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Reliance Agreements

JHM IRB is willing to review requests for reliance on an external IRB as well as requests for JHM to act as the IRB of record. Typically, requests for reliance are submitted to our IRB at two time points:

a) when studies are in their planning stages, and
b) when studies are ready to be submitted for IRB review

For more information see Single IRB FAQs.

Reliance Request Instructions

The first step in the reliance request process is to complete a reliance request. The JHM IRB reliance team will review the information provided in the reliance request and will contact you with next steps.

For studies that are in the planning stage [e.g. you are preparing a grant submission or have just been awarded grant funds but are not yet ready to submit your protocol for IRB review], the JHM IRB will review your reliance request to determine whether we are willing to enter a reliance agreement.

For studies that are ready to be submitted for IRB review, once you have received notification from the JHM IRB reliance team to submit an application, please following the instructions provide below [as applicable]:

Request for Planning Phase Review

In cases where JHU SOM IRB will serve as the Single IRB and Johns Hopkins is not otherwise engaged in the research, and documentation of IRB approval for is needed to satisfy Just-in-Time requirements/permit release of funds, external investigators should complete the Planning Phase Request Tool.

Investigator Expectations

Use the applicable flowchart below to track the submission and outcome of your reliance request:

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine IRB is a signatory to the SMART IRB reliance agreement platform. Interested in learning more about SMART IRB? Click Here!


JHSPH and Homewood investigators preparing grant submissions and new applications that propose relying on an external sIRB should contact the JHSPH ( or Homewood IRB ( for further guidance. 

All other reliance requests will be managed by the IRB associated with the PI’s division.

Please contact with questions about the SOM IRB sIRB process.