See our planning for 2020–21.

student in media lab

Types of IRB Review

What kinds of IRB review are there? 

  • There are three levels of IRB Review
    • full board
      • these include studies involving more than minimal risk, vulnerable populations, invasive techniques, work abroad
      • these require the full board to review the proposal and are reviewed once a month (see Application Deadlines)
    • expedited
      • these include studies involving only minimal risk: surveys and interviews on non-sensitive subjects
      • these require review by a sub-set of the IRB and therefore should be submitted at any time as they may be reviewed between meetings of the IRB (at the latest, they will reviewed at the next available IRB meeting)
    • exempt from continuing review
      • these include observations in public settings; some research on educational practices; observing/reflecting/assisting in the classroom as a part of regular educational practice; anonymous online surveys; film/photo/theatrical documentaries; some class projects
      • these do not require full IRB review but DO require the submission of an IRB application form and may be submitted at any time
  • 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 a recommendation by the faculty, but the final determination will be made by the IRB.

For more details in determining the level of IRB review, please consult the IRB Review Type Guidelines. Regardless of the kind of review, all applications use the same submission form.

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