Investigators do not determine their research to be exempt from review. Only the Review Board may provide exemptions through its review processes. However, some pre-exemptions may be applied to an activity that:

a. is not classified as a research activity. Research is defined as: “A systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalisable knowledge.”

b. does not involve human subjects. A human subject is defined as “a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information.”

Research activities which only involve human subjects in one or more of the following categories may be determined to be exempt from Ashesi University Human Subject Review Committee review. Requests for exemption must cite the statutory basis for the requested exemption from the categories listed below:

I. Research

  • Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings involving regular education practices.
  • Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), if information taken from these sources, is recorded so that subjects cannot be identified, directly or indirectly, through identifiers linked to the subjects.
  • Research involving observation of public behaviour or survey or interview procedures for all of the conditions below. This exemption does not apply for research involving children, except where the investigator does not participate in observing activities.
    • The research does not place subjects at the risk of civil or criminal liability or damage the subject’s financial standing or employability, AND
    • The research does not deal with sensitive aspects of the subject’s behaviour, such as illegal conduct, drug use, sexual behaviour or use of alcohol, AND
    • The research does not use materials, procedures or settings likely to be embarrassing, upsetting or intrusive to the subjects, AND
    • The subject cannot be identified, and confidentiality is protected.
  • All research involving survey or interview procedures is exempt, without exception, when the subject is an elected or appointed official or a public office candidate.
  • 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 in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified directly or indirectly through identifiers linked to the subject).

II. Program Review

  • Government Regulations Exemptions. Research and demonstration projects that are conducted by or subject to the approval of Ghana government department or agency heads, and that 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; or 4) possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.

Note: The above exemptions do not apply to research involving venerable groups like prisoners or institutionalised patients as subjects.