Single IRB Review Partners

The Health Sciences IRBs participate in a variety of IRB reliance partnerships, all designed to streamline the IRB review process for multisite and collaborative research studies. The status, scope, and process for each reliance partnership differ. Please see below for additional information on each partnership.

In addition to these existing partnerships, the Health Sciences IRBs office is helping lead the NIH-funded SMART IRB initiative to enable single IRB review for multisite studies. SMART IRB is a flexible, national IRB reliance agreement as well as complementary tools and resources to help streamline the IRB review process. UW-Madison has already signed the SMART IRB agreement and many other academic medical centers are in the process of doing so.


If you have any questions about SMART IRB or other reliance partnerships, please email our IRB Reliance Team ( for assistance.

 Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (BTCRC)

The BTCRC is a research partnership involving several Big Ten institutions designed to advance cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, oncology trials. Please see the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (BTCRC) Reliance Fact Sheet for more information.

 Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC)

The GPC is a network of ten medical centers focused on improving healthcare delivery through ongoing learning, adoption of evidence-based practices, and active research dissemination. The GPC has an IRB reliance agreement that has been finalized. Please see the Greater Plains Cooperative (GPC) Reliance Fact Sheet for more information about participating institutions and the GPC reliance process.

 Midwest Area Research Consortium for Health (MARCH)

MARCH is a research partnership among 6 Midwest-based institutions. Please see the MARCH reliance factsheet Midwest Area Research Consortium for Health (MARCH) Reliance Fact Sheet for more information about participating institutions and the MARCH reliance process.

 UnityPoint Health - Meriter & UW Partnership

Established in 2008, the UnityPoint Health - Meriter & UW Partnership is an agreement that allows certain studies involving both institutions to be reviewed by a single IRB of record. Details about what studies qualify for review by a single IRB as well as instructions for using this partnership are provided below.

 Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium (MWPSC)

MWPSC is a research partnership involving pediatric surgeons at 10 children’s hospitals. An IRB reliance agreement for MWPSC is nearing completion. Please see the Midwest Pediatric Surgical Consortium (MWPSC) Fact Sheet for more information about participating institutions and the MWPSC reliance process.

 National Cancer Institute Central IRB (NCI CIRB)

The HS IRBs have an IRB reliance agreement with the NCI CIRB, which provides centralized IRB oversight for institutions conducting certain types of oncology trials. Please see National Cancer Institute Central Institutional Review Board (NCI CIRB) for more information.


UW-Madison is one of twenty-five regional coordinating centers for StrokeNet, a research network focused on stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery. StrokeNet relies on a central IRB to provide IRB oversight for its studies. Please see the StrokeNet Reliance Fact Sheet for more information.


Effective August 1, 2017, WIC has transitioned to SMART IRB. For information about this transition, please see WIC Transition to SMART IRB or contact the HS IRBs Reliance Team ( for assistance.

Keywords:partnerships, BTCRC, GPC, MARCH, Meriter, NCI CIRB, MWPSC, NIRI, NCATS, StrokeNet, multisite, IRB of record, defer, Single IRB, Central IRB, External IRB   Doc ID:48589
Owner:Monica E.Group:Health Sciences IRBs
Created:2015-03-10 10:03 CSTUpdated:2017-07-21 08:32 CST
Sites:Health Sciences IRBs
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