Dept. of Education & Youth research licenses

The Department of Education & Youth wants to be a part of the research community.

Important considerations

  • The Office of the Department of Education & Youth regularly receives research requests concerning City run primary schools, preschools, after school programs, and/or youth centers. The Department wants to be a participant in the research community and considers it important that the results of the research in which the Department is involved increase the knowledge of school and recreational activities and that they benefit the advancement of children, adolescents, parents, and Department staff.

  • It is an important part of research that children and adolescents have the opportunity to express their views, see article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states, among other things: “Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”

  • Keep in mind that children and adolescents are a vulnerable group. It's important that any study involving them is appropriate for their age and maturity level.

  • Participating in studies is not a core activity in preschool, primary school or recreational activity. Therefore, it is important to establish parameters for conducting research, ensuring that it doesn't excessively disrupt operations.

Processing of Research Permit Requests

When submitting questionnaires, interviewing, and/or collecting other data from Department staff or parents of children and young people in Department run institutions, researchers do not need a formal permission from the Office of the Department of Education & Youth. The only need consent from those who are asked to participate. Researchers must, however, present their study to the administrators of the relevant institutions and obtain their permission. In particular, if staff members are to participate in the study during their working hours or if they are asked to help distribute research materials to parents.

When a study is aimed at children and young people who have not yet reached the age of 18, formal permission is, however, required from the Office of the Department of Education & Youth. This applies to questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and/or field observations. The central authorization from the Office always states that the approval of the managers of the workplace concerned should also be obtained. It varies depending on the nature of the research whether written permission is also required from the parents, known as informed consent, or if it is sufficient to present study to the parents, i.e. intended consent. Information on the type of consent to be obtained is set out in the Office's authorization.

The Office has a team that deals with requests for research permits. It is composed of a project manager in the Office of the Director and a representative from the Department's Legal Division. The Team meets semimonthly and research requests must have been received at least one week before the meeting.

What to Include

The research permit request must include the researcher(s) name(s) and workplace(s)/education, the objectives of the study, and a brief description of the research procedures. The description should include:

  • In which workplace(s) the study is to be carried out. If it has not been decided, it should be stated whether participation is requested in a preschool, primary school, after-school program, youth center, or other Department workplaces.
  • Study Participants.
  • Research method and data collection/device, such as copies of questionnaires and/or interview frameworks/checklists for field observations.
  • The period during which the study is to be conducted.
  • Sample letters of authorization/letters of introduction e.g. for parents.
  • Sample of parental informed consent requests when relevant.
  • If the study is subject to approval by the University of Iceland's Science Ethics Committee, the Committees comments must be included with the request, cf. procedures.
  • If the study is subject to approval by the Science Ethics Committee (pursuant to Act No 44/2014 on Scientific Research in the Health Sector), the Committees comments must be included with the request.
  • Research requiring the approval of the Science Ethics Committee for Health Research, does not also need review from the University of Iceland's Science Ethics Committee. Representatives from the University of Iceland's Ethics Institute and Medical Department serve on the Science Ethics Committee for Health Research.
  • If there is a delay in the delivery of the requested data, it delays the processing of the resulting requests.
  • It is important that the researchers familiarize themselves with the new privacy legislation, cf. Act No 90/2018, on Data Protection and the Processing of Personal Data.
  • The Act entered into force on July 15, 2018.

Inquiries and suggestions

Inquiries and comments should be addressed to Ásgeir Björgvinsson,