Of all of the aspects of IRB oversight, the most confusing is the classification of IRB review categories. The following describes how these categories are handled at the Cooper Union.

There are three types of review categories; "Exempt," "Expedited Review," and "Full Review."

The name "Exempt" does not mean that the human subject research in question is exempt from IRB oversight and review; *all* human subject research is subject to IRB oversight and review. A proposal in the "Exempt" simply means that the Chair of the IRB has the authority to summarily approve the proposal without having one or more IRB members review it, i.e,, it is "exempt" from an Expedited or Full review.

If only one IRB member need review a proposal, it is in the "Expedited Review" category. If the entire committee reviews the proposal, that proposal is receiving a "Full Review."

The IRB has developed methods to allow certain kinds of survey-based studies to gain approval through a streamlined process for specific studies which lie firmly in the Exempt category. These are necessarily very limited in scope and will only be allowed to the extent that they are permitted by institutional policy and federal, state and local laws.
Last modified: Thursday, 21 June 2012, 12:32 PM