Final NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a policy on the use of a single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for multi-site research. The policy covers NIH-funded non-exempt human subjects research, and applies to sites of multi-site studies conducting the same research protocol at each site in the United States. Per the Federal Register’s website, "The goal of this policy is to enhance and streamline the IRB review process in the context of multi-site research so that research can proceed as effectively and expeditiously as possible. Eliminating duplicative IRB review is expected to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens and systemic inefficiencies without diminishing human subjects protections. The shift in workload away from conducting redundant reviews is also expected to allow IRBs to concentrate more time and attention on the review of single site protocols, thereby enhancing research oversight."

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Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Last Updated: Friday, March 9, 2018

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