Draft NIH Policy Promotes Use of Single IRB for Multi-Site Studies

On December 3, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a draft policy for the “Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research.” The new policy establishes the expectation that multi-site NIH-funded domestic studies will make use of a single IRB of record, rather than multiple local IRBs. Comments on the proposed policy will be collected by the NIH until January 29, 2015.

The Endocrine Society has consistently advocated for the use of single IRBs for multi-site studies in an effort to increase efficiencies while maintaining high standards for the protection of human research subjects. The Society is enthusiastic about the proposed policy and will develop comments to ensure that the final policy remains broadly consistent with the Endocrine Society’s position statement on Central Institutional Review Boards.

— Joe Laakso is associate director, Science Policy, for the Endocrine Society. For more information, go to: www.nih.gov/about/reporting-preclinical-research.htm.

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