Contrary to what the title implies, the Streamlined, Multi-Site, Accelerated Resources for Trials, or SMART IRB, is NOT an IRB, but rather it is an online system to facilitate reliance agreements, which are arrangements between institutions allowing the IRB of one or more institutions to rely on the IRB of another institution for the review of human subjects research in which they jointly seek to be engaged. The SMART IRB Portal provides resources—forms, templates, agreements and sample Standard Operating Procedures—that investigators can freely use to co-ordinate, harmonize and streamline IRB review of dual or multi-site studies they propose to conduct in the United States, only.
Development of the SMART IRB platform was funded and supported by NIH to further its new policy [View Policy Notice] mandating all multisite clinical studies it funds to use a single IRB (sIRB) effective 9/25/17. Notwithstanding the original funder of the resource, use of the platform is available to investigators at member institutions, regardless of funding source.
Rutgers University is a member of SMART IRB and our researchers are welcome to review the resources found at its website smartirb.org to begin thinking through the framework for reliance it offers. However, at this time, SMART IRB is in beta testing and not available for actual use. Rutgers Human Subjects Protection Program is currently crafting policies to harmonize with SMART IRB to best serve the needs of our research community and will post guidance documents at its website soon. Until that time, please contact Rutgers HSPP Unit with questions you have about the SMART IRB Portal.