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SMU is one of a few universities in the nation to include a voting student member on its Board of Trustees.

Exempt Projects

Applications for projects that might be exempt will be reviewed by the Chair and at least one other committee member. These applications are sent out via e-mail on a continual basis. Although decisions regarding the exempt status of a project often can be made within a few days, the process may take longer, especially if the committee members determine that the project is not exempt.

Exempt projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings involving normal educational practices, such as research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.
  2. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior, unless:
    1. information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and
    2. any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability, or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, or reputation.
  3. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior that is not exempt if:
    1. the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office.
    2. federal statute(s) require(s) without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.
  4. Research, involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, records, pathological specimens, or diagnostic specimens, if these sources are publicly available, or if the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.
  5. Research and demonstration projects, which are conducted by or subject to the approval of department or agency heads, and which are designed to study, evaluate, or otherwise examine:
    1. public benefit or service programs.
    2. procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs.
    3. possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures.
    4. possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.
  6. Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies if
    1. wholesome foods without additives are consumed.
    2. a food is consumed that contains a food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural chemical or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe, by the Food and Drug Administration, or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.