved by the RRC.
  5. It is preferable that all appendices are submitted in a single PDF file. Please acknowledge all appendices, noting those that are not applicable with an “N/A.”
  6. Electronic Copy
  7. Once you have completed your proposal,
    • Submit it as one document through the Submitting your Proposal link in our Research Portal, under the tab Research Requests.
    • You will receive a response in your email that includes your formal proposal number, which will be in the following format: “YEAR-MONTH-NUMBER” (e.g., 2017-01-201).
  8. Due to the volume of requests we receive, it will take approximtely six weeks for your research proposal to be reviewed by the RRC. Once your research proposal has been reviewed by the RRC, we will contact you via email with a response about the status of your proposal (Approved/Rejected/ Amend & Resubmit).

Research Review Committee
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Office of Research and Evaluation
1111 Superior Ave. Suite 1800
Cleveland, OH 44114


Questions? Please email ResearchEvaluation@ClevelandMetroSchools.org or call 216.838.0181 for more information. This information has been last updated in April 2018.