IRB: Review Types and Timelines

Although the initial study application is the same for everybody, processing times vary by review type. The following timeline for approvals is only a guide. It may take more or less time, depending on the completeness of the application and the complexity of the research. With the exception of excluded work, the review type is determined by the IRB office and not by the research team. All submissions are typically screened within 5 business days and you may receive a preliminary response within 5-7 business days. 

For  more detailed information about these review types, including help with understanding when IRB approval is needed, please review the video "An Introduction to the IRB: What and When" posted on our educational materials page.


Self-determination by Principal Investigator that submission of an IRB application is not needed. Use our Exclusion Decision Worksheet [pdf] to make this determination. No confirmation from the IRB Office is needed. 

Exempt Review 

IRB Office evaluates the submission and conducts an administrative review. See our table of exemption categories [pdf] to see what types of studies qualify.

Timeline: 1 week. 

Expedited Review

Individual IRB member conducts the review after screening by IRB analyst.  See the expedited review categories established by the federal regulations to see what types of studies qualify.

Timeline: 1 month.

Full Board Review

Convened IRB committee conducts the review. Any research that poses greater than minimal risk to participants must be reviewed by the full board.

Timeline: 1-2 months. The committee does not meet over the summer and winter sessions.