Conducting Research

Conducting Research Research Expectations

Research Expectations

Focus on Education

  • Only research studies with a direct relevance to education and demonstrable benefits for participants: students, staff, and the Calga​ry Board of Education, will be considered. This includes direct alignment with the Education Plan and Calgary Board of Education Results Policies.
  • Researchers interested in conducting inquiries within the Calgary Board of Education are asked to focus on research that demonstrates the potential to inform and improve teaching and learning, and to promote continuous improvement.   
  • No research may impede on instructional time. If research is to occur during instructional time, it must support the current students and instructional goals of the class. Evidence of a direct link between the time spent participating in research and the Alberta Programs of Study must be clearly described. The demands on schools and participants can not be excessive or in conflict with students’ academic program. There will be no research conducted in the CBE August, September or June.

Research and Development Requests

  • Proposals involving market research or for-profit endeavours will not be considered. Applications seen as using students or staff for research and development purposes (eg. program evaluation, beta testing software) will not be considered. If the intent of the research is to improve the offerings of a specific product or service, the research will not be approved.
  • When evaluating our policies, processes and practices, collaboration with external researchers is initiated by the relevant department.  Researchers interested in these types of collaborations are welcome to indicate this by emailing
  • Agencies, partnerships or service providers operating in schools may not collect or obtain any data related to their offering as this would be considered product evaluation. For any clarification please contact
  • Agencies or service providers proposing partnership programs or supplemental services as part of their research application are instructed to initiate a formal partnership agreement by contacting Corporate Partnerships at

Ethics, Consent and Inclusion

  • Any study considered to be research by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2) under Article 2.1 must have Research Ethics Board (REB) approval in place prior to application submission to the CBE. Any research involving students or staff in the CBE, or gathering of student or staff data, must have REB approval. A copy of the original REB application must be included with the CBE application to conduct research.
  • Active, signed legal guardian informed consent is required for any research with or about students under the age of 18. Students under the age of 18 must also provide assent to their participation in research. The CBE does not allow on-line consent at this time.
  • All research proposals must use language and methodology that aligns with the Alberta Education Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities, and Gender Expressions.
  • Where it is appropriate and the risk to participants is minimal, the CBE will consider the use of electronic consent.  ​

FOIP and Safety

  • The research must ensure that the confidentiality of information about the CBE, CBE schools, teachers, administration, legal guardian(s) and students is protected and that no CBE school, staff or student is identified in any report. Individual participants may provide consent to be identified through the informed consent process (for participants under the age of 18, the legal guardian would provide this permission). The CBE may be identified as a ‘school board in Western Canada’.
  • Under Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act), personal information or identifiable individual records are not disclosed to independent researchers by the CBE. Individual participants who are 18 years or older must provide consent to the provision of their own personally identifying information. Legal guardian(s) of participants under 18 must provide consent for the collection of personally identifying data for their child. All identifying data collected must be directly relevant to the research being proposed.
  • All raw/potentially identifiable data must be stored in Canada. Digital data must be stored on Canadian servers.
  • All persons conducting research, that involves students, student data, or being around students and CBE staff must provide certification of a Police Information Check (PIC) with a Vulnerable Sector search prior to the commencement of the study. Checks are accepted within 3 years of issue. Employees of the CBE conducting research need not submit a check as they would already have one on file. To have your electronic police information check (ePIC) sent directly to CBE’s Research Team from Calgary Police, specific steps are outlined to support you with the ePIC for research process​.

Process for Contacting CBE School-based Participants

  • The researcher completes an Application to Conduct Research and receives an approval letter from the Research & Strategy service department.
  • The researcher contacts principals through public channels (e.g., school website information), presents the letter of approval from the CBE, provides an introduction to the proposed study, and seeks permission to conduct research in the school. The researcher lets the principal know if they have an existing relationship with any potential participants at the school. If there are particular participants that the researcher would like to work with, the researcher provides this information with a rationale.
  • If the principal approves, the principal uses the introduction to the study to communicate the proposed study to CBE staff (the principal may allow the researcher to introduce the study to CBE staff). Before approving the study in the school, the principal confirms that teacher participants feel no coercion and enter the research voluntarily.
  • CBE staff contact the researcher directly if they are interested in participating for themselves and/or their class of students.
  • If a CBE staff member provides informed consent to participate, the principal provides information to parents about the research study taking place within the class.
  • The principal invites parents to contact the researcher directly if they are interested in their child participating in the research study.
  • Parents provide informed consent for their child to participate and the minor child provides assent (unless the student is identified as an Independent Student as defined by the Education Act).
  • The study proceeds.


  • Proposals with pre-existing relationships between the researcher and potential participants must consider the conflict of interest these relationships may pose. Clear evidence of consideration and mitigation of these issues must be described in the application.
  • Approval of research studies will be granted for one full calendar year. After one year’s time, the principal researcher must submit a progress report and request for continuation or extension of the study. Any changes to the research team, scope of the project, or methodology will require a re-submission to the research application process.

Special Consid​erations for Researchers who are CBE Employees

  • ​Prior to enrolling in a post-secondary institution with a specific educational research component, CBE employees are strongly encouraged to review the process for conducing research in CBE. Enrollment in a post-secondary institution that does not follow the same ethical standards and policies specific to Canada, Alberta and CBE (typically one outside of Canada), means you likely will not be able to conduct research in CBE unless the institution makes an exception and chooses to follow those specific to Canada, Alberta and CBE. CBE employees planning graduate studies with a research component are encouraged to reach out to Research & Strategy to discuss this process well in advance of the anticipated research.
  • To avoid infringing on principal autonomy, issues of bias, or coercion, research applications from CBE employees who seek participation from students and/or staff in their current school will not be approved.
  • The research must not impede on the duties of the employee. Proposals must clearly demonstrate that the research does not receive priority over employee duties.
  • Employees must not use their job-related access to sensitive information and resources, for example, student information accessible to them as a CBE employee from PowerSchool or an OSR, as a benefit to their research. Consideration of ethical and fair access to potential research participants and information for research is necessary.
  • CBE staff who are collecting data from students and/or other staff and who need to clarify whether or not their activities constitute research requiring an application, may send an inquiry to
  • Employees may not use their job-related access to Outlook to find or contact potential participants.​​​

Research tools

 Contact Us

Research Applications

e |

Last modified: 11/8/2021 12:33 PM
Website feedback: Webmaster