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Research Services >

Frequently asked questions

Applying to conduct research

  1. Why does the department allow research to be conducted at departmental sites?
  2. Why do I have to apply to conduct research?
  3. Are there research projects that don't need to be appraised by central/regional office?
  4. Does the department provide ethics clearance?
  5. If I'm a teacher employed by the department and want to conduct research in my own school, do I need to complete a research application?
  6. If I've been commissioned by the department to do a research project involving department staff and/or students, do I still need to apply for permission to conduct research?
  7. I'm evaluating a program that's being done in schools. Are program evaluations considered research and if they are, will I need to submit an application given that I already have permission to do the program?

Submitting and processing your application

  1. How do I apply to conduct research?
  2. Can I submit a research application using the old form?
  3. How long does the application process take?
  4. Can my research application be expedited?
  5. If my supervisor or colleague is not available to sign the research application, can you start processing without their signature?
  6. There is no supervisor for my research and I will be the chief investigator. Why do I need a signature from the Head of School, Director of Research or a colleague?
  7. How long is my research application valid for?

Queensland Education Research Inventory (QERI)

  1. What is QERI and how do I use it?
  2. Can I save a partially completed application?
  3. How do I submit a completed application?
  4. I have completed my application, but the 'Summary' page indicates that one or more mandatory questions are yet to be completed.
  5. I can't attach some documents to my application. Can I submit my application and then email these attachments separately?
  6. How do I withdraw an application?
  7. How do I submit the findings of my research?
  8. Can I be notified when research relating to particular topics is published on QERI?
  9. How do I stop receiving notifications about research that is published on QERI?
  10. If I'm a teacher or other departmental staff member, can I register as a researcher on the QERI website?
  11. Can I submit research findings in QERI even if the research was not conducted at departmental sites?
  12. Can I submit research findings in QERI even though the research was conducted before QERI was created?

National applications

  1. Is there a special application form for national research?
  2. Is there a national assessment body to process national applications?
  3. If I submit a national application in Queensland, does it automatically get sent to the other jurisdictions?

Conducting resarch

  1. Can the department answer questions about whether or not I need a Queensland Blue Card or Exemption card for my research?
  2. We'd like to advertise our research in school newsletters. Do we need to complete the full research application?
  3. The proposed study is part of my ongoing work as a teacher. The students are not being asked to do anything other than what we would not normally do in the classroom. Is a consent form necessary?
  4. Can I offer incentives to research participants?
  5. What should I do if approached by the media about my research?
  6. What are my responsibilities once I enter schools sites?
  7. What if I want to identify schools in my research findings?
  8. What happens when I've finished my research?

Resubmission and appeals process

  1. If I'm told my application needs to be modified, can I amend and re-submit?
  2. Is there an appeal process if my application is declined?

Ethics clearance

  1. My university ethics committee wants the department to have approved my research before giving final ethics clearance. Yet the department's application asks for university ethics clearance before giving permission. Can you please clarify?
  2. Can we submit an application while waiting for our formal university ethics clearance?
  3. 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?

Amendments to approved research

  1. Can I amend an application after it has been submitted?
  2. What if I want to amend an application that I submitted before the launch of QERI?
  3. How do I include an additional school or departmental site in a research project that has already been approved by the department?
  4. What do I do if I want to change one of my research instruments?
  5. I have an email from Research Services asking for further information or an amendment to my application. Where can I find the details of this request?
  6. What if I change university/research institution or there are changes to the staff on the research team?
  7. If the department imposes conditions and requires changes to the research, do I have to notify my university's / research institution's ethics committee?
  8. Can I apply for an extension to my research project?

Applying to conduct research

1. Why does the department allow research to be conducted at departmental sites?

To offer world-class education, the department relies on high quality research to inform the best teaching practices. This requires researchers to have access to our schools and other sites.

2. Why do I have to apply to conduct research?

We have an obligation to protect students and limit any impositions on teachers and the department. For this reason, we ask researchers to apply to conduct research so we can assess whether the value of the research outweighs any inconvenience or risk to staff and students.

