IRB Review Agreements

USC promotes and engages in agreements by which an IRB relies on the review conducted by another entity. These agreements vary in scope, terms, and terminology. These agreements are designed to reduce duplication and increases efficiency by designating a single IRB review when more than one site is involved in a research project. Among the commonly used reliance agreements are:

  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)
  • IRB Authorization Agreements (IRBAA)
  • Master Reliance Agreement (MRA)
  • Collaborative Review Agreement (CRA)

Agreements to which USC is a party:


About IRB Reliance Agreements


Single IRB Review (NIH Mandate)

In 2017 the NIH will begin enforcement of a policy on the use of a single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for multi-site research. A single IRB (sIRB) of record must be used in the review
of human subjects research protocols funded by the NIH that are carried out at more than one site in
the United States. The goal of the policy is to streamline the IRB review process and eliminate
duplicative IRB review without diminishing human subjects protections.