Information for Researchers

How to Arrange a Research Investigation That Includes Individual or Group Interviews

Investigators who wish to have the participation of individual children, parents, college students, employees and/or our colleagues at other child care programs should start by contacting Howard Baker at or 781-736-2200. You will be asked to submit Appendix IV: Application for Doing Research (pdf) and supporting documents.

When doing a research study that involves interviews, the Center requires approval by a university committee on the use of human subjects and by the Lemberg Research Review Committee. Additionally those doing the actual interviews with children are required to know the children sufficiently well to effectively gather the data desired. This means that prior to administering the study questions, the interviewer should spend 20 hours as a participant observer with children in the classroom. When this is not possible, the principal investigator may solicit a current teacher at the Center to do the interviewing or to be present during the entire interview.

To begin, the investigator will need to supply us with:

  • A description or summary of the proposed research, which highlights any risks for the subjects and safeguards for the subjects' rights.
  • This will require the investigator to submit the proposal and research questions to the Director of Sponsored Programs at Brandeis University MS 116 or to a similar authority for review of procedures consistent with standards for working with human subjects.
  • Include information about what will happen with the data when the study is completed and if a copy of the final paper or publications will be sent to the Lemberg Children's Center. Additionally state whether the investigator will be available to present the results and implications to the Lemberg teachers or community and if there is an honorarium or gift stipulation in the research as proposed.
  • A copy of the complete research proposal or a copy of the part of the research proposal that pertains to the study to be done with the Lemberg Children's Center.
  • A copy of the protocol or detailed information about the experimental situation, including examples of any materials or questionnaires to be used in the research including a statement that the child may leave the interview when wishing to do so.
  • Prior to beginning interviews we require the approval document from a Committee on the Use of Human Subjects.

After reviewing these materials, a Lemberg Research Review Committee member will meet with the applicant to discuss aspects of the research, the final approval process and if approved, the dates and times for the investigation.

How to Arrange for an Interviewer to do Participant Observer Hours

All investigators doing interviews with children should have experience with the child or children. Consequently we required each interviewer to have completed 20 hours (usually within a two week period).

This is necessary to ensure that the child is at ease with the interviewer, and knows he/she can end the interview when desired. It also helps the investigator to get better data and responses. Many studies find that anxious children don't perform well and the child is more likely to not complete the tasks. The PO should:

  • Make arrangements for this work experience with our children with the Director of Staff Development and Scheduling, Karen Eichenlaub. She will try to arrange PO shifts for 10 hours per week over two weeks.

Guidelines for Conducting the Interviews at Lemberg with Children

Individual or group interviews with the children occur during times approved by the Executive Director, Director of Staff Development & Scheduling or the child's head teacher. This way the children do not miss activities nor have their daily routine significantly disrupted.

When a child is to leave the classroom or leave a head teacher's care, the child's head teacher transitions the investigator and the child. The investigator and the Lemberg Center staff will honor a child's wish to not participate or wishes to end participation before completing the interview session. No single interview of a child should last for longer than 30 minutes. A Lemberg teacher may observe or s/he will check on the child from time to time to see that the child desires to continue with the study tasks and that s/he is appropriately supervised during each session.

Information for those who wish to have voice or personal image recording of children and/or adults

If your project requires you to take photos, videos or record voices of children or adults you will need to get permission. In some cases, such as a photo of a group of children for personal use, a simple request to the Executive Director or Head Teacher will be sufficient.

You will be told which children cannot be photographed. However those wanting visual images or voice recordings to study must make this clear in the research proposal and specifically ask for parental permission. If you wish to make a film for a class or professional use you will need to get parental permission and submit Appendix VI Application for Recording (Video, Photo and/or Audio). You will also find a sample letter for requesting parental consent is Appendix V. You may adapt this for your needs and have it this letter approved for distribution to our community.

Note: You will also need written consent from any adults you wish to be filmed, photographed or interviewed for a voice recording.