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Multi-Site and Collaborative Research

What is Multi-Site/Collaborative Research?

Ferris Investigators conducting collaborative research--that is, research involving Ferris State University and one or more organization, institution or agency other than Ferris — should contact the IRB office when collaborative research  is being planned. At times, FSU may rely on the IRB of another institution or organization; alternatively, the external site IRB may agree to rely upon the Ferris IRB. Ferris State University will determine reliance on a case-by-case basis where a site reliance agreement is not already in place with the organization.

If the external site does not have an IRB, a letter of permission may be required. Review our IRB Guidance on Obtaining Letters of Permission and/or watch our IRB Zoom - Obtaining Site Permission

Sites with Established IRB Reliance Agreements

Ferris has a reliance agreement in place with Sparrow Health System IRB in which Sparrow IRB relies upon the review and determination of Ferris IRB. For projects involving Sparrow Health, a full application should be submitted to the Ferris IRB via Cayuse IRB; Sparrow Health Institutional processes and procedures still need to be followed.

Ferris has reliance agreements in place with the following sites in which the Ferris State University IRB relies upon their IRB review:

  • Mercy Health Regional IRB
    includes Trinity Health - Michigan, Mercy Health Saint Mary's Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Muskegon
  • Metro Health/University of Michigan Health-West IRB
  • Munson Medical Center IRB
  • Spectrum Health System IRB (excludes Lakeland site)
  • Western Michigan University Homer Styker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed IRB)
    includes Ascension Borgess Hospital, Bronson Healthcare Group, Grace Health, and W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation

For projects involving one of the above sites, the IRB process and procedures at that site should be followed. A brief application to the Ferris IRB via Cayuse IRB should also be submitted and include:

  • CITI Training records for all Ferris investigators
  • the IRB application that was submitted and reviewed by the site IRB
  • Site IRB approval letter

Ferris IRB will then issue a formal letter indicating the reliance is effective for the project.
See screenshot from the Cayuse IRB application below for guidance on how to complete this section. 

Cayuseapp site reliance screenshot

Contact [email protected] with any questions.