This section of the Reliance Manual provides information on each of the UW-Madison IRB reliance partnerships. UW-Madison participates in a variety of reliance partnerships, all designed to streamline the IRB review process for multisite and collaborative research studies. The status, scope, and process for each reliance partnership differ. Please contact RELIANT ( with any questions.

UWHC Partners/Affiliates

UW-Madison has agreements in place to serve as IRB of record for the following entities, therefore no additional agreements need to be in place for UW-Madison IRBs to serve as IRB of record for studies involving these entities:

  • University Hospital and Clinics
  • University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation
  • Morgridge Institute for Research

Please contact RELIANT ( for additional information.


While UW Health has a partnership agreement with Meriter, this agreement does not encompass human research and Meriter still has its own IRB. For studies involving UnityPoint Health-Meriter, please work with RELIANT and the Meriter IRB office to determine the best IRB of record for your study.

UW Health in Northern Illinois (formerly SwedishAmerican)

While UW Health has a partnership agreement with SwedishAmerican, this agreement does not encompass human research and SwedishAmerican still has its own IRB. If you are interested in conducting research at SwedishAmerican (including using or accessing medical records), please contact RELIANT ( for help.

VA Requirements

UW-Madison does not have the authority to cede review to another IRB on behalf of the Madison VA nor to agree to serve as the reviewing IRB for any external sites involved with a VA study or any VA sites study teams may want to add to a non-VA study. Please contact the Madison VA Research Office first for assistance in determining whether single IRB review can be used for your study.

Sending or Receiving Specimens

When UW-Madison sends, the first step is to determine if the receiving institution is engaged in human research. The study team receiving specimens from UW-Madison will need to consult with their own IRB regarding an engagement determination. If the IRB at the recipient site determines that it is engaged in human research, then a reliance agreement may be appropriate if the study falls within the parameters for when UW-Madison will cede or serve (See Appendix A and B).

For UW-Madison study teams receiving specimens from other sites, similar assessments will need to be made to determine whether UW-Madison is engaged in human research and, if so, what kind application is needed, including whether IRB review can be ceded to another institution.

For more information on sending or receiving specimens, see HRP-103-Investigator Manual.

Data Transfer and Material Use Agreements

Study teams are responsible for ensuring required agreements for data or biospecimen transfer (e.g., data use agreements, material transfer agreements) are in place prior to the UW-Madison receiving or transferring data or biospecimens. Data Transfer and Material Use Agreements (DTUA and MTA) are separate from IRB review. The need for a DTUA and/or MTA is not affected by using a single IRB; these are institutional requirements that apply regardless of reviewing IRB. For more information, see HRP-103-Investigator Manual and HRP-309-WORKSHEET-Ancillary Review Matrix. Also see the Guidance on External Sharing of Human Subjects Research Data page or Guidance on Receiving Human Subjects Research Data from an External Entity.