Research Knowledge Base
Collaborative Research and Single IRB Review
Version: March 2019
If your project or study involves collaboration with any sites and/or personnel outside the UW-Madison/UW Health/Madison VA then it is considered to be multisite research and IRB reliance issues will need to be addressed. Study teams conducting multisite or collaborative research should become familiar with IRB requirements for such studies, including what information needs to be included in the IRB application and protocol as well as how to address IRB reliance issues.
The IRB issues raised by collaborative research and IRB reliance requirements are often complex. To assist study teams in addressing these issues, the HS-IRBs office has a Reliance Team consisting of staff members with expertise in collaborative research and IRB reliance agreements. Please contact the Reliance Team if you have any questions regarding IRB requirements for collaborative research or single IRB review.
- Overview of IRB Requirements for Collaborative Research
- Tips for Preparing IRB Applications Involving Collaborative Research
- NIH Single IRB Review Policy Resources
- IRB of Record Issues and Collaborating with Non-UW Researchers
- Relying on Another IRB
- Other Reliance Issues
Overview of IRB Requirements Collaborative Research
Whether additional IRB requirements apply to multisite /collaborative research often depends on whether an external site or personnel are engaged in human subjects research. UW-Madison relies on the federal guidance on engagement in research to determine whether IRB oversight for external sites or personnel is required and, if so, what IRB reliance mechanism to use to ensure oversight is in place. Study teams are encouraged to review the resources below to help determine what additional requirements may apply to their study and to contact the Reliance Team with any questions.
- Overview of IRB Requirements for Multisite and Collaborative Research
- IRB Reliance Terms and Definitions
- Engagement in Research
- Frequently Asked Questions about Collaborative Research Requirements
- UW-Madison HRPP Policy on IRB Reliance
- Guidance on the the UnityPoint Health - Meriter & UW IRB Partnership
Tips for Completing IRB Applications for Multisite/Collaborative Research Studies
Study teams conducting multisite/collaborative research need to ensure that both the study protocol and the IRB application address the roles and activities of all external sites and/or personnel. The HS IRBs require that all multisite/collaborative research studies have a protocol, which must include information about how the study activities will be coordinated. Study teams are strongly encouraged to review all of the documents below when preparing their application materials to help ensure the review process goes smoothly.
- How to List and Obtain IRB Approval for Relying Sites
- Single IRB (sIRB) Application in ARROW
- sIRB PowerPoint PDF
NIH Single IRB Review Policy ResourcesThe NIH policy on single IRB review went into effect January 25, 2018. Please see the resources below for more information about this requirement and how to address this in grant proposals.
IRB of Record Issues and Collaborating with Non-UW Researchers
UW-Madison may agree to serve as the IRB of record for an external site or individual engaged in human subjects research as part of a study reviewed by a UW-Madison IRB. Please review the guidance below for information on when the HS or MR IRB may agree to serve as the IRB of record as well as how to submit an IRB of record request.
- HS-IRBs Guidelines for Serving as IRB of Record
- Study Team Responsibilities When UW-Madison Serves as the Reviewing IRB
- How to Submit an IRB of Record Request
- How to Draft Consent and Authorization Documents for Relying Sites
- Training Requirements for External Personnel When the HS IRBs Serve as IRB of Record
- Letters of Cooperation for Non-UW Institutions/Organizations
- International Research Guidance
- Implementing the New Common Rule's Single IRB (sIRB) Mandate
Relying on an External IRB
UW-Madison may cede IRB oversight for eligible studies to an external - IRB. Please see the guidelines below for additional information on when the HS-IRBs will consider ceding IRB review, how to request review by an external IRB, and other resources. NOTE: The HS-IRBs have contracted with independent or commercial IRBs to serve as the IRB of record for industry-sponsored trials.
- Guidelines for Ceding IRB Review to an External IRB
- How to Submit a Request to Cede IRB Review to an External IRB
- Study Team Responsibilities When IRB Oversight Is Ceded to an External IRB
- Release of Grant Funds When IRB Review for a Study is Ceded to an External IRB
- Preparing Consent and Authorization Documents When Relying on an External IRB Review
- UW-Madison Procedures for Using the National Cancer Institute Central Institutional Review Board (NCI CIRB)
Other Reliance Issues
- How to Add a New External Site or Individual to an Approved Study
- Sending or Receiving Specimens/Data/Images Guidance
- UW-Madison Single IRB Review (sIRB) Matrix
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