The WVDE IRB conducts three types of initial reviews depending upon the level and type of risk inherent in your proposed project. The WVDE does not anticipate conducting studies involving more than minimal risk. “Minimal risk” is defined as studies wherein 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.
Once approved, studies with this status are exempt from additional IRB oversight unless they undergo changes in personnel or design. There are two types of exempt studies:
- Minimal risk studies using existing data or research records that have been de-identified by a second party not connected with the study
- Minimal risk studies using tests, surveys, interviews, or passive observations that involve public figures or are completely anonymous and could not be re-identified and traced to individual participants
Once approved, studies in this category require annual continuation reviews.
- Minimal risk studies involving children or the collection of information that could be personally identifiable or could be damaging to individuals if not adequately protected.
Note: Studies posing more than minimal risk or that otherwise do not meet exempt or expedited criteria would require a full board review. We do not anticipate the WVDE engaging in studies involving more than minimal risk. If such a request were made, materials listed under “Expedited review” should be submitted. A meeting will be called for the full IRB Board to review materials, discuss them, and decide on approval or disapproval.