Instructions and Checklist for Submitting a Request for Programmatic Review

  • Insert a title for the proposed study and include park name, if appropriate (e.g., Yosemite National Park Visitor Study). Include the date of submission of the approval request to NPS.
  • Summarize the proposed study with an abstract not to exceed 150 words.
  • The NPS Social Science Branch will use the PI information as the primary point of contact for this collection. However, the Park Liaison will be responsible for reviewing the final submission for relevancy and appropriateness before a final review will be performed by the NPS Information Clearance Coordinator. For studies in which students (doctoral, graduate and undergraduate) are taking an active role, the faculty advisor or park liaison must be listed as the PI and not the student. The NPS social science program will have limited interaction with students in the application process.
  • List the park(s) in which the data collection will be conducted or the park(s) for which the data is being collected.
  • List the time period in which the survey will be conducted, including specific starting and ending dates. The starting date should be at least 60 days after the submission date.
  • Check the type(s) of information collection instrument(s) that will be used. If “other,” please explain.
  • Provide the justification for the study. Describe why you need to collect the information. Outline the background, need, and circumstances. In general terms, a collection may be justified if needed to achieve a result within our statutory mission. This means, however, that there must be a plan to use the information for program objectives. Detail any specific program problems you hope to resolve. If NPS or a state/local partner is already collecting information from the same universe of respondents, briefly describe how those collections relate to the proposed collection.
  • Provide a description of the survey methodology. This description must be specific and include each of the following:
    • a) the respondent universe (e.g., all adult visitors over 16 years of age to Yosemite National Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2012);
    • b) the sampling plan and all sampling procedures, including how individual respondents will be selected and a justification for the planned sample size;
    • c) how the instrument will be administered in the field, including follow-up procedures to increase response rates;
    • d) expected response rate and confidence levels, including a justification of the anticipated response rate by citing specific studies similar to the proposed one and their response rates;
    • e) a plan for analyzing and reporting the implications of any non-response bias detected (include a copy of your survey log, if applicable);
    • f) A description of any pre-testing and peer review of the methods and/or instrument.
  • Fill in the total number of initial contacts and the total number of expected respondents.
  • Fill in the estimated time to complete the initial contact and the survey instrument (in minutes).
  • Fill in the total number of burden hours. Burden hours refer specifically to interaction with the sample, including initial contact, reviewing instructions, and filling out a survey. Burden on non-respondents (such as initial contact interviews with individuals declining to participate) should be included in this total.
  • Provide a brief description of the reporting plan for the data being collected. This might include a final technical report to the park, a briefing for park managers, a Park Science article, a peer-reviewed journal article, etc. A copy of all survey reports must be archived with the NPS Social Science Branch for inclusion in the Social Science Studies Collection.
Checklist for Submitting a Request for Programmatic Review
  • Survey population includes only park visitors, potential park visitors, and/or residents of communities near parks.
  • All questions in the survey instruments are within the scope of the topic areas covered by the Programmatic review, are non-controversial, and are designed to furnish useful applied knowledge to NPS managers and planners.
  • The Programmatic review package is being submitted to the NPS Social Science Branch at least 90 days prior to the first day the PI wishes to administer the survey to the public. The Programmatic review package includes:
    • A completed Programmatic review form
    • A copy of the survey instrument or telephone interview script (with each question clearly identified as to the topic number and area under which it is being submitted)
    • Other supporting materials, such as
      • Cover letters to accompany mail-back questionnaires
      • Scripts for initial contact of respondents and for any follow-up calls as part of a non-response bias check
      • Necessary Paperwork Reduction Act compliance language
      • Follow-up letters/reminders sent to respondents
  • The survey methodology presented on the Programmatic review form includes a specific description of:
    • The respondent universe
    • The sampling plan and all sampling procedures, including how respondents will be selected and a
    • Justification for the planned sample size
    • How the instrument will be administered, including follow-up procedures
    • Expected response rate (with justification) and confidence levels
    • Plan for non-response bias analysis
    • A description of any pre-testing and peer review of the methods and/or the instrument
    • The burden hours reported on the programmatic review form include the number of burden hours associated with the initial contact of all individuals in the sample (i.e., including refusals), if applicable, and the burden associated with individuals expected to complete the survey instrument.

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Last updated: September 26, 2016


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