Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions commonly asked by students are in yellow. 

What is CR?

To learn about our goals, purpose, who is on CR, and more, read the About Us

Why is an approval from COR important?

An approval from CR demonstrates University of Phoenix’s approval and support of research on the University. It is a prerequisite for most Internal Review Boards’ approval in order to demonstrate site permissions.  CR approval must be obtained before data collection or sharing can begin.  

Who is required to complete an application?

Any researcher, internal or external to the University, using the University of Phoenix as a subject (i.e. using UOPX students, faculty, staff, or data) for their research must submit a formal request to the Committee on Research (CR) for approval. To learn more, read the About Us

What do you mean by the University of Phoenix as a subject?  

In general, UOPX is a subject when we have a targeted sample within our population that matches your study population (e.g., online education undergraduates) or you are examining a research question related to UOPX environments, practices, or classrooms (e.g., how does an online learning tool increase online learning outcomes).  We are also interested in research that can contribute insight into to our overall mission and vision

Do you approve proposals for large samples?

Sampling sizes differ across research methods and the research methods will guide the needed sampling size.  Typically, sample sizes are based on the necessary sample size for your data analysis and we do not assume a 100% response rate.  We try to avoid sampling the entire UOPX population that matches your sample in order to reduce oversampling our constituents. You should work with your site permissions contact to identify the sampling parameters that are appropriate for your study and our constituents. 

Do you approve proposals for convenience samples?

Conveniences samples are rarely accepted as they are hard to support logistically and raise concerns about generalizability. You must have a clear rationale for selecting UOPX as a sampling site that aligns to your research problem.  Although we are a large online university, our constituents are diverse.  And, a study is more likely to be declined when UOPX is the sole data collection site and the sample is not unique to us.  In rare cases, a convenience sample might be approved if the research problem and questions have a clear and direct benefit to the University or the study demonstrates exception contribution to the field.  

Can I ask for help completing my application?

If you need help developing your study or want to discuss an idea, reach out to us.  Applicants find the COR process to be easier when they have established relationships with UOPX personal involved in the data or UOPX research ahead of time, as discussions around feasibility or design issues can be vetted ahead of time to align to CR standards. Although we do not have a dedicated CR staff member to provide personalized one on one support, we can provide recommendations on who to reach out to.  

When do I submit an application?

We encourage all researchers to complete an application as soon as the research questions have been developed and UOPX has been identified as a topic, sampling site, or data source. 

If the researcher is internal to UOPX they need to have an accepted CR study plan prior to IRB submission; if external to UOPX it will be at the discretion of the overseeing IRB board for when site permissions need to be submitted. To learn more about when to apply, see the CR Process

If I want to study something that does not involve the University of Phoenix should I still submit a COR application?

No, if you are NOT using University of Phoenix students, faculty, staff, or data in your study, you should proceed directly to IRB for study approval.

I am interested in learning about existing data available for research. Who do I contact?

Secondary data analysis is difficult if you are not staff at the Univerity, due to demands in accessing and cleaning the data.  However, there are two options.  Review the University Research Centers, identify one that is related to your research area, and contact the center chair.  You can also reach out to us at COR@phoenix.edu.  We can discuss your needs and network to find what is available. 

What are site permissions?

Site permissions identify who at the University can access the data or sample that you need to complete your study, and the process in place to be able to complete the data collection.  If the UOPX personnel who overseas of the sample or data declines to participate as a research site or if you are unable to develop a manageable data collection plan, you will need to redesign your study.  This may require submitting a new feasbility review or no longer using UOPX as a sample site.  

How much and what type of information should I include for each section of the application?

Each section should present a succinct summary of your larger research study with enough information that another researcher can make an informed decision about the research being proposed.  We suggest applicants think of this as a presentation- the committee should be able to follow along and replicate the study but we do not require a full research proposal. Applications with large sections of “cut and paste” information from other documents such as dissertation or grant proposals, or reference multiple pages of another document will be rejected; adhere to word counts.

What required documentation must be submitted with the study plan?

Submission documents differ for part 1 and part 2, but in general, the researcher should be prepared to submit the following documents:

  • Submit your data collection instruments (e.g., surveys, interview schedule/questionnaire, and so on). If you are requesting existing data, outline the surveys used to collect the data as best you can.  Any submission requiring the use of a survey or interview schedule/questionnaire that is submitted without the instrument will be sent back to the reviewer
  • Include the most recent version of your CV
  • Any recruitment materials, informed consent forms, study materials, or other materials which support the proposed research
  • Letter of support from the personnel at UOPX that will be managing your site permissions during data collection. 

In addition, depending on the nature of you and your project, the following documentation may also need to be submitted:

  • If your project requires IRB approval from other institutions or organizations, include their letter of approval or conditional approval. 
  • For dissertation research, submit a letter of support from your dissertation committee chair (if non-UOPX student, a copy of your proposal approval) and QRM approval (Part 2)
  • For UOPX employees seeing to publish research or evaluations that occurred as part of their normal responsibilities, a letter of support from your manager needs to be included

What format should my attachments be in?