3. Are there research projects that don't need to be appraised by central/regional office?

Yes. If the research doesn't have any sensitivities and will be done in one school only, it doesn't need to be approved by central or regional office.

To find out if your research involves sensitivities, make an application through the Queensland Education Research Inventory (QERI) website. If, after entering information about your research, it's established there are no sensitivities, QERI will automatically direct your application to the school and email you an acknowledgement of your application. You can then follow up with the school. We suggest waiting a fortnight after submitting your application.

4. Does the department provide ethics clearance?

No. Researchers need to get ethics clearance from their university or research institution.

The department doesn't provide ethics clearance. If an applicant doesn't have access to an ethics committee, they can attach a statement explaining how their research complies with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, for the department to consider.

5. If I'm a teacher employed by the department and want to conduct research in my own school, do I need to complete a research application?

It depends on how you intend to use the research. If the activity meets the criteria in our guidelines Adobe PDF document or is identified in QERI as requiring permission, you'll need to submit an application even though you work in the school. Depending on the circumstances, the school principal may conduct the review, applying the department's guidelines Adobe PDF document. We suggest that the application be forwarded to central office in any case, to avoid a conflict of interest.

6. If I've been commissioned by the department to do a research project involving department staff and/or students, do I still need to apply for permission to conduct research?

Yes. All activity that meets the criteria in our guidelines Adobe PDF document or is identified in QERI as requiring submission needs to go through the application process. This makes sure that research and its documentation is in line with our guidelines. If timelines are an issue, we will try to expedite the department's commissioned research.

7. I'm evaluating a program that's being done in schools. Are program evaluations considered research and if they are, will I need to submit an application given that I already have permission to do the program?

Evaluations are generally considered research if they involve collecting data from participants and/or if they use research instruments, and if the findings will be published. If the evaluation includes these activities, it requires a research application. Even if the program is approved and underway, the evaluation component needs to be appraised separately if it meets the definition of research.

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Submitting and processing applications

1. How do I apply to conduct research?

The four key steps to applying to conduct research are as follows:

Please see the QERI User Guide Adobe PDF document External Link for detailed instructions.

2. Can I submit a research application using the old form?

No. Old forms won't be accepted any more. QERI is the department's new online system for all applications. If you've started to fill out an old form, you can copy and paste that content into the QERI research application form.

3. How long does the application process take?

The application process usually takes 12 weeks. The length of time depends on:

The process may seem slow, but it's important we protect school children and limit impositions on teachers and other staff. This requires a thorough appraisal process.

4. Can my research application be expedited?

In most cases, no. The only exception is if the department is a formal partner on the research, in which case we will expedite the process if we can. However, there are a number of stages involved in processing applications and even fast-tracking doesn't guarantee a quicker turnaround.

5. If my supervisor or colleague is not available to sign the research application, can you start processing without their signature?

Yes. If you let us know that the signature is coming and submit all other required documents, we are happy to begin the review process. However, permission to approach will not be given until we've received signatures.

6. There is no supervisor for my research and I will be the chief investigator. Why do I need a signature from the Head of School, Director of Research or a colleague?

We need a second person to verify the research project and act as a quasi-referee. If this isn't a supervisor, it needs to be somebody who is aware of the project and is employed at a level equal to or higher than the lead researcher.

7. How long is my research application valid for?

A research application is valid for five years from the date of permission to approach.

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Queensland Education Research Inventory (QERI)

1. What is QERI and how do I use it?

QERI is an online facility for processing applications and storing information about research involving Queensland government schools and other departmental sites, including information about current research and findings from finished projects.

Our User Guide Adobe PDF document External Link has lots of information about how to use QERI. If you have any problems using it, you can contact us on (07) 3034 5929 or email ResearchServices@qed.qld.gov.au.

2. Can I save a partially completed application?

Yes. Just click the 'Save' button at the top or bottom of the screen. Content is also automatically saved when you go to the 'Next' page, 'Back' to the previous page, or to the 'Summary' page.

To resume a partially complete application, login to QERI, select 'My Applications' from the left menu, and click on the application you want to resume.

