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Research in the department >

Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

Do I need to complete a Research Application?

Submission of application

Timelines

Research with children - working with children check

Resubmission and appeals process

University or other Ethics clearance

Where to submit the application

Technical Issues

Amendments to approved research

Application to advertise

Other

Do I need to complete a Research Application?

Q. I am a teacher employed by the department and wish to conduct official research within my own school. Do I need to complete a full research application and complete the appraisal and approval process as stated in the research guidelines?

Yes. All activity defined as research needs to go through a full appraisal and have the full research application submitted regardless of who the researcher is. Depending on other circumstances, it may be the school principal who conducts the review, applying the department's research guidelines. We would however suggest that the application be forwarded to central office though to avoid any conflict of interest.

Q. I am a researcher who has been commissioned by the department to perform a research project involving the department's staff and/or students. Will I still need to apply for approval to conduct research?

Yes. All activity defined as research needs to go through a full appraisal and have the full research application submitted regardless of who the researcher is. This process ensures that the research and all of its documentation is in line with our guidelines. If timelines are an issue we will try to expedite the department's commissioned research.

Q. I am conducting an evaluation of a program that is already occurring in schools. Are program evaluations considered research and if they are, will I need to submit an application given that I have approval to do the program already?

Evaluations are generally considered research if they utilise any research instruments and/or collect data from participants. This activity is then defined as research and will need a full research application to be submitted. Programs already in operation will still need to have the evaluation component approved separately by the department as they are two completely separate processes with differing approval bodies.

Submission of application

Q. I have submitted my entire application, including all attachments electronically. Do I still need to submit a hard copy?


It is no longer a requirement to post us a hard copy of your research application. However we do ask that you please ensure that you email through a copy of the signature page only, to Research.STRATPOL@dete.qld.gov.au.

Q. Can I just send a hard copy with all the attachments and omit submitting electronically?

No. You must submit an electronic PDF file to the department as we do not have the capacity to keep physical folders on site for more than a few months and will at times need to access the electronic version. If you lose your electronic file we will ask that you complete the form again and submit electronically.

Timelines

Q. How long does the application process take?

Current estimations place the approval process as taking approximately 8 weeks. If your research project requires policy advice with several areas in the department and needs several amendments, then it is likely to take more than 8 weeks. During staff shortages the process can take between 8-12 weeks - this includes submissions over the December/January period.

Q. Can you finalise my application less than the nominated time frame as I need to commence my research sooner?

In most cases, no. The only exception to this rule is when the department is a formal partner on the research, in which case we will expedite the process to the best of our ability. However, there are a number of processes that each application must go through and even with fast-tracking a quicker turnaround cannot be guaranteed.

Q. My supervisor is currently out of the country and I would still like to submit my application, will you be able to begin processing without their signature?

Yes. If you contact us to let us know that the signature will be pending and submit all other required documents we are happy to begin the review process. However, the final approval will not be given until signatures are received.

Research with children - working with children check

Q. I will only be at the school for a period of three hours - do I still need to apply for a Blue Card?

Due to complications around the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements, we no longer advise researchers on when applications or exemptions are required. Blue Card services will be able to give you formal advice. please contact them on 1800 113 611 for verification.

Q. I have a New South Wales Commission for Children and Young People Working with Children Check, do I need to apply for a separate Queensland Blue Card?

Due to complications around the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements, we no longer advise researchers on when applications or exemptions are required. Blue Card services will be able to give you formal advice. Please contact them on 1800 113 611 for verification.

Q. I am a current registered teacher in Queensland, do I still need to apply for an exemption card?

Due to complications around the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements, we no longer advise researchers on when applications or exemptions are required. Blue Card services will be able to give you formal advice. Please contact them on 1800 113 611 for verification.

Q. I will be conducting my research in a school site, but not directly working with students, will I still need to apply for a Blue Card?

Due to complications around the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements, we no longer advise researchers on when applications or exemptions are required. Blue Card services will be able to give you formal advice. Please contact them on 1800 113 611 for verification.

Q. I will be surveying students through both an online and mailed out hard copy survey, but will not be interacting with children face-to-face or in an individual setting, will I still be required to apply for a Blue Card?

Due to complications around the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements, we no longer advise researchers on when applications or exemptions are required. Blue Card services will be able to give you formal advice. Please contact them on 1800 113 611 for verification.

