Research & Special Projects

As laboratory school, one of our goals is to continue to serve as site of collaborative and innovative learning, not just for children, but also for adults within the university community. We welcome inquiries regarding course-related observations of teaching and learning, student projects from the college of EHHS and beyond, and research focusing on children, families, and/or teachers.


Faculty who wish to have their students observe at the CDC as part of a course assignment should complete the Request for Use of the CDC for Course Activity form below and submit to Pam Hutchins at If approved, students should report to the CDC office to sign in and obtain an observer badge. All records of observations must follow university rules and regulations for maintaining confidentiality.


Students wishing to engage in classroom participation at the CDC must obtain approval through the Request for Use of the CDC for Course Activity form and must also comply with all licensing requirements for participation. This includes documentation of a physical exam within the last 12 months, and BCI & FBI background checks. All students must wear appropriate identification while carrying out assignments at the CDC and comply with the policies and procedures of the particular classroom in which they are embedded. Once your request is approved, Pam Hutchins will contact you to give you details about how to complete the paperwork for the physical exam and background checks.


Those wishing to propose a research project at the CDC must adhere to the following 5-step procedure:

STEP 1: Reviewing our policies and procedures
The CDC aims to support research that aligns with our established commitments to children and their families. All research must be compatible with children's ongoing school experiences and adhere to the ethical guidelines established by Kent State University's Institutional Review Board and the Child Development Center. If you are considering applying to conduct research at our center, please review our research policies, the documents, and resources available on this page before contacting us.

STEP 2: Preliminary Review
Complete the Preliminary Review Form and contact the Executive Director, Dr. Monica Miller Marsh at to schedule an appointment to begin the preliminary review process. This is an exploratory process to consider the "goodness of fit" between the researcher's interests and the center's philosophy and program structure. The primary concerns at this stage are that the research is developmentally appropriate, non-threatening, non-sexist, non-racist, non-classist, safe, and healthy. At this time, proposed research projects may be declined or accepted for further review. Projects may be declined due to methodological constraints, ethical concerns, or scheduling conflicts.

STEP 3: Main Review
If the preliminary review reveals a good fit, the principal investigator(s) will be asked to complete the Main Research Review Form and submit to Dr. Miller Marsh ( in advance of a meeting with the CDC Research Committee to discuss the details of the project. The CDC Research Committee comprises Dr. Miller Marsh and faculty and family representatives. The CDC Research Committee meets twice per semester (October, December, February and May). The purpose of this meeting is to clarify methodological and ethical elements, and to review policies and procedures. At this time, the committee may approve the project and schedule initial research activities, recommend revision and resubmission, or decline to move further on the project. You may not proceed with research activities until you have received approval from both the KSU IRB and the CDC Research Committee.

*You may submit an application for approval for the use of human subjects to the KSU IRB at any time during this process. Depending on the nature of the study, it may be possible to obtain IRB approval prior to meeting with the CDC review committee. You may also want to wait for feedback from our committee before submitting your IRB. It is important to note that the KSU IRB functions independently from the CDC's internal research review committee, and has its own forms, procedures, and timeline. Read more on the Division of Research and Economic Development site.

STEP 4: Initiating Research
With approval from both review bodies, you may begin initial research activities. Depending upon the nature of the study, this could include meetings with faculty and/or families, or recruitment and informed consent procedures, etc. As the project commences, it is necessary that all investigators and personnel abide by the research policies set forth by the center.

STEP 5: Reporting
At the conclusion of the project, the principal investigator(s) must share a brief written summary of the research with the CDC Research Committee so that outcomes and implications of the research can be shared with applicable stakeholders. Informing the Center of any publications or presentations that result from the research is helpful, as we maintain data on our research program.


Ethical Issues

Ethical Issues in Undertaking Research with Children and Young People (PDF)