UIS faculty and students benefit from collaborative research with other scientists.  When those scientists are at other institutions, and human research is involved, then coordinating IRB proposal submissions is necessary to proceed smoothly.

When we receive an IRB application that indicates there is a co-investigator from another institution that has a Federalwide Assurance with OHRP (or a research amendment to an approved application adding such a collaborator is submitted), it is our policy to require written documentation of IRB approval from your collaborator’s IRB. In these cases you may obtain University of Illinois IRB approval before your collaborator’s IRB approval is obtained, but you must submit a copy of their IRB approval letter before they can engage in human subjects research activities related to your approved protocol.

For multi-site research above the Exempt level, federal rules require the use of a single IRB. UIS is a participant in the SMART IRB system, which helps coordinate multi-site IRB agreements. Follow their online Reliance system for setting up your multi-site study. UIS IRB staff are available to help.

Memorandum of Understanding

The purpose of a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) is to formalize an affiliation between University of Illinois and another institution that have researchers who frequently collaborate with UIS researchers on protocols that involve human subjects research. The MOU is established by each institution’s office for research (such as our Office of Research and Sponsored Programs), IRB, Human Subjects Review Officer, legal counsel, etc. The difference between an MOU and an Institutional Authorization Agreement is that the MOU can be used to cover any collaborative research that includes researchers from both institutions on protocols involving human subjects research, where each IRB agrees that the MOU can be used so that one IRB will be the IRB of record (as opposed to institutional authorization agreements, which are protocol specific).

When each IRB agrees to use the MOU for the project, a brief letter is sent from the institution that will use the MOU to rely on the other IRB. In cases where the University of Illinois IRB will rely on your collaborator’s IRB to be the IRB of record, UIS researchers will not need to file a University of Illinois IRB application (as we will rely on the approved application at the other IRB). Conversely, when the other institution is using the MOU to rely on the Illinois IRB, then the campus researchers will need to file an IRB application and get approval.

Currently UIS only has an MOU with the IRB at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Contact ora@uis.edu for more information or assistance in establishing an MOU.