Why Participate in Research with SRI?

Graphic: Researchers and educators working together

Wow, where has the time gone? Back in 2019, we had an idea to create the Student Behavior Blog as a way to disseminate our work and initiate discussions with our community about issues they face in supporting students’ well-being. Our Behavior Research Team swung into action to make that dream a reality—and the response has been incredible. Our team not only engaged with educators, community members, and mental health service providers to co-author blogs about their challenges and accomplishments on the ground, but we also compiled helpful resources from our colleagues to promote collective work in the field and across the country. All of this while we continued to conduct high quality research, evaluation, and technical assistance in close collaboration with educators, intervention developers, and school communities. In the last few years, we have conducted many studies where we collaborated with more than 500 teachers and school-based counselors/clinicians that impacted the lives of more than 30,000 children and youth in hundreds of schools in over 10 states. Want to learn more about what we have done? Just take a look at all the great posts and resources on this site!

“Working with SRI staff was super easy!”

With the start of a new 2022-2023 school year well underway, our team is preparing for another year of study activities with students, parents, teachers, mental health professionals, administrators, and district and state representatives. As we implement these impactful projects, our team is constantly thinking about innovative ways we can forge new partners to make use of our resources, share their experiences and perspectives, and engage in our community-based research work.

Interested in learning what it is like or how to partner with us on an upcoming project? Read on!

How can I work with your team?

There are many ways to get involved in our work. We are always enthusiastic about engaging in conversations with community members and educators about their needs, challenges, and problems of practice so that we can find ways to share resources, build solutions, and co-develop research proposals.

“I would continue to advertise it’s not that time consuming! Overall felt it was a very positive experience.”

If you are interested in participating in research studies, we’d love to discuss our current portfolio of work to see if any ongoing studies are good matches for you, your interests, and needs. Typically, participants in our studies include students across all grade levels (preschool through post-secondary), parents, teachers, district personnel, and school counselors. When students under the age of 18 are interested in participating in our studies, we always first obtain informed consent from their parents/caregivers to ensure the benefits and obligations of the study are clear. Similarly, before initiating in work with teachers or other school personnel in our studies, we discuss the aims, benefits, and requirements of the study with district and school administrators to ensure it will be a welcomed addition to their educational mission and objectives.

“The researchers’ approach to scheduling made the process really easy.”

What’s it like to be a “research participant”?

We try really hard to make participating in research exciting, interesting, and yet not a big burden. For example, you (or your child/student) might be invited to participate in an intervention program (such as attending a training or group) that has shown promise in improving academic and behavioral outcomes. Before and after the program, we will gather information from you, and we will ask for your impressions about the effects of the program—Was it easy to participate? Did it make a difference? Would you recommend it to others? Most of our projects allow us to compensate participants for time spent in the study, too, to demonstrate that we appreciate and honor their experiences and perspectives. That compensation might be in the form of a gift card (for youth or adults, where allowable) or school supplies (for children or classroom teachers). We usually gather participants’ perspectives and experiences by asking them to engage in different types of data collection, such as by:

  • Completing questionnaires, surveys, or direct assessments.
  • Participating in interviews or focus groups hosted by a research team member.
  • Allowing researchers to observe classroom practices and learning environments.

“I was able to use the strategies and coach feedback to improve the relationship with two students. I don’t think I would have been able to turn those relationships around if I wasn’t in the study. The students would have been failing but now they are passing.”

We also are committed to summarizing study results with and for all participants, so that those invested in the studies have a voice in the results, understand how their participation contributes to the field of educational science, and can use their experience and results to inform educational practice and policy.

What do previous participants say about working with you?

Our team is conscientious about not disrupting the important things that must take place daily in schools and homes, and we don’t want our research or team members to intrude. We understand that we need to be respectful of the policies, procedures, and priorities of families, community members, educators, and administrators—those come first! We pay particular attention to:

  • The format and frequency of our communication with educators and parents, who we know are busy and pulled in multiple directions.
  • Being flexible as we schedule meeting dates or program opportunities, to work around other obligations, and to consider ways to offer both in-person and virtual options.
  • Ensuring that any time we enter schools and classrooms, our research team members are polite, respectful, quiet, non-intrusive, efficient and non-disruptive.
  • Having clear expectations about all study activities broken down for participants at the start of the study and with occasional reminders, so that there are no surprises in the way participation might affect schedules and plans.

If the information here has piqued your interest and you would like to know more about current research studies or discuss possible new projects, please contact us! We’d love to hear from you.

Topics: Researcher-practitioner partnership

Tags: Collaboration Partners Student Behavior Research Team