Institutional Review Board
Main Content

Initial Review

The WVDE IRB conducts three types of initial reviews depending upon the level of risk inherent in your proposed project.

Typical Review Periods and Materials Needed for Each Category of Initial Review

Type of review


Days to review

Required forms and attachments
(submitted in hard copy)

Note: Once approved, studies with this status are exempt from additional IRB oversight unless they undergo changes in personnel or design.

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


Note: Once approved, studies 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


Full Board

Studies posing more than minimal risk* or that otherwise do not meet exempt/expedited criteria


We do not anticipate the Department engaging in studies involving more than minimal risk. If such a request were made, materials listed under “Expedited Review” should be submitted and a meeting will be called for the full IRB Board to review materials, discuss them, and decide on approval or disapproval.

  *See WVDE IRB Manual for details
**Minimal risk means that 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.