HRPP: Types of Exempt Research

Note regarding research involving prisoners: Research whose human subject population consists entirely or substantially of prisoners cannot be exempted from IRB review. The following exemptions can only apply to research involving a broader subject population that only incidentally includes prisoners (e.g., a survey that is widely disseminated, some of whose respondents happen to be incarcerated). If your research substantially involves prisoners, please proceed to the IRB application forms.

For subject populations that do not include prisoners, the following types of research are ordinarily considered exempt from IRB review. If one of the following descriptions appears to match your research but is highlighted as a link, then please click the link to answer a few additional questions and confirm the applicability of the exemption.

  1. Research, conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, that specifically involves normal educational practices that are not likely to adversely impact students’ opportunity to learn required educational content or the assessment of educators who provide instruction.
  2. Research that only includes interactions involving educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior (including visual or auditory recording).
  3. Research involving benign behavioral interventions in conjunction with the collection of information from an adult subject through verbal or written responses (including data entry) or audiovisual recording.
  4. Secondary research.
  5. Research and demonstration projects designed to study, evaluate, improve, or otherwise examine public benefit or service programs.
  6. Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies.

If none of the above appear to describe your research, then your research is not exempt and must be reviewed by the IRB. Please proceed to the IRB application forms.