Conduct research with the Department of Education

The Research in Schools and Early Childhood Settings (RISEC) application process is managed by the Department of Education.

The Research in Schools and Early Childhood Settings (RISEC) application process is managed by the Department of Education. It aims to ensure that research conducted with the involvement of government schools and early childhood settings is appropriate to the goals of the education system and upholds the department’s duty of care for students and staff.

The RISEC process provides approval for researchers to approach schools and early childhood settings to request participation in research. Participation in research by either the school, site operator or individual participants is completely voluntary and at their own discretion.

The Department of Education does not have a formally constituted Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). The RISEC review process does not substitute for review by a HREC.

Projects commissioned by the department are subject to the same application and review process as projects which are initiated externally.

Apply to conduct research

To apply, please submit your application through E-RISEC. Please note the department is no longer accepting paper applications.

Please see the E-RISEC Guidelines to assist in setting up your account, submitting your application and for any troubleshooting

E-RISEC Researcher Guidelines 2023
PDF 1.21 MB
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E-RISEC is the department’s software tool used to manage the submission, review and approval processes for RISEC applications. It enables researchers to apply online to conduct research in department sites and supports the capture of research findings following the completion of the research.

The underlying software supporting E-RISEC is named eProtocol. General information regarding this software and vendor contact details can be found here.

To request access to E-RISEC you must:

  1. Register: go to EduPass, select Request an Account, select E-RISEC from the list of available services and fill in the relevant details.
  2. Validate your request:email and advise of your request for an EduPass account.

Once you are authorised, you may login and submit your application on E-RISEC.

Important: To use the E-RISEC system you must have pop-ups enabled on your web browser.

Re-Approval for previously suspended RISEC applications – if your research project was previously approved by the department and suspended due to COVID-19, you may now continue your research activities subject to the original letter of approval provided by the department. If your project requires any changes to methodology, instruments etc. then an amendment should be sought prior to the recommencement of the project. Please see below for details on how to submit an amendment to the department.

Research applications must be:

  • complete (all parts of the application have been attended to and all attachments are included)
  • grammatically correct
  • written in plain English
  • approved by, or be seeking approval by, a Human Research Ethics Committee (where appropriate)
  • approved by the research supervisor (where relevant).

The department will not approve research that:

  • uses opt-out approaches for participant recruitment or incentivised participation
  • uses significantly invasive techniques
  • is undertaken for commercial or material gain
  • is not directly relevant to schools or early childhood settings (i.e. focuses on these settings to gain access to school age and early years cohorts).

Amending a RISEC-approved project

To request an amendment to an approved RISEC project (previously submitted on paper, via email), access the Amendment Request form (DOCX, 167KB).

We review requests to amend RISEC projects in accordance with the guidelines for research in education settings, and in relation to the original approved application.

Examples of amendments that can be requested include:

  • recruitment processes for settings and individuals
  • changes to recruitment materials and/or research instruments
  • adding or removing researchers to a project
  • changes to the indicative completion date.

If the requested amendments result in substantial changes to the project, we may request that a new application be submitted.

Applications submitted by email that require amendment should be amended via email, by sending a completed amendment form to

Applications submitted through E-RISEC should be amended through the E-RISEC system. Instructions on how to amend an application submitted through E-RISEC can be found in the:

E-RISEC Researcher Guidelines 2023
PDF 1.21 MB
(opens in a new window)

Application guidelines and tiers

Research applications are classified and processed in one of two tiers, depending on the nature and scale of the proposed research:

  • Tier One comprises lower risk research. These applications may be subject to more streamlined assessment processes and may be processed more quickly.
  • Tier Two comprises higher risk research. These applications typically require additional review processes and as a result, may take a little longer to assess.

For more information, refer to the guidelines for conducting research in Victorian government schools and early childhood settings:

Guidelines for conducting research in Victorian government schools and early childhood settings
PDF 1.38 MB
(opens in a new window)

Working with children check

Anyone who engages in child-related work must hold a Working with Children Check Card.

You must include a scanned copy of the Working with Children Check Card for all researchers who will have direct contact with children. Direct contact includes oral, written or electronic communication as well as face-to-face and physical contact.

To apply for a card, refer to Working with children check.