Expedited Review Information

While the name of this review type implies a quick review, the term “expedited” has nothing to do with the speed of the review. Federal regulations allow certain types of applications to be reviewed by a single reviewer instead of a full committee, and the term for this type of review is “expedited”.

To qualify for an expedited review, research must fall into one of nine expedited categories (see Worksheet: Eligibility for Review Using the Expedited Procedure HRP-313). These categories involve no more than minimal risk to subjects. Some examples of expedited research are:

  • studies involving collection of hair, saliva or dental plaque samples,
  • studies of blood samples from healthy volunteers,
  • studies of existing pathological specimens with patient identifiers.

Unlike Full Committee Review, expedited review is done by a single experienced reviewer. The reviewer will evaluate the research for the criteria for approval. Reviewers conducting an expedited review may exercise all of the authority of the IRB except that they may not disapprove a study. When a subcommittee cannot approve the research under expedited review, the study is referred to the full Committee for review.

Applications routed for expedited review will be placed in the designated reviewer queue. For administrative processing purposes, the application may be assigned to an agenda date, but the date does not indicate when the research will be reviewed. These applications are reviewed based on the date they were received and the expertise of the available designated reviewers.

The designated reviewer will evaluate the application to determine if the criteria for approval have been met. If needed, the reviewer will unlock the package in IRBNet and send you a message requesting revisions, justification, or clarification. You must respond to the requests and re-lock the package before the IRB can complete the review of the application.

Because the expedited process is not limited by the committee meeting date, the reviewer will continue to request revisions and/or clarification until the criteria for approval are met. The reviewer will not issue a determination letter for the application until all revisions have been completed. Occasionally research routed to a designated reviewer cannot be approved using the expedited procedure; when this happens the application will be forwarded to the convened board for a determination.