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Selecting an Application and Applying

The MDHHS IRB accepts two forms of applications:

  1. The MDHHS IRB Initial Review Application is the default application. This long form application can be used during any new request for MDHHS IRB review.
  2. The MDHHS IRB Abbreviated Initial Review Application is a special form that can only be used when another organization’s IRB will also be reviewing a research proposal. Using the abbreviated form requires that all the application materials submitted to the other reviewing IRB are also sent to the MDHHS IRB.
    1. This form can be used to request the MDHHS IRB review a research study independently, but at the same time as another IRB.
    2. This form, if submitted with an IRB Authorization Agreement, can also be submitted to request that MDHHS rely on the review provided by another institution’s IRB. Researchers interested in a reliance agreement should work with their institution’s Human Research Protections Program on an authorization agreement before requesting reliance from MDHHS.

The MDHHS IRB only accepts application from a responsible department employee (defined in policy). That means that someone affiliated with MDHHS will need to be part of submitting the application to the MDHHS IRB. If you are an external researcher working with MDHHS on a research project, you should work with your contacts at MDHHS to identify an appropriate responsible department employee. If you plan to submit applications as a responsible department employee, part of that responsibility includes completing required human research protections training. Responsible department employees and primary investigators should complete appropriate training before applying to the MDHHS IRB. External researchers can show evidence of completed training through their home institution to satisfy this requirement.

Completed applications should be sent by email to from the email address of the responsible department employee. Responsible department employees should copy the supervisor that authorized the submission on that email. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of primary Investigators, responsible department employees, and authorizing supervisors, please see the approved MDHHS IRB Policies and Procedures.