Conduct research

A phased resumption of the Research in Schools and Early Childhood settings (RISEC) process is progressing, subject to public health advice and operational guidance about external visitors to education settings.

Phase 1

Research activity involving education settings has resumed for research commissioned, partnered, or supported by DET or other Victorian government departments, on the condition that data have been provided to us about the anticipated time burden on education settings. DET is accepting new RISEC applications, or requests to amend existing RISEC approvals, meeting the above requirements.

Phase 2

Research activity involving education settings may resume in Term 2, 2021 for remaining RISEC approval holders. This research must meet the following condition:

  • that data have been provided to us in 2021 about the anticipated time burden on education settings (a survey link has been emailed to existing RISEC approval holders).

Researchers may now contact schools or early childhood sites to arrange their Term 2 activities.

The following researchers may commence or recommence their research prior to Term 2. Please contact the Strategic Research Team at to discuss your circumstances:

  • university students who will not meet their course requirements if they delay their fieldwork
  • RISEC approval holders with expiring funding, where that funding cannot be extended.

DET is accepting RISEC applications, or requests to amend existing RISEC approvals, meeting the above requirements only.

For researchers attending education sites, completion of the School and Early Childhood Infection Prevention and Control During Coronavirus (COVID-19) eLearning module is a requirement.

The RISEC webpage will be updated once further information becomes available.

Any queries may be directed to the Strategic Research Team at

Amending a RISEC-approved project

To request an amendment to an approved RISEC project, access the Amendment Request Form (docx - 484.28kb).

Requests to amend RISEC projects are reviewed by the Department 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 indicative completion date

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

Apply to conduct research

To apply, email your application form (docx - 516.14kb) 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).

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 see 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.

See the Working with Children Check website to apply for a card.