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 all Relying Institution/IRB.

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

If the protocol is ceded to an external IRB, the MIT investigator(s) is/are required to obtain all regulatory information regarding the study, including the approval letter, study protocol and approved consent documents. In addition, the investigator(s) are required to remain in compliance with MIT policies and those set by the reviewing institution.  Any questions and required reporting must be done through the reviewing IRB.

MIT is a member of SMART IRB, a platform designed to ease common challenges associated with initiating multi-site research. Investigators are encouraged to utilize the SMART IRB platform whenever possible. See Participating Institutions for a list of signatory institutions.

Investigators are encouraged to discuss any possible cedes with COUHES staff, or the COUHES Smart IRB Point of Contact, prior to submission.

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.

IRB Screenshot
SMART IRB Point of Contact (POC)
Michael Keohane
(617) 253-6787
Na Hu
(617) 253-6787


Investigators engaged in multi-site research with an institution(s) not associated with the SMART IRB should contact the COUHES office.

NIH Sponsored Research – Single IRB Policy

NIH sponsored research must comply with the Single IRB Policy for Multi-site Research (NOT-OD-16-094). The policy requires research involving multiple sites establish a single IRB (sIRB) for ethical review of non-exempt human subject research. The goal of the policy is to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens and systemic inefficiencies without diminishing human subject protections.

Investigators involved in an NIH sponsored project requesting single IRB review should follow the prompt above.