Attachments must be in one of the following file formats: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, txt, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, pdf, ppt, pptx, pps, ppsx, pyc, pyd, pyo, and sps. If you have an alternate file type, please contact us at cor@phoenix.edu for additional guidance.

I have a general research interest in using UOPX as a subject, but not sure exactly how to develop a study or need team members.  What can I do?

CR serves as a clearinghouse for current projects on or with UOPX and thus can provide initial support in research "matchmaking". If you are interested in using UOPX as a sample or research question but lacks a formal research problem, you are encouraged to submit a feasibility review that identifies your research interest and select "yes" to the question asking if you are open to other research options.  This will alert CR members to the possibility of supporting your research interest through connecting you with active projects or groups with a similar research agenda.  However, this option should not be used to identify potential research projects where CR is not needed (see About Us).  In this case, reach out to a University Research Center (URC) that aligns with your interest directly to ask about potential projects.   Students are encouraged to engage with CR or the URCs in this manner during their precis development.  

The research project is part of my (or my student’s) dissertation. What do I need to know?

It is suggested that students submit a feasibility review sometime during their precise and concept review stages; when depends on the student's confidence that there is stability in their selected dissertation project.  Changes to the dissertation project may warrant submission of a new feasibility review.  To protect the time demands of CR members, students who submit more than two feasibility reviews may be asked to not submit again or not submit until specific conditions from the committee are met.   

Students should submit their study plan for full approval after QRM and before IRB.  It is recommended that students review the requirements of the study plan application when finalizing their QRM, as working on the study plan can be done concurrently.  For example, securing site permissions can be done during proposal development and may reduce the impact of study set back if site permissions are not able to be granted.  CR approval is separate from dissertation process approvals but students should be aware that, similar to other site permissions, changes requested by UOPX might require changes to their dissertation study plan.  

It is expected that research projects are worked on continuously.  Once a feasibility review concludes a researcher can begin to secure site permissions and complete their study application.  Gaps in dissertation work may result in the site permissions no longer being current or feasible, requiring changes to the dissertation. 

Dissertation students are supported differently than other applicants as their project is a demonstration of their ability to be awarded a doctorate.  If a student dissertation project is deferred or denied, it is expected that the student’s chair and committee are the primary drivers of support for revisions or reworking and COR serves to support the chair.  We also expect dissertation projects to be of publishable caliber and review them at the same level as other research study plans. 

Are reviews of my application confidential?

They are not publicly shared and feedback will be returned. However, several internal stakeholders will review each submission.

Once I submit my COR application can I make edits to it?

Reach out to us using the email you submitted your application. Depending on where your application is with review and the nature of edits, we can pull your application for you to resubmit or pass on the edits.  Making edits may delay your application review time. 

After I submit my COR application, how long will it take before I receive an answer?

Processing and review for each part run from 1-3 weeks, depending on staff demands.  

How will I be notified about the status of my COR application?

Communications will be sent to the email address that you use to submit via InfoReady. 

I don't understand how to address feedback in the deferral letter. What can I do?

Each deferred application is assigned to at least one COR member.  Their contact information should be included.  Reach out them to discuss the deferral.  You can also contact us at COR@phoenix.edu. Our door is open!

If my application was approved, how soon can I begin conducting my research?

Following COR approval, research should not begin until University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is also received and you have submitted the IRB approval.  Once we receive your IRB approval we will sign a data or sample MOU with you and facilitate the data request or study solicitation.

What is the difference between a COR denial and a COR deferral decision letter?

A denied application is dead and should not be resubmitted to COR again.  You will receive information on why your study was denied and may choose to significantly change your study and submit a new applied.   Denied applications should not proceed to University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board (IRB).

A deferral decision means that the COR reviewers believe the application may have potential to pass through COR if additional information is provided or if the requested modifications are made.  In the instance of a deferral decision, carefully review the provided feedback and reach out to the COR member identified as a support. The next COR decision may or may not result in COR approval.

What are some of the more common reasons for the denial of a submission?

Common reasons for denial include mismatch between study needs and UOPX availability, inability to share requested data or gather necessary permissions, concerns about current sampling demands on population of interest, lack of rationale for UOPX or for impact on the literature, the study not being in the best interest of the University, convenience sampling, and a poor/unimproved study design. 

Poorly designed studies often have an incomplete application, poorly written or confusing language, demonstration of a bias and/or uninformed assumptions, a poorly framed topic; omitting data collection instruments; lack of clear discussion about data privacy and protection; and/or poor alignment within the studies sampling and method design.

What is the current policy on resubmission? How soon can I apply again?

If a project is denied by the Committee, it is dead and should not be re-submitted. If a project is deferred or requires additional information as indicated by the decision letter, you can re-submit as soon as you are ready to address the issues provided in the original deferment letter.

If I submit a research study again as a new application, will my previous denied application’s outcome be considered in the new decision?

Each submission is independent and reviewed as such. However, if the research study is similar to a denied study, an inability to address issues identified in a prior submission are most likely to result in another failed submission.