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.

All NIH and DHHS funded research must use a single IRB for multi-site research (excluding exempt research and research done at international sites).  The University of Pittsburgh IRB has a dedicated Reliance Team to assist you in navigating the steps.

Requesting Reliance, sIRB Letters of Support or sIRB Consultation

Setting up reliance agreements takes preparation and time. Reviewing the proper guidance for Cede Requests or IRB of Record Requests can go a long way in preparing for your submission. To request reliance, budget informaiton, sIRB letters of support or sIRB Consultation, please go to the Reliance Request System to create and submit a new request.  If you are considering submitting a grant to NIH or another DHHS agency where the University of Pittsburgh will be the IRB of Record, you must contact the Reliance Team as soon as possible at for budgeting information. 


If the University of Pittsburgh will be the IRB of Record, a budget must be created by the Reliance Team prior to submission of the grant to the funding agency.  The Pitt IRB reserves the right to decline service as single IRB for multi-site studies that do not budget appropriately for reliance services. NIH guidance allows for the budgeting of direct costs for these activities. If funded by other sources, investigators are encouraged to contact their funding agency prior to proposal submission to determine if single IRB fees can be included in the budget.

Reliance Guidance