Single IRB Review

Request Single IRB Review (Single IRB Review)

Investigators engaged in multi-site research can request a cede, or reliance, agreement when multiple Institutional Review Boards (IRB) are required. The term cede review refers to a reliance in which two or more institutions agree one institution will be designated as the Reviewing Institution/IRB for the study while the other institution(s) serve as the Relying Institution/IRB.

The Reviewing Institution/IRB has jurisdiction and oversight over the ethical review and safety of the research for each Relying Institution/IRB.

Note: Exempt research is not eligible for single IRB review.

Required COUHES Forms:

  1. Complete the appropriate Reliance Request Form for your study application.
  2. Submit the request by SMARTIRB (for participating institutions: or submit an Institutional Authorization Agreement.
  3. For investigators new to the single-IRB process, please complete the appropriate Reliance Request Form and submit to COUHES to begin the review process.

See Forms & Templates for copies of the required documentation.

The SMART IRB Online Reliance System


Follow the link for more information: SMART IRB

To initial a new cede request, select Log In under Get Started.

If you have not already created an account, please visit Request Investigator Access.

The Reliance Request Process in the Online Reliance System must occur in addition to your submission for review by COUHES. The specific steps and requirements will depend on the reviewing IRB, but this is a general overview.

  • Lead PI creates a reliance request for the study in the Online Reliance System.
  • Lead PI requests the desired Reviewing IRB and lists the participating sites.
  • Participating site IRBs confirm their willingness to rely on the proposed reviewing IRB.
  • Proposed reviewing IRB confirms that they will be the reviewing IRB.
  • The Reliance Arrangement Determination is issued, which documents who will be the reviewing IRB.

SMART IRB Point of Contact (POC)

Michael Keohane
(617) 253-6787


Adrienne Showman
(617) 253-6787

For institutions not participating in the SMARTIRB Reliance Agreement, single-IRB is still applicable. Investigators must complete the appropriate Reliance Request Form and submit to COUHES ( for review.

For questions, please see our Single IRB FAQ page or contact the COUHES Office: