Accelerating clinical research studies benefits researchers, research participants, and all who stand to gain from research results. Today, the time it takes to go from a sound research idea to the launch of a new, multi-site clinical research study is too long. A major contributor to the delay is that too many institutional review boards (IRBs) are reviewing the protocol and consent documents for the same study, often with no added benefit in terms of the protections for research participants. To address this bottleneck, NIH has issued a new policy to streamline the review process for NIH-funded, multi-site clinical research studies in the United States. The NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research (pdf) sets the expectation that multi-site studies conducting the same protocol use a single IRB to carry out the ethical review of the proposed research.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health
This information was originally posted on the NIH website: https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/single-irb-policy-streamline-reviews-multi-site-research