Procedures for Researchers and Educators

Interested in conducting research at the Clerc Center?  

Thank you for visiting the Clerc Center’s research website. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Clerc Center’s focus on providing remote learning opportunities and support for our students and families, the Clerc Center is not accepting research requests at this time. Please revisit this web page in a few months for updates. However, research studies focusing on virtual teaching and learning opportunities, practices and resources for use with deaf and hard of hearing children and adolescents from birth through high school may receive special consideration.

Prior to submitting a research inquiry to the Clerc Center please contact us at to discuss your proposed research study and determine if your study aligns with the Clerc Center's current research initiatives.

Types of Research

Any researcher interested in conducting research at the Clerc Center must obtain certification of their research to assure the interests and rights of human subjects involved are protected. Research conducted at the Clerc Center must be certified and reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Gallaudet University, and appropriate documentation submitted to the Clerc Center after its review and approval (e.g., letter of approval specifically stating research category). The chair of the Gallaudet IRB has prerogative to review decisions of other officials or institutions regarding exemption for research and or consent.  

The application for the IRB at Gallaudet can be found here.  

Research conducted at the Clerc Center often falls into the "exempt" category of research. A complete description of the concept of exempt research and examples are explained in the EXEMPT RESEARCH REVIEW AT 46.10(b) of the Code of Federal Regulations. Information about the protection of human subjects and explanations of research categories can be found at: Other types of research will be considered (e.g., expedited), but may require additional materials or approval prior to starting research.  

After a researcher obtains Gallaudet University IRB approval, the researcher must then complete the Clerc Center research form. This form, along with the approval letter from Gallaudet University's IRB, must be submitted to the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Clerc Center at:  

Upon receipt of both materials, the research review team will review materials, contact the researcher, and make a decision as to whether the research is possible at the Clerc Center. The review process takes at least 10 business days and the researcher will be contacted with a decision.  

Prior to Obtaining Approval   

Researchers or students who wish to conduct research at the Clerc Center are encouraged to contact the Clerc Center prior to submitting IRB materials to Gallaudet University to assure that the research population they are interested in studying is available. Additionally, when initial contact is made, research staff will be able to discuss with the researcher if the proposed research study is feasible.  

Research requests are not always approved. Not all research requests can be honored at the Clerc Center due to:  

  • an insufficient number of students or other human subjects to conduct the study;
  • competing research requests with prior approval for the same desired study group (e.g., several studies of first grade students would not be possible in one school year);
  • academic demands and/or requirements (e.g., no research can be conducted during state testing season); and/or
  • lack of resources to conduct the proposed research.  

Researchers or students not affiliated with Gallaudet University

When submitting an IRB application with Gallaudet University, you may be asked for an institutional sponsor. If you are considering conducting research at the Clerc Center, this sponsor should be someone within the Clerc Center, please contact the Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Lori Lutz, at to obtain a sponsor.  

If you are affiliated with another university or higher educational setting and/or obtaining a degree in which requires you to conduct research, you must obtain your home-affiliated institutions approval first, and then obtain Gallaudet University's approval. Information about Gallaudet IRB can be found here

Researchers or students affiliated with Gallaudet University   

Prior to submitting your IRB application to Gallaudet stating that you will collect data at the Clerc Center, please check with the office of Research and Evaluation at the Clerc Center to assure that your project is feasible and possible. Not all research requests can be honored at the Clerc Center.    

Policies of Educational Research Conducted at the Clerc Center   

  • All students and legal guardians are aware and informed of the fact that the school frequently serves and promotes research where children participation as subjects is requested.
  • All requests are submitted and reviewed by the Clerc Center research review team and have obtained IRB approval from Gallaudet University.
  • When the research review team or Gallaudet University determines parental permission is needed for a child's participation in a study, only those children whose parents return the informed consent forms may participate. Researchers may not contact students directly. The Clerc Center will disseminate research study materials and inform the researcher which students have obtained parental consent.
  • The Clerc Center research review team also reviews research conducted by the school as part of its ongoing strategic plan. 

This site was supported by federal funding. Publication of this material shall not imply approval or acceptance by the U.S. Department of Education of the findings, conclusions, or recommendations herein. Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, hearing status, disability, covered veteran status, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis.