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Institutional Review Board

Proposal Categories

Review the following guidelines to determine the correct category for your proposal . The review method is based on the category. You the researcher, and if appropriate your faculty advisor, make the initial category determination. The IRB makes the final decision. The IRB may require full review of any research submitted under either of the first two categories, or of any research previously approved under expedited review (if you seek approval beyond the initial 12 month approval period). The researcher can always request a higher level of review than that required if desired.

Review Categories:

Category 1 Exempt Review - research presents no possible risk to subjects 18 years of age and older and is one of the following:

  • anonymous, mailed (postal) survey on innocuous topics
  • anonymous, non-interactive non-participating observation of public behavior
  • secondary analysis of existing data (see definition in attached appendix)
  • Category 1 Packet & Instructions

Category 2 Expedited Review - research presents minimal risk to subjects and is one of the following:

  • research on educational curricula, records, or teaching methods involving normal educational practices
  • research involving the use of educational tests if source information is recorded in a way that does not identify subjects
  • research on individual or group behavior of normal adults where there is no psychological or physiological intervention, or deception
  • interviews and non-mailed surveys on non-sensitive topics
  • minor changes in previously approved research (see appendix)
  • continuations of approval for previously approved no-risk research with no more than minor changes in procedures (see appendix)
  • research conducted on the Internet on non-sensitive topics (see appendix
  • Category 2 Packet & Instructions

Category 3 Full Review - research has the potential for harming participants, violates their rights, or requires special protections for participants. Such research includes:

  • research which might put participants at risk
  • research involving psychological or physiological intervention
  • non-curricular, interactive research in schools
  • interviews or surveys on sensitive topics (e.g. sexual activity, alcohol or drug use, illegal behavior)
  • research on special populations (e.g. prisoners, people with mental health issues or developmental delays) whether or not the research is covered by another assurance (see appendix)
  • research involving deception (see appendix)
  • research to be conducted on the Internet on sensitive topics (see appendix)
  • international research, including class projects conducted in another country. International research requires additional approval from an IRB (or similar body) in that country and a copy of the translation of the informed consent document and any survey or interview questions (see appendix). Please contact the IRB Administrator at (585) 395-2779 for assistance prior to submitting your proposal
  • Category 3 Packet & Instructions
Questions? Please contact Julie Wilkens at (585) 395-2779 or 
You may also conatct Kim Remley at (585) 395-2523 or