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:

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

For more information refer to HSPP Policy and Procedures


Agreements to which USC is a party

DHS Ceded IRB Review (MOU)
NCATS Smart IRB (IRBAA)
Harvard Catalyst (MRA)
National Cancer Institute’s Central IRB (IRBAA)
NIH StrokeNet (MRA)
USC- Cedars Sinai Medical Center Ceded Review (MOU)
Clinical Translational Science Institute (CSMC and CTSI partners) (MOU)
USC-CHLA Ceded Review (MOU)
USC-Hebrew Union College (MOU)
RAND American Life Panel (IRBAA)
USC and Rancho Los Amigos (CRA)
Vanderbilt IRBshare (MRA)
Hoag-USC Master Collaborative Research Study Agreement


About IRB Reliance Agreements

Developing a Written Reliance Agreement with a Central IRB |Quorum [BROKEN LINK]
IRBrely Initiative for Multisite Research


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.

NIH Policy on the Use of a Single IRB (sIRB)

NIH Single IRB (sIRB) Resources

NIH sIRB Policy FAQs for Extramural Community
NIH Scenarios to Illustrate the Use of Direct and Indirect Costs for (sIRB)
Fed Register Notice re: Materials To Support NIH Serving as an Institutional Review Board
NIH sIRB  Continuing Review Local Context Worksheet