The IRB operates with a strict definition of research and human subject. See list of basic HHS terminology.

Further enrich your vocabulary and better understand the scientific terms in a consent document or protocol by browsing NIH’s glossary of commonly used terms: English | Español

What is Research?

Research is a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.

What is a Human Subject?

A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains:

  • Information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens, or
  • Identifiable private information.

Types of IRB Review

You can use the IRB Determination Tool to see if your research protocol requires IRB review. The Gallaudet IRB has three types of review:

  1. Exempt: This doesn’t mean excused or not needed, but that the research project meets the requirements of the review process and meets one of the Exempt Categories.Extempt projects are not reviewed again. 
  2. Expedited: A research protocol that does not qualify for exemption may be eligible for expedited review. View the Expedited Review Categories.Expedited projects need to be reviewed every two years.
  3. Full Board: This review occurs with a research protocol that is not eligible for exempt or expedited review because it is judged to involve more than minimal risk or involves protected populations, such as children, incarcerated individuals, or individuals with cognitive impairments. FBR projects need to be reviewed each year.

Only Gallaudet IRB members can determine what type of review will be applied to a protocol. Please contact us if you have questions.


My research

Enrollment is just a way of saying how many people are involved in your study. It’s inherited from the federal regulations.

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Institutional Review Board

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