Human Research Protection Program

NIH Releases Final Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research

On June 21, 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued the “NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research.” This policy establishes the expectation that in NIH funded, domestic multi-site studies where each site will conduct the same protocol involving non-exempt human subject research, all sites will use a single IRB. The policy applies to studies supported through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or the NIH Intramural Research Program, but does not apply to career development, research training or fellowship awards. Applicants/offerors will be expected to include a plan for the use of a single IRB in the applications/proposals submitted to the NIH.


The policy applies to all competing grant applications (new, renewal, revision, or resubmission) with receipt dates on or after May 25, 2017. Ongoing, non-competing awards will not be expected to comply with this policy until the grantee submits a competing renewal application. For contracts, the policy applies to all solicitations issued on or after May 25, 2017.

The MSU Human Research Protection Program is working to incorporate this new policy into its processes and will work with researchers and others impacted by this new policy, including MSU Sponsored Programs Administration. Additional information will be communicated in the upcoming months, as NIH releases guidance and FAQs that will assist the MSU HRPP with the implementation of the policy.