Resubmission and appeals process

Q. If I send in my application and it requires re-work am I notified and given a chance to re-work it and re-submit?

Yes. If the overall research project is considered to be of benefit to the department and there are no inherent problems in the research topic or design then we will ask for amendments along the way. We try to work with researchers through the entire process and are happy to give feedback on all documentation and research instruments.

Q. Is there an appeal process if my application is not approved?

Research Services works closely with all applicants wishing to undertake research in departmental sites. On occasions, the department will decline the invitation to participate in research usually because the proposed study is inconsistent with current departmental policy directions, the proposed research will impact significantly on the time and resources of teachers and students in schools, or the research is generally inappropriate for administration in State schools or other departmental sites. Research Services is committed to advising applicants early in the review process if it is unlikely that their proposals will be supported. In such instances, there are generally other options that researchers can pursue in conducting their research and the department will provide advice on other possibilities in responding to applications. Researchers are also welcome to submit new or revamped applications in response to feedback and comment provided by the department.

University or other Ethics clearance

Q. My university ethics committee has requested I gain the department's approval as part of the ethics application; however on your application it appears I need university ethics clearance prior to the department's approval. Can I get clarification on this?

We understand that some university ethics committees require full departmental approval prior to giving their final ethics clearance. We try to work with the Universities and will provide a conditional approval for you to show to the University. This means that you will need to provide us with evidence of your project being submitted to the university ethics committee and that you may not begin your project on departmental sites until you have final ethics clearance from the University.

Q. Can we submit our application for approval with you concurrently with waiting for our formal ethics approval with the university and then send on the relevant documentation when it becomes available?

Yes. We are happy to begin the review process as long as you can provide evidence of submitting your application to the University ethics committee. If final clearance has not been received from the university ethics committee by the end of our review process we will provide you with a conditional approval letter. You will then need to forward the final ethics clearance number to us when available and may not begin your research on departmental sites until all approvals are finalised.

Q. I am not affiliated with a university and don't have access to a recognised HREC ethics committee. Can I still apply to conduct research in the department?

Yes. You must write a statement outlining your ethical approach to your research study including how will you address the issues of informed and voluntary consent; confidentiality and privacy; management, storage and disposal of data; risks and benefits of the research; publication, reports and/or dissemination of results.

Where to submit the application

Q. The research guidelines state that when working with one school only, except where there are sensitive issues, approval need only be sought from the school principal. Does this mean that there must be no items checked yes in Section 4?

Yes. If you have checked yes to one or more items in Section 4 then the research application must be reviewed by central office regardless of the schools or participants you are inviting to participate.

Q. If a teacher was to conduct official research within their own school do they need to gain permission from the department and complete the appraisal and approval process as stated in the research guidelines or can they just get approval from their principal?

All activity defined as research needs to go through a full appraisal and have the full research application submitted regardless of who the researcher is. Depending on other circumstances, it may be the school principal who conducts the review, applying the department's research guidelines. We would however suggest that the application be forwarded to central office to avoid any conflict of interest..

Q. There are no sensitive items ticked in Section 4 of the application form and I am only seeking to invite two schools in the Cairns region. Am I right in thinking that the application needs to be submitted to the regional office for appraisal?

Yes. If no sensitivities are checked in Section 4 of the application, then the application may be reviewed by the regional office if all invited schools are located within that region.

Q. I would like to interview employees in the head office of the department. Given that it is in one site only - where do I submit my application?

Employees of the head office of the department fall under central office jurisdiction so the research application will need to be submitted to Research Services, central office.

Technical Issues

Q. I am having issues with the application form - it will not open correctly, can you please assist me?

There are a number of things you can try if you are having trouble with the application form:

Q. I receive the following message when I try to use your online research application "Warning: This form is not supported with the current version of Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Upgrade to the latest version for full support." However, I am currently using the latest version of Adobe Reader, is there any other way I can access the form?

It has recently come to our attention that the Adobe plug-ins for some browsers including chrome and safari have been updated beyond the capabilities of our old form. This means that even though you are getting an error message that your reader is outdated - it is in actual fact the form itself that is too old for the reader.

The easiest way to bypass this issue is to open the form in internet explorer (IE) if it is installed on your machine - this works nearly every time. It is as easy as opening explorer and copying and pasting the following http://education.qld.gov.au/corporate/research/research-app.html then click on the online application hyperlink.

