UW Research

Identify the Correct IRB

This page describes review arrangements and requirements for specific types of research. If your research is not described here or you wish to request an exception, consult with HSD at hsdrely@uw.edu. Include in your email:

  • The name of the UW PI
  • A brief description of the study, and a copy of the protocol or research plan if available
  • The name of the funding agency, if there is one
  • The names of the other organizations involved in the research
  • For multi-site studies, whether UW is the lead site or a participating site
  • The name of the IRB you are considering
  • (If relevant) The reason why you are requesting an exception

Collaborative research with regional institutions

UW research often involves collaboration with several regional institutions. HSD has cooperative agreements in place that define whose IRB should do the review in varying circumstances, to avoid the need for multiple reviews. Click on the appropriate link to find out whether the UW IRB or your collaborating institution’s IRB should do the review, and how to obtain the review.

If your research involves any of the following regional institutions, the UW IRB will do the review when the UW is engaged in the research, unless the other institution is the direct recipient of any funding for the research and there is no subcontract to the UW.

  • Bloodworks Northwest
  • Public Health – Seattle & King County
  • Northwest Kidney Centers
  • SCCA Proton Therapy Center
  • SCCA clinics (Easlake, Issaquah, Peninsula, Evergreen)

Consult with HSD at hsdrely@uw.edu if your research involves any of these regional institutions:

Industry research

The UW requires all industry-sponsored-and-initiated research to be reviewed by one of the following IRBs. The industry sponsor and/or the UW researcher can choose which one, but the choice must first be authorized by HSD. A $1500 administrative fee is charged to the industry sponsor for HSD’s administrative work throughout the life of the study. The industry sponsor is responsible for paying any IRB review fees.

Oncology related research

The UW IRB does not have sufficient oncology expertise to review most oncology clinical trials. See this page to identify the external IRB that should review a UW oncology clinical trial.

Required by sponsor, research network/consortium, or other involved organization

CITN studies. Cancer Immunotherapy Network (CITN) studies must be reviewed by the National Cancer Institute’s Central IRB. Work with the Cancer Consortium’s Clinical Research Support office to obtain the IRB review.

Jaeb Center for Health Research (JCHR). The UW relies on the Jaeb Center IRB for studies conducted in collaboration with JCHR, but each study must be authorized by HSD on a case-by-case basis.

NMDP and CIBMTR studies. Bone marrow donation or transplantation research involving the National Bone Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) or the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) must be reviewed by the NMDP IRB.

NCTN and cooperative intervention studies. National Clinical Trials Network and cooperative group intervention studies must be reviewed by the National Cancer Institute’s Central IRB. Work with the Cancer Consortium’s Clinical Research Support office to obtain the IRB review.

NEALS Northeast ALS Consortium. NEALS Consortium studies must be reviewed by the Partners IRB.

PETAL Prevention and Treatment of Acute Lung Injury Network. PETAL network studies must be reviewed by the Vanderbilt IRB.

StrokeNet. NIH-funded StrokeNet studies must be reviewed by the University of Cincinnati IRB.

Trial Innovation Network (TIN) studies. These studies must be reviewed by one of the TIN central IRBs.

Washington State agencies. UW research that involves these state and regional government agencies must be reviewed by the Washington State IRB. The agencies are considered to be involved when (1) their employees or agents intervene or interact with research participants; (2) their employee or agents use or disclose individually identifiable private information for research; or (3) the agency receives a direct federal award to conduct human subjects research, even if all activities involving human subjects are carried out by a subcontractor or collaborator.

  • WA Department of Children, Youth, and Families
  • WA Department of Corrections
  • WA Department of Health (including the CHARS database)
  • WA Department of Labor and Industries
  • WA Department of Social and Health Services
  • WA Health Care Authority
  • WA Office of Financial Management
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
  • Spokane County Health District
  • Clark County Health Department
  • Whatcom County Health District

In most cases, HSD must enact a “split agreement” for the WA State IRB to review only the portion involving state agencies and the UW IRB will review the portions of the study not involving the WA state agencies. In some situations, the UW can rely entirely on the review of the WA State IRB. Contact hsdrely@uw.edu to consult on what reliance arrangement is appropriate. Obtain Washington State IRB review by following the instructions after paying the required fee.

Smart IRB

SMART IRB is not an actual IRB. It is an NIH-funded initiative that facilitates the federally-mandated Single IRB requirement. It developed a Master IRB Reliance Agreement (which UW has signed), that encourages collaboration and consistency across IRBs, and offers flexible resources and tools in support of Single IRB review for IRBs and researchers.

HSD must still authorize the use of any external IRB for a specific study under the Master Agreement. In addition, the external IRB using the Smart Master will generally require HSD to negotiate an agreement addendum that outlines some additional details about the IRB review.

UW researchers are not authorized to request IRB review through the Smart IRB Online Reliance system.