*** COVID-19 UPDATE (06/08/20) ***

The ERC will not be considering new proposals for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Any new proposals received will be reviewed at the ERC's next meeting (TBD in September), with new work commencing in the 2020-2021 AY.

PIs of active projects are asked to limit their activities until MMSD returns to normal operation, to provide school teams the space they need to focus on distance learning and to support students and families. When normal operations return, please remember that principals have discretion regarding access to their schools - as PIs resume work, they should contact their district liaisons in order to coordinate with school leaders and teams.

Please direct questions or concerns to cwharrison@madison.k12.wi.us

*** COVID-19 UPDATE (06/08/20) ***

What needs to be reviewed?  

Any potential research project in MMSD must undergo review by the External Research Committee (ERC). Generally, MMSD defines "external research" as any situation where someone gathers data or information about MMSD students, parents or staff and shares that information with an external party. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students working on projects for degrees or credit (e.g., a dissertation or thesis)
  • Students working on course projects they may want to publish at a later date
  • Grant-funded research conducted by postsecondary education faculty
  • Vendors looking to pilot an assessment or curriculum
  • MMSD staff working toward an advanced degree
  • MMSD staff looking to publish or present their action research outside of MMSD

Why does my project need to be reviewed?  

The ERC process protects MMSD students and staff against research that puts them at personal and/or professional risk and helps MMSD determine whether the benefits of a proposed research project justify the risks and the time spent by participants and staff. Central Office liaisons are assigned to each external research project to assist researchers with their work in the district. More information about the liaison role can be found here.

How can I access individual-level data?  

Individual-level data refers to data associated with a specific person, while aggregate data refers to data associated with a group of people. A memo from MMSD indicates the only ways that individuals may access individual-level MMSD data. For more information on data sharing agreements, click here.

What if I'm an instructor/student who'd like to collaborate with MMSD for a course project?  

If you are an instructor who would like to collaborate with MMSD on a course project, or if you are a student working on an undergraduate or graduate course project, please contact Christopher Harrison (cwharrison@madison.k12.wi.us) as those requests are reviewed outside of the External Research Committee standing meetings.

Quick Links

External Research Committee Project Application

Amendment Request

Extension Request


Proposal Process

Items to Check Before Submitting Your Proposal

Frequently Asked Questions

Distribution Numbers (AY 2019-2020)

ERC Meeting Schedule 2019-2020

Proposal Due Dates

Meeting Dates

Notification Dates

August 26, 2019

September 9, 2019

September 18, 2019

September 23, 2019

October 7, 2019

October 16, 2019

October 21, 2019

November 4, 2019

November 13, 2019

November 18, 2019

December 2, 2019

December 11, 2019

January 6, 2020

January 13, 2020

January 22, 2020

January 27, 2020

February 3, 2020

February 12, 2020

February 17, 2020

March 2, 2020

March 11, 2020

March 23, 2020**

April 6, 2020**

April 15, 2020**

April 20, 2020

May 4, 2020

May 13, 2020

**The April meeting is the last one where proposals will be reviewed for the current school year. Proposals received after the April meeting deadline will be reviewed for the next school year.

Submit your proposal electronically to ERC by 4:00 pm on the date listed above to be considered at the next meeting date. Proposals received after the deadline will be tabled for consideration at the following month's meeting.

**The MMSD External Research Committee does not meet over summer break. Consider this as part of your planning process**

Who sits on the Committee?

The ERC is comprised of members from MMSD and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Current members are:

  • Andrew Statz, MMSD, Executive Director of Research, Accountability, and Data Use and ERC Chair
  • Jamie Anderson, MMSD, Research & Program Evaluation Office
  • Christopher Harrison, MMSD, Research & Program Evaluation Office
  • Sherry Terrell-Webb, MMSD, Legal Services
  • Jennifer Schoepke, MMSD, Forward Madison
  • Margaret Hawkins, UW-Madison, Curriculum & Instruction
  • Andy Garbacz, UW-Madison, Educational Psychology
  • Jorge Covarrubias, MMSD, Professional Learning and Leadership Development (as needed)
  • Amy Wederath, MMSD, Student Services (as needed)
  • Silvia Romero-Johnson, MMSD, Office of Multilingual & Global Education (as needed)

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about submitting a proposal, please contact Christopher Harrison in the Research, Accountability, and Data Use Department (608-442-2158; cwharrison@madison.k12.wi.us). If needed, the ERC mailing address is:

Madison Metropolitan School District
Research & Program Evaluation Office
545 West Dayton Street, Room 205
Madison, WI 53703