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Research/Evaluation Concept Paper Guidelines


Researchers requesting California Department of Education (CDE) data for research/evaluation purposes must attach a Research/Evaluation Concept Paper to the Preliminary Data Request Web Form. The paper should be brief (maximum of five pages using 12 point Arial font) and must provide a clear and concise summary of the research/evaluation project.

The concept paper must include each of the following eight elements:

  1. The project title.

  2. A clear description of the topic. Include a brief summary of background information on the topic.

  3. A clear statement of purpose and specific research/evaluation questions the project will answer.

  4. A statement of why these research/evaluation questions are important to answer. Address at least one of the following:

    • Does the research/evaluation align with the CDE Research Priorities?
    • Does the research/evaluation inform the policies and/or practices of the CDE?
    • Does the research/evaluation improve education and/or instruction?

  5. A description of how the questions will be answered, including:

    • A description of the data being requested (data collections, grades, years, description of study sample characteristics, and plans to link the requested data to other data collections);
    • The plan of data analysis; and
    • A determination of how the data and analysis method will address each research/evaluation question.

  6. A description of when and where the research will be published and disseminated.

  7. The name, title, role on project, and a brief summary of qualifications and affiliations for the principal investigator, key research staff, and co-authors.

  8. A description of the project funding source including funding agency name, type of funding (Government, Private Foundation, Other), and time period for funding support.


Research/Evaluation Concept Papers failing to adequately address each of the above elements will not be reviewed by the CDE.

Questions: Data Visualization and Reporting Office | CDEdatarequests@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-3245 
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 11, 2021
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