Externally Conducted Research

As part of Mercer University’s research initiative, this institution promotes collaborative research by working with various external institutions, institutional review boards, and independent investigators. When multiple institutions are involved in research, the IRBs of these institutions are responsible for overseeing the research activities and enforcing compliance to all applicable federal and state laws. To avoid duplicate reviews, IRB Reliance Agreements may be arranged to establish one IRB as the designated IRB of Record.

To quickly view information regarding a specific reliance agreement or the requirements for non-Mercer investigators, use the links below

IRB Reliance Agreements

IRB Reliance Agreements are formal, written agreements that allow an institution or independent investigator conducting research to delegate IRB review and approval of research activities to an independent IRB or the IRB of an externally affiliated institution.

IRB Reliance Agreements are required when two or more institutions are involved in human subject research.

The various types of reliance agreements used by collaborating institutions are the IRB Authorization Agreement (IAA), Individual Investigator Agreement (IIA), and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

IRB Authorization Agreement (IAA)

An IRB Authorization Agreement (IAA) is a document used by an assured institution to extend its Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) to external institutions when conducting collaborative research. The institution of primary employment of the Lead Principal Investigator or the institution where most of the research is taking place will be the IRB of Record. The Institutional Officials at both institutions must approve and sign the IAA.

IRB Investigator Agreement (IIA)

An Individual Investigator Agreement (IIA) is a document used by an assured institution to extend for one or more research protocols the applicability of its Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) to cover either collaborating independent investigators or collaborating institutional investigators who are engaged in research. The assured institution must maintain the IIA on file and provide copies to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) upon request.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A Memorandum of Understanding is used to designate an IRB of record for two or more externally affiliated institutions.

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Requirements for Non-Mercer Investigators

Faculty and students NOT associated with Mercer University or any of her externally affiliated institutions seeking to conduct research involving Mercer’s students, faculty, staff, or facilities MUST submit the appropriate Mercer University protocol application forms and have a Mercer Faculty Member serving as a Faculty Sponsor for the research project.

Externally affiliated investigators seeking student information (including emails), MUST complete a Request for Student Information Form to be submitted with the Protocol Application and forwarded to the registrar’s office upon approval by the faculty sponsor.

For more information on conducting collaborative research with Mercer University, contact

Ava Chambliss-Richardson, Ph.D., CIP, CIM

Associate Director of Human Research Protection Programs (HRPP)

Email: ORC_Research@Mercer.edu

Phone: (478) 301-4101

Fax: (478) 301-2329

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