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IRB Applications / Types of IRB Review

Types of IRB Review

What kinds of IRB review are there?

  • There are three levels of IRB Review (full board, expedited, and determining if exempt from continuing review).
  • The level is determined by the nature of the protocol, level of potential risk to human subjects, and the subject population.
  • The determination of level of review applicable to a particular study is made by the IRB.

Regardless of the kind of review, all applications use the same submission form.

  1. Convened IRB review (full board)

    • Any study involving greater than minimal risk requires a review by the convened IRB. This includes studies with minors, vulnerable populations (e.g., developmentally or mentally disabled adults, prisoners, etc.) and sensitive questions, as well as studies with the possibility of physical risk.
    • Hampshire's IRB meets monthly during the academic year. Proposals requiring full review must be submitted at least 1 week prior to the board meeting.
    • Studies assigned to full board review are reviewed by members ahead of time, and then discussed at the meeting. The committee then votes on whether to approve the study.

  2. Expedited IRB review

    • Only research involving no more than minimal risk to subjects may be considered for expedited review.
    • An expedited review is conducted by an individual reviewer or a few reviewers, rather than going to the full board. 
    • Federal guidelines provide categories for expedited review. Examples of categories include:
      • blood sampling in minimal amounts
      • review of records collected for non-research purposes (such as chart reviews)
      • survey research

  3. Exempt from continuing IRB review

    • Research with very minimal risk to human subjects as determined by regulatory guidelines may be exempted from continuing review at the discretion of the IRB.
    • An exemption is granted by the IRB upon review of the application.
    • Since this constitutes a review, protocols that are deemed exempt are effectively “exempt from continuing review” or institutional oversight. Examples include
      • observations done in recognized educational or public settings
      • research on educational strategies, curricula, or management methods

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