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Adapted from a photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash.


In April 2018, the Purdue Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) released its Purdue Research Online Portal Exemption Logic (PROPEL). PROPEL collects study information uniformly through an electronic application. The system also provides immediate feedback about whether proposed research with human subjects qualifies for exemption from IRB review as defined in the federal regulations.

In general, PROPEL can assess exemption status for proposed studies conducted with adult participants, collecting only anonymous data. The system can also be utilized for use of existing repository/banked data or samples as long as the origin of the samples is clearly articulated. Users should not apply with PROPEL for studies that involve vulnerable populations, data that may adversely affect study participants, or research procedures that present elevated risk to a participant.

To access PROPEL, go to and click on “Submit a Protocol.” Users will need a valid Purdue University Career account and should read through the instructions prior to submitting. All studies must include information for the principal investigator, who is typically a Purdue University faculty member. PROPEL submissions are reviewed by Purdue HRPP staff for applicability and accuracy. Before beginning a PROPEL submission, please ensure that all research staff have had proper human subjects research training.

Questions about PROPEL or exemption categories? Please contact to discuss your protocol.

Writer: Ianthe “Cookie” Bryant-Gawthrop, Director, Research Regulatory Affairs and Human Research Protection Program,