External and Central IRB Reliance Models

Launch in HawkIRB on Thursday, October 22, 2015!

General Submission Process

A Central IRB is a single board that reviews research studies for multiple sites. A Central IRB can be any registered IRB that functions to review multiple sites. Regardless of the IRB providing it, centralized IRB review is one review for a number of sites. Commonly, the sponsor determines which sites are to participate and suggests or requires those sites to use the Central IRB selected to perform the centralized review. In this model, UI may serve as either the IRB of Record or relying role.

When relying on an external or centralized IRB of record, it is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to adhere to policies and procedures of the IRB of record.  In cases when there is an external or centralized IRB utilized, the IRB of Record policies prevail.  However the Principal Investigator will also be required to continue to follow all University of Iowa institutional policies as well as state and local laws governing human subjects research.  The HawkIRB application is designed to capture the majority of the information necessary to identify the Human Research Protection Program review requirements and various institutional policies.    

What do I do next?

If you are interested in pursuing human subjects research utilizing a Central IRB model, please contact the Human Subjects Office at uirb-external@uiowa.edu. We will help you determine which model (see below) may work best for your proposal (Lead IRB of record, relying IRB, commercial IRB models, etc.).

Please note -- VAHCS Studies: The Iowa City VAHCS does not currently accept commercial IRB review. If a Principal Investigator is interested in utilizing a central IRB model for a VAHCS study, he/she should contact the VA Research Office.

Great Plains Collaborative




Western IRB  (WIRB) For use as a commercial IRB

Western IRB (WIRB) as a Central IRB

Investigators seeking to use any other type of multi site central IRB or other External IRB model not previously described should contact the Human Subjects Office via email or speak with the HSO External\Central IRB Coordinator (Anna Mertes) by calling (319) 335-9915. Please refer to the guidance document below for additional details.