Request for Exemption Guidelines


The following are the categories that qualify for exemption. A request for Exemption form must be submitted and approved for these types of research.

1)  Research involving normal educational practices in established educational settings.

  • Both of the following must be present to be Exempt:
    • Established Educational Settings:  The school environment or a structured school activity such as a field trip with an educational purpose.
    • Normal Educational Practice: Activities in the educational setting that would be performed as part of normal classroom practices. e.g.  improving academic, behavioral or social skills; individual student conferences; individualized interventions; homework issues
  • Addressing Consent for Exempt Research
    • Information sheets or signed consent forms are not required for Exempt Research.  They are recommended especially for case studies involving one or a small number of students or students with special needs.  The IRB does not review these forms on research that is determined to be exempt.
  • Possible exceptions that may require an Expedited Review
    • Surveys outside of the classroom (not related to homework) in which participants (parents or child) are identified require expedited review.
    • Surveys that pertain to sensitive issues, even as part of a normal curriculum, MAY be expedited

2) Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), unless:

  • Data are recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be directly identified, or use identifiers linked to the subjects; and
  • Any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.

3) Other Exempt Categories

  • Survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior, unless:
    • information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and
    • any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.
    • NOTE: Where research includes observation of public behavior of children, there may not be any interaction or participation on the part of the researcher for this activity to qualify as exempt.
  • Archival research of existing data.  Research records are either publicly available or all identifying information has been removed.
  • Subjects are appointed public officials or candidates for public office.
  • Evaluation of public benefit or service programs, which are conducted by or subject to the approval of federal department or agency heads.
  • Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies if the food has been found to be safe by the FDA or other food safety agency.