Types of IRB Review

To submit an application to the IRB, an appropriate level of review must be requested. The levels of review are based on the level of risk to participants. The IRB will verify or correct the level of review for a study application.
Investigators who will conduct “Human Subjects Research” must complete online Human Subjects training.


What doesn’t need IRB review

Not Human Subjects Research (NHSR)

A Not Human Subjects Research (NHSR) submission is a request for the IRB to determine if a project requires IRB review and approval. Studies are considered “Not Research” when they do not meet the definitions of human subjects and/or research.
Investigators who believe their project may qualify as NHSR can submit the short application in iStar.


What needs IRB Review

Human Subjects Research

Any activity that meets OHRP definitions of both “research” and “human subjects” or the FDA definitions of “clinical investigation” and “human subjects” is considered human subjects research.


Levels of IRB Review

Human subjects research is reviewed by an IRB according to the following categories:

Exempt Review

Research can be approved as “exempt” if it is no more than “minimal risk” and fits one of the 6 federally designated exempt review categories. Studies that may qualify for “Exempt” must still be submitted to the IRB for review.

Expedited Review

Research can be approved as “expedited” if it is no more than “minimal risk” and fits in one of the 9 federally designated expedited review categories.

Full-Board Review

Research that does not qualify for expedited or exempt review and/or presents more than minimal risks to subjects will receive review by a fully convened committee meeting.


Duration of IRB Approval (Continuing Review)

Federal regulations require that every approved study receive continuing review “not less than once per year.”  Accordingly, an approval period cannot exceed 364 days.  In some cases, the IRB may grant a shorter approval period if the complexity or risk level merits more frequent continuing review.

If an investigator intends to continue the study beyond the period for which it was initially approved, then a Continuing Review application must be submitted. Studies that require Continuing Review will receive email notifications from iStar with instructions for how to submit a Continuing Review application.

More about IRB Submission

IRB Contact Info

Biomedical Research | Health Sciences IRB
Social Behavioral Research | University Park IRB