AHEAD Supported Research

AHEAD supports scholarship that is consistent with the Association’s mission and values and offers researchers the opportunity to conduct both quantitative and qualitative studies of the association’s membership with proper approval.

All requests are considered by AHEAD’s Research Review Panel. The panel includes diverse AHEAD members with a breadth of research experience. AHEAD’s approval of research projects is in no way an endorsement of the research, but rather reflects the proposal’s compliance with the guidelines posted below.

AHEAD may give priority to requests from members and if necessary, may limit the number of members to whom a research instrument is submitted and/or the number of proposals accepted to minimize survey fatigue.

Guidelines for Research

  • Research must clearly align with the mission and values of AHEAD and be relevant to the field and the AHEAD membership.
  • All research proposals must ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of individuals who participate in the study.
  • Proposals should in most cases include approval from the researcher’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Proposals not having IRB approval need to include a clear and supported rationale for acceptance.
  • Research should be specifically directed to the AHEAD membership, not to those with whom they interact (e.g., students). AHEAD will not approve proposals intended to survey students with disabilities. Researchers interested in surveying students with disabilities should contact the AHEAD central office to be referred to professional staff to discuss strategies for reaching this population. Research must be conducted and concluded within a reasonable time frame, typically one calendar year.
  • Most proposals consist of requests to conduct survey research with the AHEAD membership. There are however no restrictions on the research methods that may be used in proposed research.
  • In keeping with AHEAD’s commitment to electronic access, survey instruments distributed to members must be useable and fully accessible. Note that many commercially available instruments such as Survey Monkey have some features that are not accessible to persons who use screen readers. (See information below regarding survey accessibility and review by AHEAD.)

Procedures and Review Process

  • Researchers must submit a completed Application for Research Requests.
  • A one-page abstract of the proposed study. The abstracts of accepted proposals will be posted on the AHEAD website. Researchers will be given the opportunity to update abstracts during the course of the study if needed. As part of the application process, researchers must agree to submit a summary of results and implications of the study once it is completed.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by the AHEAD Research Review Panel on a rolling basis. Researchers should expect a reply within four to six weeks of submitting the proposal.
  • Researchers will be notified via email of the status of their requests.
  • The status will indicate whether the proposed project complies with AHEAD’s research requirements. Approval of the proposal is not an endorsement by AHEAD.


Procedures for Implementation of Accepted Research 

  • Invitation to participate. AHEAD will be responsible for disseminating electronic invitations from researchers to the membership. The association will not publicly release e-mail addresses to researchers. The schedule for dissemination will be determined by AHEAD based on the Association’s calendar of priority activities and initiatives.
  • Summary results. To ensure that researchers honor their agreements to share summary information of their research, AHEAD will collect a $200 refundable deposit before surveys are disseminated. This deposit will be refunded to the researcher in full when AHEAD receives the required one to two-page summary of research results and implications.


Please submit your application to Dr. Nancy Chinn, Head of the Research Review Panel, nchinn@santarosa.edu