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Northwest Missouri State University

What to Submit

There are three review categories/applications: Exempt, Expedited, and Full Review. Use the following criteria to determine which category your research falls within before completing your application:

Determine the potential risk associated with your research.
The level of review is determined by the potential risks/discomforts, hazards, or inconveniences to the participants as well as the vulnerability of your participants.

Examples of vulnerable populations are children, prisoners, persons with mental disabilities, and pregnant women. Research that may be considered as less than minimal risk for nonvulnerable adults may be considered as minimal risk when conducted with vulnerable participants. Thus, in addition to the focus and content of the research, the participant population is considered a factor in determining risk.

The types of risk include:

  1. Psychological, emotional, or sociological risk such as stress, anxiety, guilt, invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, harassment, and lessening of an individual's identity.
  2. Physical pain or risk of injury.
  3. Legal risks to a community or a group of individuals.
  4. Economic or inconveniences such as those that would affect subject's financial standing, employability, insurability, or reputation.

Research considered to be less-than-minimal risk is research in which there is no known risk. Research considered a minimal risk is that which presents only the kinds of moderate risk encountered in daily life by most people (e.g., moderate exercise testing; psychological tests producing minor stress; or surveys involving sensitive topics such as society's recreational drug use or sexual practices). Greater-than-minimal risk procedures are those that may include risk beyond that ordinarily encountered by subjects (e.g., maximal exercise testing, stressful psychological testing, questions about participant's sexual practices or illegal activities).

This chart can be used as a guideline but the category can vary according to the project.

Risk Level Non-vulnerable Participants Vulnerable Participants
Less-than-minimal risk Exempt Expedited or
Full Review
Minimal Risk Expedited Full Review
minimal risk
Full Review Full Review