Collaborations on Human Subjects Research

Research may involve researchers from outside UC Santa Cruz, and more than one institution and be within the responsibility of more than one Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

In these cases, investigators may request that only one IRB reviews the research. If all involved parties agree, and each institution’s internal requirements are met, UC Santa Cruz may agree to one of the following arrangements:

  1. The UCSC IRB will rely on the other institution’s IRB review. 
  2. The UCSC IRB will review for the other institution. 
  3. The UCSC IRB will review for an independent investigator not affiliated with UC Santa Cruz.

To avoid delay with IRB approval, reach out to the external IRB to see if they are open to a reliance agreement with UC Santa Cruz prior to submitting a study for review.

A reliance agreement, or IRB authorization agreement (IAA), is a written agreement between two collaborating institutions that allows one institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review on behalf of the other’s, while establishing responsibilities for both institutions.

It is usually specific to a single study.

It may be recorded by using SMART IRB Online Reliance System, or by using a form.

An inter-institutional authorization agreement (IIAA) is a written agreement between UC Santa Cruz and an independent investigator who is not affiliated with any qualified IRB.

This agreement allows UC Santa Cruz to review on behalf of the investigator and establishes investigator responsibilities.

See UCSC IRB Policy on IRB Reliance for information on how the IRB of record is determined.

Last modified: May 13, 2024