Expedited Review

Guidelines for Expedited Review


Expedited Review: Federal regulations permit the IRB Chairperson to review and approve proposed research through an expedited review process if (a.) the research constitutes a minor change in a previously approved research project during an approved period; or (b) the research is not greater than minimal risk and falls into one of the categories listed below. 45 CFR 46.110 or 21 CFR 56.110.

The expedited review procedure may not be used if the risks related to the invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality are no greater than minimal. For help determining your review category, please download our guide: Does my human subjects research fall under the expedited review category?


 Expedited Review Categories include: 

  1. Clinical studies of drugs and medical devices only when condition (a) or (b) is met:
    • (a) Research on drugs for which an investigational new drug application (21 CFR Part 312) is not required. (Note: Research on marketed drugs that significantly increases the risks or decreases the acceptability of the risks associated with the use of the product is not eligible for expedited review.)
    • (b) Research on medical devices for which (i) an investigational device exemption application (21 CFR Part 812) is not required; or (ii) the medical device is cleared/approved for marketing and the medical device is being used in accordance with its cleared/approved labeling.
  2. Collection of blood samples by finger stick, heel stick, ear stick, or venipuncture as follows:
    • From healthy, nonpregnant adults who weigh at least 110 pounds. For these subjects, the amounts drawn may not exceed 550 ml in an 8 week period and collection may not occur more frequently than 2 times per week; or
    • From other adults and children, considering the age, weight, and health of the subjects, the collection procedure, the amount of blood to be collected, and the frequency with which it will be collected. For these subjects, the amount drawn may not exceed the lesser of 50 ml or 3 ml per kg in an 8 week period and collection may not occur more frequently than 2 times per week.
  3. Prospective collection of biological specimens for research purposes by noninvasive means.
    • hair and nail clippings in a non-disfiguring manner;
    • deciduous teeth at the time of exfoliation or if routine patient care indicates a need for extraction;
    • permanent teeth if routine patient care indicates a need for extraction;
    • excreta and external secretions (including sweat);
    • un-cannulated saliva collected either in an unstimulated fashion or stimulated by chewing gum base or wax or by applying a dilute citric solution to the tongue;
    • placenta removed at delivery;
    • amniotic fluid obtained at the time of rupture of the membrane prior to or during labor;
    • supra- and subgingival dental plaque and calculus, provided the collection procedure is not more invasive than routine prophylactic scaling of the teeth and the process is accomplished in accordance with accepted prophylactic techniques;
    • mucosal and skin cells collected by buccal scraping or swab, skin swab, or mouth washings;
    • sputum collected after saline mist nebulization.
  4. Collection of data through noninvasive procedures (not involving general anesthesia or sedation) routinely employed in clinical practice, excluding procedures involving x-rays or microwaves. Where medical devices are employed, they must be cleared/approved for marketing. (Studies intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the medical device are not generally eligible for expedited review, including studies of cleared medical devices for new indications.) Examples include:
    • physical sensors that are applied either to the surface of the body or at a distance and do not involve input of significant amounts of energy into the subject or an invasion of the subjects privacy;
    • weighing or testing sensory acuity;
    • magnetic resonance imaging;
    • electrocardiography, electroencephalography, thermography, detection of naturally occurring radioactivity, electroretinography, ultrasound, diagnostic infrared imaging, doppler blood flow, and echocardiography;
    • moderate exercise, muscular strength testing, body composition assessment, and flexibility testing where appropriate given the age, weight, and health of the individual.
  5. Research involving materials (data, documents, records, or specimens) that have been collected, or will be collected solely for non-research purposes (such as medical treatment or diagnosis). (Note: Some research in this category may be exempt from the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects (45 CFR 46.104(d))
  6. Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes.
  7. Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited to, research on perception, cognition, motivation, identity, language, communication, cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies. (Note: Some research in this category may be exempt from the HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects 45 CFR 46.101 (b)(2) and (b)(3). This listing refers only to research that is not exempt.)
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