Research and Evaluation

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is the nation’s seventh largest school district, with over 200,000 students and 260 traditional and charter schools. Because of its highly diverse geography and demography, HCPS offers a wide range of contexts for conducting educational research and program evaluations. As a result, the District receives many requests to conduct research from a variety of individuals and organizations. We appreciate your interest in conducting educational research in our county and schools.

  • The policies and procedures within the revised: Research Procedures Handbook apply to individuals and entities who would like to conduct research and/or evaluation activities in the District, or who would like to receive and use District student data and/or staff data for research or evaluation purposes. The Superintendent, or designee, must approve all research and program evaluation studies. Internal and external applicants seeking approval to conduct a research project within the District must go through the official review process. Both the external application link and process information can be found in the Research Review Procedures Handbook.  If you are a current HCPS employee seeking approval to conduct research in our county, please send an email expressing your interest and focus to: prior to submitting your request.

    The School Board of Hillsborough County Public Schools (the Board) supports education-related research and program evaluation studies that apply rigorous and systematic procedures to get valid data relevant to the implementation and effect of education programs and to advance public education for district stakeholders. The Board further recognizes that individuals and agencies may ask for permission to conduct research in the school system. However, the Board also acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that research conducted in the school system is high quality, safeguards the privacy of individuals, furthers the goals of the district, and minimizes interruptions to the instructional program. All school, faculty, and student access will be restricted during specific instructional and testing window time periods.

    Restricted instructional and testing window time periods*:

    Month Content Grades Impacted
    August All Pre-K-12
    September All Pre-K-12
    January All Pre-K-12
    April All Pre-K-12
    May All Pre-K-12

    *Dates are subject to change as testing windows fluctuate due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Please note the changes to our research application schedule**. Hillsborough County Public Schools is committed to meeting the instructional needs of students. Therefore, secondary data requests are considered and reviewed during all four points during the calendar year. However, applications for study investigations are reviewed at three points a calendar year (observations and disruptions to learning are not permitted during April – May).

    Received by Review Period Projected Response Type of Application Accepted
    January 1st Month of January February 1st Active Investigations Secondary Data Requests
    April 1st Month of April May 1st Secondary Data Requests
    June 1st Month of June July 1st Active Investigations Secondary Data Requests
    September 1st Month of September October 1st Active Investigations Secondary Data Requests

    ** While the District will strive to provide researchers an application decision by the projected dates listed, there may be delays due to unforeseen circumstances. Data requests that take more than one hour to fulfill are charged with an hourly rate of $125.