Exempt Studies

Studies that meet the criteria as provided in the ___.104(d) may be reviewed using the exempt review process. Studies involving prisoners except for research aimed at involving a broader subject population that only incidentally includes prisoners cannot be exempted. Exempt applications will be reviewed by one IRB member (usually the Chair) to determine, based on federal guidelines, whether a project is Exempt from further IRB review. The IRB chair may delegate the responsibility to review exempt protocols to an ORSP staff member or another IRB member for exempt categories 1, 2(i) and 2(ii), 3, 4, 5, or 6. A listing of federally approved exemptions is provided below.

Category 1 - Education research: 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. This includes most research on regular and special education instructional strategies, and research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.

Category 2 - Interactions (education tests, surveys, observation of public behavior): 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) if at least one of the following criteria is met:

(i) The information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects cannot readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects. If the study involves children, this exempt category may only be used when using educational tests or the observation of public behavior if the investigator(s) do not participate in the activities being observed.

(ii) Any disclosure of the human subjects’ responses outside the research would not reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects’ financial standing, employability, educational advancement, or reputation. If the study involves children, this exempt category may only be used when using educational tests or the observation of public behavior if the investigator(s) do not participate in the activities being observed; or

(iii) The information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects can readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects, and an IRB conducts a limited IRB review to ensure that adequate provisions are in place to protect the privacy of subjects and to maintain the confidentiality of data. This category may not be used to exempt research involving children.

Category 3 - Benign behavioral interventions: 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 if the subject prospectively agrees to the intervention and information collection and at least one of the following criteria is met:

(i) The information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects cannot readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects;

(ii) Any disclosure of the human subjects’ responses outside the research would not reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects’ financial standing, employability, educational advancement, or reputation; or

(iii) The information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects can readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects, and an IRB conducts a limited IRB review to make the determination required by §ll.111(a)(7).

For the purpose of this provision, benign behavioral interventions are brief in duration, harmless, painless, not physically invasive, not likely to have a significant adverse lasting impact on the subjects, and the investigator has no reason to think the subjects will find the interventions offensive or embarrassing. Provided all such criteria are met, examples of such benign behavioral interventions would include having the subjects play an online game, having them solve puzzles under various noise conditions, or having them decide how to allocate a nominal amount of received cash between themselves and someone else.

If the research involves deceiving the subjects regarding the nature or purposes of the research, this exemption is not applicable unless the subject authorizes the deception through a prospective agreement to participate in research in circumstances in which the subject is informed that he or she will be unaware of or misled regarding the nature or purposes of the research.

This exemption category may not be used for research involving children.

Category 4 - Secondary research for which consent is not required: Secondary research uses of identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens if at least one of the following criteria is met:

(i) The identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens are publicly available;

(ii) Information, which may include information about biospecimens, is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects cannot readily be ascertained directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects, the investigator does not contact the subjects, and the investigator will not re-identify subjects;

(iii) The research involves only information collection and analysis involving the investigator’s use of identifiable health information when that use is regulated under 45 CFR parts 160 and 164, subparts A and E, for the purposes of ‘‘health care operations’’ or ‘‘research’’ as those terms are defined at 45 CFR 164.501 or for ‘‘public health activities and purposes’’ as described under 45 CFR 164.512(b); or

(iv) The research is conducted by, or on behalf of, a Federal department or agency using government-generated or government-collected information obtained for nonresearch activities, if the research generates identifiable private information that is or will be maintained on information technology that is subject to and in compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002.

Category 5 - Federal research and demonstration projects: Research and demonstration projects that are conducted or supported by a Federal department or agency, or otherwise subject to the approval of department or agency heads (or the approval of the heads of bureaus or other subordinate agencies that have been delegated authority to conduct the research and demonstration projects), and that are designed to study, evaluate, improve, or otherwise examine public benefit or service programs, including procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs, possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures, or possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.

Category 6 - Taste and Food quality: Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies:

(i) If wholesome foods without additives are consumed, or

(ii) If a food is consumed that contains a food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural chemical or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe, by the Food and Drug Administration or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Category 7 - Storage or maintenance for which broad consent is required: This category of exemption is new per the Final Rule. Currently, TWU will not review these studies as exempt and is not adopting the principles of broad consent.

Category 8 - Secondary research for which broad consent is required: This category of exemption is new per the Final Rule. Currently, TWU will not review these studies as exempt and is not adopting the principles of broad consent.

Page last updated 3:45 PM, February 7, 2019