Regulation 01.25.17: Surveys of NC State Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff and/or Administrators
NC State employees and/or students planning on administering a survey to NC State students, faculty, staff or administrators should contact the Associate Director for Survey Research in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning (OIRP) at least four to eight weeks prior to their planned survey launch date to discuss the proposed project. The Associate Director will ask for information about the research design, including topics covered in the questionnaire, the survey population, the proposed time period for administering the survey, and who (e.g., campus administrators, advisors) is aware of and has approved the project, as well as to confirm the status of the project with respect to Institutional Review Board review. The Associate Director will work with project leaders to coordinate the proposed project with previously scheduled projects (e.g., with respect to content, timing, samples).
Those administering surveys will generally be expected to rely on OIRP to select the population/sample and to provide them with contact information for the selected sample members. They will also need to fill out a survey registration form, and, in most cases, have the information provided in the form included on a Google calendar posting known survey activities.
Those not affiliated with NC State who are planning on administering a survey to NC State students, faculty, staff or administrators follow similar procedures, but must also submit an ‘external survey request’ form that will be reviewed by the Survey Advisory Committee. No surveys administered by those not currently employed or enrolled as a student at NC State may be administered without the approval of the Survey Advisory Committee.
1. Target Survey Populations and Sampling
1.1 Coordinating with NC State’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning Office (OIRP)
Project leaders are responsible for contacting OIRP to involve them in the target population/sample selection process. If OIRP’s direct assistance is not needed to identify a target population and/or select a sample, OIRP must be informed in writing about survey recruitment methods and, whenever possible, be provided with a data file with the employee/student IDs of those being included in the population/sample for the survey project. Examples of cases in which OIRP’s direct assistance is not needed would include, but not be limited to
- Using listservs to invite participants
- Using newsletters, websites, or social media to invite participants
- Project leaders having direct access to the contact information for their population/sample members
1.2 Identifying, Selecting, and Tracking Sample Members
Each semester OIRP will create and maintain a data file for all currently enrolled students and for all current employees. Survey activities will be added to each, as appropriate, based on the target population(s). Each individual included in the target population/sample for a given project will be noted in the file. When possible and appropriate, OIRP procedures to select population/sample members for a given survey project will exclude those individuals previously selected for inclusion in the population/sample for a different survey that semester, and/or for other considerations as appropriate.
2. Survey Registration Form
Any person seeking to administer a survey meeting the criteria for inclusion under the Survey Regulation must complete the online Survey Registration Form. The Survey Registration Form must be completed four (4) weeks prior to the date the survey is to go live (i.e., the first day of administration).
The Survey Registration Form collects the following information:
- Name, department, and contact information for the project leader;
- The title of the survey and a brief description of its purpose and content;
- The name, title, and department of the NC State key personnel (i.e., the member of the NC State campus community who is affiliated with and/or has formal responsibilities related to the target population and/or content area of the survey project, and who has been made aware of the project). (The Associate Director for Survey Research, the Survey Advisory Committee, and/or the NC State liaison can assist with suggestions for the appropriate person/office to contact.);
- How and when the survey will be administered;
- The target survey population, whether or not a sample will be used, and the estimated number of individuals that will be invited to participate in the survey;
- The status of the project with respect to NC State’s Institutional Review Board (IRB);
- Information to support a request to have the survey project exempt from being posted to the Survey Activities Calendar.
The Survey Registration Form can and should be modified after the initial submission as necessary to update information previously provided. However, external surveys (see below) must follow the agreed upon methods and population/sample unless revisions have been approved by the Survey Advisory Committee.
3. Survey Activities Calendar
The Survey Activities Calendar is available online to those with NC State login credentials. All survey activities submitted via the Survey Registration Form will be posted to the Survey Activities Calendar, unless a request has been made by the project leader and approved by the Survey Advisory Committee.
The Survey Activities Calendar provides information as follows:
- On the main calendar page:
- Name of the survey project
- Dates the survey will be in the filed
- After clicking on the name of the survey project:
- The name of the project leader or NC State liaison submitting the Survey Registration Form
- Dates the survey will be in the field
- A summary of the survey population/sample
- A link for more information
- After clicking on the link for more information:
- A copy of the completed Survey Registration Form for the project
4. External Requests
“External requests” refers to requests from someone who is not a member of the NC State campus community to administer a survey to members of the NC State campus community, or to have a member of the NC State campus community:
- Give permission for a survey to be administered to members of the NC State campus community;
- Provide contact information (e.g., email addresses) for members of the NC State campus community to enable the external requestor to directly reach their survey population/sample;
- Send email announcements about the survey to members of the NC State campus community;
- Post survey announcements to an NC State listserv;
- Announce a survey in an NC State class (including your own) or meeting; or
- Any other similar request.
In addition, external requests also include surveys administered by someone affiliated with NC State (e.g., faculty, staff, students, administrators) to members of the campus community if the data being collected are exclusively for the benefit of someone and/or some organization/institution external to NC State. i.e., the data will not be directly used by someone at NC State, for NC State.
5. External Request Form
An External Survey Request Form must be submitted for any survey project that is considered “external” based on the criteria outlined in the Regulation. This includes surveys administered to members of the NC State community by any person not affiliated with NC State, as well as those administered by someone affiliated with NC State, but for the purpose of collecting data that will be owned and/or primarily used by a person or organization/institution external to NC State.
The External Survey Request Form must be submitted at least six (6) weeks prior to the planning administration of the survey, and will collect the following information:
- Requestor’s name, title, institution/organization affiliation, and contact information;
- Requestor’s education and/or experience as related to developing and/or administering a survey;
- A brief summary of the survey project;
- The purpose of the research (e.g., funded grant, Master’s thesis, program review);
- The status of the project with respect to the requestor’s local Institutional Review Board (IRB);
- A brief statement about why it is important that NC State students, faculty and/or staff participate in the project;
- How NC State as an institution might benefit from participating in the project;
- The name, title, and department of the NC State sponsor for their project (i.e., the member of the NC State campus community who has formal responsibilities related to the target population and/or content area of the survey project);
- The name, title, and department of their NC State liaison (i.e., the member of the NC State community with whom they have been in contact about their project [who may or may not be the sponsor]);
- The NC State target population, and any sampling strategy they want to use;
- How and when they plan to administer the survey;
- How confidentiality of respondents will be protected;
- What assistance they will be requesting from NC State (e.g., providing letters of support to their home institution; identifying survey populations; selecting samples; providing contact information; contacting members of the survey population/sample via email, listserv, etc.)
6. Evaluation of External Requests
All External Requests will be reviewed by the External Request Review Sub-Committee. IRB approval from the external requestors’ home institution does not guarantee that the external request will be approved to be administered to members of the NC State campus community. Decisions to grant permission to external requests will be based on:
- The extent to which the proposed project overlaps with planned survey activities for the academic year;
- The perceived value of the project, both to NC State and more generally;
- The perceived methodological rigor/soundness of the project;
- The extent of assistance required of NC State in administering the survey;
- The extent of support from the NC State Key Personnel for the administration of the survey.
Those submitting an External Request Form should allow up to two (2) weeks for their request to be reviewed. The Survey Advisory Committee has final approval on all such requests; there is no appeal process.
- Printable version of SOP: Survey Registration Procedures for Administering a Survey to NC State Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff and/or Administrators [pdf]
- University Surveys – Office of Institutional Research and Planning