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College of Doctoral Studies

Committee on Research

Hinrich Eylers, Vice Provost for the College of Doctoral Studies
Rodney Luster, Sr. Director of Research Strategy, Innovation, and Development, and Committee on Research (COR) Administrator
Kimberly Underwood, Chair for the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research, COR Reviewer                                          
Mansureh Kebritchi, Chair for the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research, COR Reviewer

Researchers interested in conducting research on or with UOPX samples, topics, or data must submit an application to the Committee on Research (COR). The committee was established in 2009 and its initial mission has remained the same regarding inquiries to access UOPX populations and or data for research purposes, however, the application process was revised in accord with the growth of the University as an institution engaged in applied research, and to accommodate researchers in a better aligned and more efficient way.

Frequently asked questions

Members: The Committee on Research is led by Chair, Dr. Rodney Luster, Director of Research Communications and Chair of the Center for Leadership Studies and Organizational Research.  Committee members include all active University Research Center Chairs and a representative from UOPX legal as needed.  Additional internal stakeholders when required, may also asked to provide insight and/or guidance.    

Contact: Review the FAQs before emailing.  For all other questions regarding COR, email the support inbox at:  

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.

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. The yield as well for such endeavors has proven to be less than adequate so we discourage such requests on the front end. We would however encourage that you work with your site permissions contact to truly identify the sampling parameters that are appropriate and realistic for your study and our constituents. 

Convenience samples are sometimes accepted but keep in mind 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 with your research problem.  Although we are a large online university and our constituents are diverse, sometimes a study is more likely to be declined when UOPX becomes 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 if the study demonstrates an exceptional contribution to the field.  

An approval from COR 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.  COR approval must be obtained before data collection or sharing can begin.

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 (COR) for approval.

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

If the researcher is internal to UOPX they need to have an accepted COR 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. 

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.

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  We can discuss your needs and network to find what is available.

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 UOPX personnel who oversee sample or data decline 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.

In the past, the study plan was part of a two-step process, but, it is no longer required as part of the review process. However, you should aggregate the necessary materials for your study should it be requested by COR or IRB and have it saved where you can access them easily. Such documents will only serve to inform your application.

Good study plan docments to have on hand:

  • Your iteration of 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 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 your project, the following documentation should also be kept on hand:

  • If your project requires IRB approval from other institutions or organizations, you may be asked to include their letter of approval or conditional approval. 
  • For dissertation research, you may be aslkd to 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 seeking to publish research that occurred as part of their normal responsibilities, a letter of support from your manager shoud be kept on hand.

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

Processing usualy takes1-3 weeks, depending on staff demands. 

You will receive an automated notice at the email address that you provided in your application. 

Following COR approval, research should not begin until the University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved your study. 

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 design. 

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

If a project is denied by the committee, applicants may still reapply only if recommended by COR based on doable modifications to the application.

COR exists to provide approval permissions for researchers seeking to use internal UOPX populations [students, faculty, staff] and internal data necessary for research. What we DO NOT grant approval for is:

  • The use of third-party software to be used and, or permissions for such.
  • The feasibility of a study [you must explore feasibility and interests with other departments separately before coming to COR] Additionally, students should be aware that feasibility is a dissertation process unrelated to COR.
  • Site permissions [we approve the opportunity for this but site permissions remain part of your process for contacting appropriate deans, etc.



Additional details

COR is simply a potential first gate, as IRB may be required. What an approval from COR does do is to provide the researcher with a review and confirmation that the research population or data concerning UOPX is available and the research study is aligned with the University and has been approved from this aspect of the process. COR does not approve feasibility of studies, use of third party software or site permissions, or access to populations. COR simply assists with initial permission for local UOPX population samples and data from UOPX.  

A COR review examines three key aspects of the study:

  • Rationale for the inquiry regarding the use of internal UOPX human capital, student populations, and other requests for internal data,
  • Oversampling or research area saturation based on current projects at the University,
  • the benefit of the study to the University, including alignment to current initiatives and research agendas.

Additional Important Details: COR does not manage data collection. The researcher is responsible for working to secure site permissions and contacting the staff who oversee the necessary population sample or data set, who have the right to choose to decline participation in your study.

How to apply

Applications move through Microsoft Forms. You may follow the link provided here to access the application. Applications are reviewed in order of receipt and may take some time to review if there are questions or fields that don't explicitly and clearly define the response adequately enough.