Research is reviewed for Exempt status (Level I review), by an IRB committee member if it involves very minimal or no risk. There are several types of research that may qualify for Exempt status. In general, research which does not propose to disrupt or manipulate the normal life experiences of subjects, incorporate any form of intrusive procedures, or involve deception will be exempt from full Committee review. Projects that involve more than very minimal risk and those that include any degree of deception do not qualify for Exempt status.
Please note that all of the rights and protection afforded to human subjects in research are required in Exempt status cases. Researchers engaged in human subjects research that qualifies for Exempt status must still complete a full application form and prepare an informed consent statement. Researchers must engage in practices that minimize risk, maximize benefit and ensure privacy.
Any research involving protected classes or vulnerable populations of subjects (such as prisoners, pregnant women, mentally disabled persons, research by a faculty member on his/her own students) is never Exempt.