Any IRB with a federalwide assurance, or registration, filed with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) can serve as a sIRB. This includes IRBs that are not affiliated with the institutions involved in the study. It also includes the “independent” IRBs such as WIRB and Quorum that are not affiliated with any institution.
In most situations, the lead PI, in collaboration with the IRB office at the lead PI’s institution, will select the sIRB. The selected IRB must be willing to serve as the sIRB and all of the participating sites must agree to rely on the sIRB. Finally, NIH must concur with the selection.
The FIU IRB will not serve as the sIRB for studies involving more than two sites except in rare cases. In most cases we use a pre-selected list of independent IRBs (e.g., WIRB) unless a collaborating institution is adequately equipped for serving as the sIRB. This is consistent with the approach of many FIU peer institutions.