The London-based Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) has been running an exclusions advice line for parents which has taken 600 calls over the past year.
It wants to follow up the calls to see how the families and children affected have fared, and believes the project will provide a unique parental perspective on the exclusions process.
The research proposal is particularly topical, following a report last week from the Children's Society which showed spiralling exclusion rates and the loss of more than two million school days a year.
ACE has secured pound;40,000 from the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT Education Services), the largest private contractor of school inspections.
But the charity is looking for another pound;40,000 to put a full research programme together - and is pinning its hopes on the Department for Education and Employment.
It is hoping a report on truancy and exclusions from the Cabinet Office's social exclusion unit - due before ministers this week - will provide the spur for more research. If the extra pound;40,000 does not materialise, ACE will propose a more modest research programme to CfBT.