IRB Deferral Requests

Research projects involving multiple IRBs may qualify for an inter-institutional IRB Authorization Agreement (IAA). This will allow one IRB review and oversee the study on behalf of another IRB. This is called a “deferral” or “reliance” agreement.

Guidance document for helpful hints on the process: Instructions for Multi-Institutional Research

Aurora and UWM – Please visit the Aurora IRB website for their current deferral request form.

*Aurora requires additional approvals before a decision can be made about IRB oversight. Please see the Aurora IRB website for more information.

CTSI Partners Deferral Request Form – Use this form if your study involves Blood Center of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital, or Milwaukee School of Engineering and UWM.  Please submit the completed form to the UWM IRB at or contact us for more information.

*If you are conducting research at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, please also include CHW administrative approval with your request form.

Generic IRB Deferral Request Form – If you are working with any other institution and would like to explore the possibility of an IAA, please complete and submit this form to the UWM IRB at or contact us for more information.


A number of institutions are now using an electronic system called SMART IRB to arrange reliance (deferral) agreements. This system is intended to streamline the process. If you’d like to use SMART IRB for your reliance request, follow these steps:

  1. Verify that the cooperating institutions are also part of SMART IRB by checking the Participating Institutions page.
  2. Request a Smart IRB account.
  3. We’ll receive a notification and approve the creation of your investigator account.
  4. Create a reliance request within the system. The video on this page walks you through how to do that.
  5. We’ll receive the request and decide whether to accept oversight, then send the request on to the other institution(s).
  6. Once the IRBs for all institutions involved in the project have made their decision, you’ll be notified and given instructions for the next steps.

SMART IRB Participating Institution logo