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Conduct research with the Department of Education

Research is currently suspended until further notice due to COVID-19.

Research is currently suspended due to COVID-19

Subject to public health advice and operational guidance about external visitors to education settings, our Research in Schools and Early Childhood settings (RISEC) process and all research and evaluation activity in education settings, is suspended in 2022 until further notice.

The ongoing challenges of COVID-19 necessitates this temporary suspension. This is in order to support education settings as they manage the increased workload related to the return to on-site learning.

Please note that:

  • researchers, including those with RISEC approval, should not contact schools or early childhood staff or children to commence, continue, or recruit for research and evaluation activity.
  • we will not accept new RISEC applications or requests to amend existing RISEC approvals.

We are considering exemptions from the suspension on a case-by-case basis for the following types of projects:

  • If your research or evaluation activity is in partnership with or commissioned by the department, please discuss the next steps with your contact officer in the department.
  • If your research is part of an undergraduate or postgraduate research degree (e.g. PhD, Masters, Honours), contact to discuss next steps.

Any other queries may be directed to

Apply to conduct research (currently suspended until further notice)

To apply, email your application form (DOCX, 598KB)External Link and attachments to

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).

We 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 (currently suspended until further notice)

To request an amendment to an approved RISEC project, access the Amendment Request form (DOCX, 483KB)External Link .

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.

Application 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:

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 checkExternal Link .

Reviewed 20 December 2022


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