3. How do I submit a completed application?

Once you've completed all sections of the application, click the 'Submit Application' button which should appear on the top right of the 'Summary' page. You'll receive an automated email acknowledging that the application has been successfully submitted.

4. I have completed my application, but the 'Summary' page indicates that one or more mandatory questions are yet to be completed.

To finish your application:

5. I can't attach some documents to my application. Can I submit my application and then email these attachments separately?

We would prefer all attachments are uploaded in QERI. If a document's not attaching:

If the file's not too big and not corrupted but still won't attach, send the attachments in a separate email, letting us know what sections they are for.

6. How do I withdraw an application?

Login to QERI, select 'My Applications', and then click the 'Actions' button on the right-hand side of the screen, beside the application you would like to withdraw. Click 'Withdraw Application' from the drop-down menu, and then provide an explanation for the withdrawal in the pop-up box.

7. How do I submit the findings of my research?

Research findings can be submitted by logging into QERI, selecting 'My Applications' from the left-hand menu, and then clicking the 'Add new findings for research' button on the bottom right of the screen.

8. Can I be notified when research relating to particular topics is published on QERI?

Yes. Register as a public user on QERI and double-click the keywords of interest to select them. If you choose to register as a researcher, then go to 'My Account' after registering and double-click the keywords of interest.

9. How do I stop receiving notifications about research that is published on QERI?

Login to QERI, select 'My Account' and double-click each of the keywords that you previously selected. This will remove them from your 'Selected Keywords' list.

10. If I'm a teacher or other departmental staff member, can I register as a researcher on the QERI website?

Yes. Open the QERI homepage and click the 'Register' button on the top right of the screen. Once registered, you will need to use the 'Login' button (NOT the 'Staff Login' button) to use QERI as a researcher.

11. Can I submit research findings in QERI even if the research was not conducted at departmental sites?

QERI is designed to be an inventory of Queensland education research, or research with a Queensland component. We review all submitted findings before publishing them. Register and submit your research findings

12. Can I submit research findings in QERI even though the research was conducted before QERI was created?

Yes. We invite all researchers who've completed research with the department to add their research findings to QERI. Register and submit your research findings

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National applications

1. Is there a special application form for national research?

Yes. If your research involves more than one state or territory, please use the National Application Form that's available on the Australian Association for Research in Education website. Please make sure you use Internet Explorer to open the interactive PDF.

2. Is there a national assessment body to process national applications?

No. The application is processed by each participating state or territory. If there are Queensland schools or departmental sites involved in the research, then we will appraise the application.

3. If I submit a national application in Queensland, does it automatically get sent to the other jurisdictions?

No. You will need to send your National Application to each jurisdiction that you want to participate in your research. Email addresses for each jurisdiction are in the National Application Form guidelines Adobe PDF document External Link.

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Conduction research

1. Can the department answer questions about whether or not I need a Queensland Blue Card or Exemption card for my research?

No. Blue Card services is best placed to give you formal advice on the Queensland Working with Children Check and Blue Card process, including exemption cards and minimal time requirements. Please contact them on 1800 113 611 if you have questions.

2. We'd like to 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, for example, in newsletters and bulletin boards, you don't need to submit a full research application. You can submit an application to advertise form directly to school principals.

If, however, you want the school to be involved in the research or in recruiting participants by, for example, emailing teachers, sending out information sheets or collecting consent forms, or if you want to interview or conduct a survey on school grounds or during school times, then you will need to complete a full research application.

Note that you need to use Internet Explorer to open the interactive PDF Application to Advertise in Schools form Adobe PDF document.

3. The proposed study is part of my ongoing work as a teacher. The students are not being asked to do anything other than what we would not normally do in the classroom. Is a consent form necessary?

Sometimes. We need more information to decide whether consent is required. Generally speaking, if any student work, data or results are going to be reported in any public way, then full active consent will need to be sought. Please contact Research Services for further advice.

4. Can I offer incentives to research participants?

A reimbursement or acknowledgement of effort or time involved in participating in research may be considered appropriate, depending on the case. We don't approve the use of inducements to participate because they can be seen as coercion under the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, or create a research market that disadvantages studies without a comparable inducement. Please refer to the Guidelines for Conducting Research Adobe PDF document for further details.

