Requests for Research of Membership

Guidelines and Protocol


AHEAD supports scholarship that is consistent with the mission and values of the organization and offers researchers the opportunity to survey or otherwise engage the membership in empirical pursuits. The following protocol was created to aid in the formulation of research proposals and to detail the process by which proposals are approved for administration through the organization. In reviewing proposals, AHEAD may give priority to those received from active members. In addition, AHEAD reserves the right to limit the number of members to whom a research instrument is submitted and/or the number of proposals accepted so as to reduce possible issues of survey fatigue. Summary information on research proposals accepted by AHEAD for dissemination to members will be available on the AHEAD website.

Guidelines for research:

  1. Research must clearly align with the mission and values of AHEAD and its membership.
  2. All research proposals must ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the individuals who participate in the study.
  3. Proposals must include approval from the researcher’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Proposals not having IRB approval will be subject to greater scrutiny in review and will need extensive rationale for same.
  4. Research should be specifically directed to the AHEAD membership and not to those with whom they interact (e.g., students). AHEAD will not approve proposals that intend to survey students with disabilities. However, if the targeted subjects of a research project are students with disabilities, AHEAD will accept information about the project for dissemination through the HUB newsletter to members. This mechanism will allow members to then inform target population students about the research; with this process students interested in a specific project may contact the researcher directly.
  5. Research must be conducted and concluded within a reasonable time frame (typically, one calendar year).
  6. In keeping with AHEAD’s commitment to electronic access for all members, survey instruments distributed to members must be useable and fully accessible. Note that many commercially available instruments such as Survey Monkey are not accessible to persons who use screen readers. (See #5 below regarding reformatting by AHEAD.)

Procedures and Review Process:

  1. Researchers must submit a completed application and a one-page abstract of their proposed study to be posted to the AHEAD website. Note: if accepted, researchers will be required to submit a summary of results and implications of the study once completed.
  2. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of AHEAD staff and members of the Board of Directors twice annually, typically by July 15th and October 15th for studies to be conducted during Fall and Spring semesters, respectively.
  3. Researchers will be notified via letter or email of the status of their requests. Specific expectations and requirements of accepted proposals will be detailed in this correspondence.
  4. AHEAD is responsible for disseminating electronic surveys from accepted proposals to the membership, as the association will not publicly release e-mail addresses to the researcher. The schedule for survey dissemination will be determined by AHEAD based on the calendar of the Association’s ongoing activities and initiatives.
  5. There will be no fee assessed for accepted proposals with surveys that do not require additional formatting for electronic dissemination. For those requiring additional formatting, an hourly fee will be assessed to the researcher for this service.

Download Application for Research Requests of Membership