Types of Review

Full-Board Review

Greater than minimal risk studies are reviewed by a fully-convened committee at an IRB meeting. The committee discusses the study and determines whether the Criteria of Approval for Human Subject Research are met, and makes a decision to approve, approve with stipulations, defer, or disapprove the study.

The OHR staff will advise you when the study is scheduled for full committee review. The ability to schedule a study for review is related to the pre-review response time, the IRB's meeting agenda, and expertise that may be required for the review. Once a study is reviewed by the IRB, the OHR staff will communicate any changes requested by the IRB and will work with you to resolve any issues. You can find the upcoming IRB meeting schedule here.

Expedited Review

Studies that are minimal risk and meet one of the expedited categories of research are reviewed by an IRB Chair or Designee. This IRB member reviews the appropriate materials and consults with the PI if necessary to come to a decision about the approval of the study. Expedited submissions are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis.

Please note Expedited review does not mean "faster"; it is a type of review for minimal risk studies.

Exempt Registration

If a study fits into an exempt category of research and is less than minimal risk to subjects, may be registered as exempt. Exempt research still needs to be conducted in an ethical manner. Exempt submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis. Exempt research policy.

*Minimal Risk: "the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests" (from 45 CFR 46.102(i) and 21 CFR 56.102).

Contact Us

The George Washington University Office of Human Research or OHR is available for your questions regarding projects involving human subjects.