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Submissions :: Protocol review process :: Expedited/Exempt Review :: Expedited protocols

Expedited Protocols

The writers of the federal regulations mandating IRB review recognized that not all research rises to the level of full board review.  In some cases, a protocol needs IRB approval but the level of risk in the protocol is considered minimal and the review can be expedited. The key element to defining an expedited protocol for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (there are additional requirements for medical protocols as defined in the regulations) is determining if a protocol is minimal risk. If the protocol meets the definition for minimal risk, the Board can expedite its review.   

Comparing expedited and full board protocols:

  • No full board review: An expedited protocol does not need full board review; any future requests for continuation or modifications do not need to be reviewed at a full board meeting unless the protocol modifications change the level of risk to participants. 

  • Shorter review time: Expedited review time should be shorter, generally two to four weeks depending on the protocol load.  A full board protocol is reviewed at the full board as well as any continuations or major modifications (some minor edits can be approved administratively), which can take a month or longer.

  • Submission requirements and pre-review requirements are the same.

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