IRB Reliance (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 “reliance” or “deferral” agreement.

Instructions for Multi-Institutional Research

CTSI Partners Deferral Request Form – Use this form if your study involves Blood Center of Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin*, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital, or Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Email the completed form to

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

Generic IRB Reliance Request Form – For all other institutions. Email this form to or contact us for more information.


SMART IRB Participating Institution logo

A number of institutions are now using an electronic system called SMART IRB to arrange reliance 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.