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UCLA Student Affairs Information & Research Office

What question(s) do you want to answer?

Be as specific and detailed as possible when articulating your research question/data need. Below are three examples of research questions that vary in their degree of specificity.

Examples of research questions

OK: How satisfied are UCLA students with their college experience?

Good: How satisfied are UCLA undergraduates with the campus climate?

Better: How satisfied are UCLA undergraduates with the extent that they feel free to express their political beliefs on campus?

What data are currently available?

Browse through existing SAIRO reports at to see what data summaries are currently available. Also, look at data provided by other institutional research offices at UCLA such as the Office of Analysis and Information Management (AIM) and the Center for Educational Assessment .

What population/data set are you interested in?

The more specific you are about your population of interest, the better we can help address your questions and data needs. Some specific student populations include: incoming freshmen, new transfer students, students belonging to specific ethnic/racial groups, undergraduates, graduate students. It’s also important to consider the student cohort or time period you’re interested in (e.g., graduating seniors in 2008, incoming freshmen from 2006‐2009, etc.), and keep in mind that some surveys are not administered every year.

What domains, variables, or individual survey items are you interested in?

Reviewing the domains, variables, and survey items that are available within SAIRO's datasets may help you refine your research question or data need. We suggest that you start by learning about the various surveys administered by SAIRO on UCLA's campus and then examining the questions asked on each of the survey instruments you may be interested in. Contact SAIRO if you’re interested in seeing specific survey items.

What format of the data/results are you looking for?

We can provide data in a wide range of formats including SPSS output, data tables, handouts, and presentations.

How will the data be used?

This information helps SAIRO contextualize the data and may help us identify other data/variables that may also be relevant to your data needs. For example, will the data be used to make programming/service delivery decisions, be included as support material for grant proposals, appear as a blurb in a publication, be presented at a staff development workshop, etc.?