Please contact Mary Beth Goodnight if you have questions.

Minimal Review Criteria

All research projects involving human subjects require IRB approval. To qualify for Minimal Review, research must fall into six (6) federally-defined categories, which exempt research from full or expedited IRB review. These categories represent the lowest level of risk to potential participants.

The following research projects are examples of research studies eligible for Minimal Review:

  • Anonymous tests, surveys, or interviews. To be anonymous, participants cannot be identified or traced to the research study.
  • Evaluation or examination of a public benefit or service program (welfare, Medicaid, unemployment, etc.) when no participants are identified, contacted, or interviewed.
  • Analysis of pre-existing data routinely complied by a public office administering the program.
  • Archival data, only if publicly available and de-identified so no subjects can be linked to the data.
  • 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.

To be eligible for Minimal Review a research project cannot involve any of the items listed below. These items require Expedited Review:

  • Vulnerable Participants: Children under the age of 18, prisoners, individuals with impaired decision-making capacity, or economically or educationally disadvantaged persons.
  • Surveys dealing with sensitive and/or private aspects of behavior such as sexual preference, substance abuse, or illegal activity when participants are linked to the study.
  • Review or use of de-identified medical records.
  • Use of data that contains identifiable information, one-way identifiers, etc. that can be used to identify a participant.

Checklist to avoid delays in IRB approval process