RIT’s Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research requires that the Human Subjects Research Office (HSRO) review all research involving human subjects and this includes research activities that fall into an Exempt research category as defined in the Federal Regulations. Institutions may differ in their approach to reviewing Exempt Category research and in their requirements for providing information about the research to prospective participants.
To increase the transparency around research participation and provide subjects with sufficient information about the research to protect their rights and welfare, subjects participating in Exempt research activities reviewed by the HSRO must be provided with written information about the research and their part in it. Investigators are not expected to get a signature on a consent form documenting consent. Data collected through online mechanisms may present this information at the top of survey instruments.
To make it easier to discuss the requirements and the process by which it is provided to subjects, we call this "consent" and "the consent process" when speaking about both Exempt and Non-Exempt research projects.
Exempt research projects can use the same general requirements for consent that Non-Exempt projects use, and the same basic elements of informed consent but don't have to provide the Key Information section at the top of the consent form. If the Investigator feels the consent process would benefit from the addition of a Key Information section it can be added. The HSRO reserves the right to require a Key Information section in the consent form of an Exempt project if it feels the information would assist a prospective subject or legally authorized representative in understanding the reasons why one might or might not want to participate in the research.