Conduct research

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:

Subject to public health advice and operational guidance about external visitors to education settings, the Department of Education and Training's (the Department's) Research in Schools and Early Childhood settings (RISEC) process and all research and evaluation activity in education settings, is suspended for the remainder for 2021.

The ongoing challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the continuation of remote learning in many areas of Victoria necessitates this temporary suspension. This is in order to support education settings as they manage the increased workload related to the pandemic.

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.
  • The Department will not accept new RISEC applications or requests to amend existing RISEC approvals.
  • 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.

Any other queries may be directed to the Strategic Research Unit at

Apply to conduct research (currently suspended for the remainder of 2021)

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).

Amending a RISEC-approved project (currently suspended for the remainder of 2021)

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.

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.