Single IRB Review


As one of the leading academic research centers in the nation, faculty researchers at the University of Pittsburgh frequently collaborate with external investigators and institutions.  In an effort to reduce duplicate submission and oversight by multiple IRBs for the same protocol, the University of Pittsburgh IRB offers reliance agreement opportunities.   Reliance agreements are arrangements between institutions allowing the IRB of one institution to rely on the IRB of another institution for review of human subjects research.

NIH sIRB Mandate

Effective January 25, 2018, the National Institutes of Health mandated the use of single IRBs as a contingency for funding of NIH multi-center studies. This mandate applies to:

  • NIH funded or supported projects
  • Competing grant applications (new, renewal, revision or resubmission)
  • Grant receipt date on or after 1/25/2018
  • Non-exempt research
  • Conducted at U.S. domestic sites
  • Multi-site research

DHHS sIRB Mandate

Effective January 20, 2020 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will mandate the use of a single IRB for all multi-site research, regardless of funding source. This mandate applies to:

  • All Multi-site research, supported by any Federal Department or Agency
  • Non-exempt research
  • Conducted at U.S. domestic sites
  • Reviewing IRB determined by Federal Agency

Requesting Reliance, sIRB Letters of Support or sIRB Consultation

To request reliance, sIRB letters of support or sIRB Consultation, please go to the Reliance Request System to create and submit a new request.  For detailed information on using an sIRB, please go to the Guidance & Forms portion of our website, visit the R segment of the A-Z Index and review the materials found under the “Reliance” header.