5. What should I do if approached by the media about my research?

This question is answered in detail in the Guidelines Adobe PDF document and the Terms and Conditions Adobe PDF document.

6. What are my responsibilities once I enter schools sites?

When you arrive, you should report to the administration building and sign in. The school should give you official visitor identification, which you need to wear at all times. You will also need to give the principal your current Blue Card or exemption (if required).

7. What if I want to identify schools in my research findings?

We're obliged not to disclose the identity of departmental sites involved in research, unless the principal/site manager and the department have explicitly agreed to the disclosure. We acknowledge that sharing information about the research site can help translate research findings in some cases. Please contact us if you want to request disclosure.

8. What happens when I've finished my research?

When your research is finished, we ask that you put your research findings in QERI and give a summary of findings to research participants and the department. If you want to publish your findings more broadly, please forward your publication to Research Services for review first.

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Resubmitting and appeals process

1. If I'm told my application needs to be modified, can I amend and re-submit?

Yes. If the research project is considered to be of benefit to the department and there are no problems in the research topic or design then we may 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.

2. Is there an appeal process if my application is declined?

No. When we decline an application, it's usually because the proposed study doesn't align with our current policy directions, or because it 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.

We'll let you know early in the review process if it is unlikely that your proposal will be supported. We'll also advise of other options you might want to pursue for conducting your research. Researchers are also welcome to submit new or revised applications in response to our feedback and comments.

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Ethics clearance

1. My university ethics committee wants the department to have approved my research before giving final ethics clearance. Yet the department's application asks for university ethics clearance before giving permission. Can you please clarify?

We understand that some university ethics committees require full departmental review and permission before giving their final ethics clearance. In those cases, we can write a conditional permission letter to give to the university. You'll need to give us evidence that your project's being submitted to the university ethics committee and that you can't begin your project on departmental sites until you have final ethics clearance from the university.

2. Can we submit an application while waiting for our formal university ethics clearance?

Yes. We are happy to begin the review process as long as you can provide evidence that you've submitted your application to the university ethics committee. If you don't have final ethics clearance by the end of our review process, we'll give you a conditional permission letter. You will then need to forward the final ethics clearance number to us when you have it, and can't start your research on departmental sites until you have final ethics clearance from the university, and permission of the school principal or manager of the departmental site where you will conduct research.

3. 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. Using QERI, you'll need to outline your ethical approach to research, and how it complies with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and the department's Standards for Ethical Research Practice. This includes how you will address the issues of:

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Amendments to approved research

1. Can I amend an application after it has been submitted?

Yes. There are two ways to amend and/or give additional information:

2. What if I want to amend an application that I submitted before the launch of QERI?

In that case, please email us at ResearchServices@qed.qld.gov.au with your research reference number (550/27/.... or 500/27....) and details of the changes. We'll get in touch to let you know how to proceed.

3. How do I include an additional school or departmental site in a research project that has already been approved by the department?

Login to QERI, open 'My Applications', select the relevant application, and select 'Notes'. Type or paste the name of any additional schools or sites into the 'Notes' textbox, and explain the need for the change.

4. What do I do if I want to change one of my research instruments?

Login to QERI, open 'My Applications', select the relevant application, and select 'Section 5 - Research Methodology'. Click on the 'Attachments' button beside Question 5.7 to upload your new instrument(s).

Please include an explanation for the change, either as part of the attachment, or in the 'Notes' textbox (on the 'My Applications' page).

5. I have an email from Research Services asking for further information or an amendment to my application. Where can I find the details of this request?

6. What if I change university/research institution or there are changes to the staff on the research team?

7. If the department imposes conditions and requires changes to the research, do I have to notify my university's / research institution's ethics committee?

Yes. This is a condition of conducting research at the department.

8. Can I apply for an extension to my research project?

Yes. For those who initially applied to conduct research and were granted permission, they can apply for an extension of up to five years from the original permission date. To apply for an extension:

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This page was last reviewed on 20 Apr 2018

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