Office of Institutional Research (OIR)


The mission of the Office of Institutional Research (OIR), a service-oriented team of researchers at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is to drive and support mission advancing investigations throughout the organization using data-informed decision making and continuous improvement processes to realize strategic objectives through methodological expertise, support of qualitative and quantitative research, and ethical custodianship of institutional performance data.


A. Strategic leaders, faculty, staff and researchers have access to reliable, useful and integrated data warehouse of institutional and student data.

B. All campus teams effectively utilize department services in the execution of data-informed operations to meet strategic goals.

C. Scholarship is supported through collaboration with individuals and teams within the institution.

For specific action plans for each objective, click here.

Our Work

Research, evaluation, and scholarship are closely related endeavors. Research is the systematic discovery or collection of information or knowledge; evaluation is the formal determination of efficacy or value; and scholarship is the thoughtful sharing of information, knowledge, or expertise. They are related because acceptable evaluation and scholarship rely on the procedures of formal research. Our current and ongoing activities include:

  • Overseeing program logic modeling for Budgeting for Results;
  • Assisting with the implementation and evaluation of strategic operations;
  • Collecting and analyzing data on student performance and growth;
  • Writing and submitting the Public Accountability Report;
  • Providing data and analysis to the admissions process and enrollment management activities;
  • Assisting with research, evaluation, and scholarship activities generated by individuals and teams;
  • Administering various programmatic data collection efforts;
  • Coordinating, facilitating, and supporting research initiatives with university and other partners.

How We Serve

OIR collects and analyzes data, generates reports, and provides advice and counsel in the following endeavors so that the institution, teams, and individuals can:

  • Fulfill requirements to regularly inform the General Assembly and the Governor’s office on the work of IMSA, a state agency;
  • Inform their constituents and make programmatic decisions on a regular basis;
  • Evaluate their programs as well as their efforts with continuous improvement in mind;
  • Answer questions that advance IMSA’s mission or the field of STEM, residential or gifted education;
  • Share their research findings and expertise with others at IMSA, in Illinois and beyond.

Conducting Research and Evaluation at IMSA

Initial Questions You Need to Answer

1. Does your research, evaluation, or scholarship activity:

  • Satisfy a mandate imposed by a governing body?
  • Advance IMSA’s mission?
  • Advance STEM, residential or gifted education?

If the answer is yes, you should discuss your project with OIR. We likely will be able to advise you on your data collection, analysis, and dissemination, ranging from counsel to coordination.

If the answer is no, we may not be able to provide formal support, but you still may find it useful to discuss your project with OIR. We may see connections to IMSA’s strategic objectives not obvious to you and be able to offer advice on improving your data collection and analysis. External users proposing mutually beneficial research projects should contact the department and use the Request for Sponsored Research Form.

2. Does your research, evaluation, or scholarship activity involve human or animal subjects?

If the answer is yes, you will need to submit an Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposal. If the data collection involves IMSA students or staff then the proposal needs to be submitted to IMSA’s IRB committee, which is called Human and Animal Subjects Review Committee (HASRC). If the project involves other organizations an IRB proposal to the participating organization may also be necessary. OIR can assist you with the IRB proposal process.

3. Internal users can access the OIR Data Request Form.