If you are using a mac and do not have IE, instead of clicking directly on the link to open the form, right click and select "save link as" this should trigger a pop up explorer box which will give you the option of where to save the file locally on your machine. Navigate to your preferred location (desktop for example). Click "save" and you will note that the file downloads to the bottom left of your screen. If you click this tab once the download completes it should open normally for you.

If neither of these options work and you have already tried our troubleshoots including clearing your cache and cookies (instructions available under our FAQs), please contact us via phone and we will troubleshoot further or organise for a static copy of the form to be emailed to you.

If these troubleshooting methods do not work, please contact us and we can send you a static version of the form for you to complete.

Q. I cannot attach some documents to my application. Would it be acceptable to send the application in and attach those other document as separate attachments?

We would prefer all attachments to be contained within the PDF document so please try the following troubleshooting steps if relevant:

If these troubleshooting methods do not resolve the issue then please send the attachments in a separate email ensuring you detail what sections they are for.

Q. The application form will not submit as an email; I keep getting an error message, can I submit any other way?

Usually the cause of this is that the overall file is too large for our servers. Our email servers will not accept any emails larger than 5MB so please check the properties of your application before trying to email. If this is the issue you will need to find the attachments that are too large - these will usually be things like jpegs (scanned blue card) or information sheets with graphics intensive letterheads. If you are still having trouble you can place the application on a cd and post it to us.

Q. Your office has advised me that the application form I am using is out-dated and I need to complete the updated version. I cannot seem to find the newer form, the old version continues to load, why is this happening?

To ensure you have the latest version clear your internet browsing history including cookies and cache and access the form from: http://education.qld.gov.au/corporate/research/research_application.pdf Adobe PDF document

Amendments to approved research

Q. How do we include an additional school in a research project that has already been approved by the department?

For any research amendments please email the Research.Stratpol@dete.qld.gov.au inbox with your research reference number (550/27/...) and details of your amendments. An officer will get in touch with you to notify whether this is approved, declined or whether you will need to submit a new application..

Q. We would like to modify our research project and replace one of the instruments, how do we seek approval for this?

For any research amendments please email the Research.Stratpol@dete.qld.gov.au inbox with your research reference number (550/27/...) and details of your amendments. An officer will get in touch with you to notify whether this is approved, declined or whether you will need to submit a new application

Application to advertise

Q. We would like advertise our research in school newsletters, do we need to complete the full research application?

No. If you would like to advertise your research on school sites through methods such as newsletters and bulletin boards, you will not need to complete the full research application and you may submit your application to advertise form directly to school principals. If, however, you would like any assistance or involvement of the school in your research or in recruiting participants such as emailing teachers, sending out information sheets or collecting consent forms, or would like to interview/survey on school grounds or during school times then you must complete the full research application.

Q. We are hoping to use schools to recruit participants for our research project and would like principals to email teachers and ask them to participate on our behalf, can we just complete an application to advertise?

No. If you would like any assistance or involvement of the school in your research or in recruiting participants such as emailing teachers, sending out information sheets or collecting consent forms, or would like to interview/survey on school grounds or during school times then you must complete the full research application.

Other

Q. There is no supervisor as the researcher will be the chief investigator. Do I just put my name as the researcher and leave the supervisor blank?

No. We require a second person to verify the research project and act as a quasi-referee. The supervisor needs to be somebody who is aware of the project and should at least be employed at a level equal to if not higher than the lead researcher. It sometimes makes more sense to put the research assistant down as the lead researcher and put the chief investigator as supervisor. This is the person we need to contact for administrative tasks anyway.

Q. The proposed study is part of my ongoing work as a teacher. As such the students in my class are not being required to do anything that we would not normally do in our daily classroom practice. Is a consent form necessary in this case?

Sometimes. More information is required to decide whether consent will be required. A full research application will still need to be submitted and that is when we will decide if consent is also required. Generally speaking though, if any student work, data or results are going to be reported in any way then full active consent will need to be sought.

Q. Can you please direct me to the current department's research priorities so that I can highlight the benefits of my research to the department?

The research priorities for the department are currently under review and we are anticipating they will be published in the near future. In the meanwhile we ask that researchers highlight the general benefits of the research to the department's strategic priorities, teaching practices and/or learning outcomes, and participants. Information about the strategic priorities of the department is available on the website at http://deta.qld.gov.au/publications/strategic/.

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This page was last reviewed on 26 Oct 2015 at 10:53AM

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