Institutional Review Boards (IRBMED)

IRBMED team in a conference room

IRBMED accreditation logoA component of the University of Michigan's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and a unit of the Office of Research, the six Institutional Review Boards of the University of Michigan Medical School (IRBMED) oversee human subjects research conducted at the Medical School and Michigan Medicine. Read more About IRBMED.           


During the COVID-19 pandemic, IRBMED is committed to responding to matters associated with human participant research as circumstances evolve. Study teams are encouraged to monitor this website for changes in workflows and for guidance. IRBMED and its review functions remain fully operational. IRBMED News, Updates and Announcements Related to COVID-19 are published here​​​

U-M Office of Research: Latest Update to Research Guidelines during COVID-19

April 21,2021 VPR UPdate: News from the Vice President for Research 

  • Laboratories and research spaces across the three U-M campuses may operate at a density capacity that safely allows for at least six feet of social distancing between personnel.
  • Study teams (including those newly applying for Tier 3 activation) are required to work within the guidelines outlined in their Human Research Activation Checklist. Researchers must resubmit their checklist if they intend to transition from remote to in-person activity and/or from clinician to other study team members.
  • Laboratories and research spaces across the three U-M campuses may begin to operate at a density capacity that safely allows for at least six feet of social distancing between personnel. After March 31, there is no longer a mandate to maintain 144 square feet per person.


Information for Human Research Activity Permissions during COVID-19

  • FAQs and updates from UMOR  and IRBMED FAQs

  • Direct questions on reactivation procedures or required pauses to

  • Direct questions for specific IRBMED applications to the IRB staff owner of the submission (this information is available in eResearch). 

  • Send general questions regarding IRBMED submissions to

UMOR Key Links

UMOR Research Re-engagement Website

Guidelines for how to safely re-engage limited research activity are available on the UMOR research re-engagement website. 

UMOR Research Re-Engagement Website



Additional COVID-19 related information from UMOR:

Re-engagement Communication from U-M Vice President Dr. Cunningham, June 19

Official announcement that U-M research leadership has developed protocols and procedures to safely re-engage in-person human research activity with the Activation process for Human Research beginning June 22. 

June 19 Re-Engagement Communication from U-M Vice President for Research, Rebecca Cunningham


IRBMED Key Links

Study-specific Planning for Research Reactivation

Guidance for Study-Specific Planning for Research Reactivation includes procedures for beginning operations during research reactivation by focusing on some of the important steps study teams should take in preparing their activation plans in compliance with applicable regulations, UMOR and IRBMED procedures, and best practices.

This guidance is available on the webpage: IRBMED Guidance: Human Research Reactivation. (July 10)

Also available: IRBMED Guidance: Initiating New COVID-19 Related Research (July 10)

Reporting Time-Sensitive Modifications

IRBMED remains adequately resourced to address time-sensitive submissions promptly. Once a submission is a received by IRBMED, it will be screened and assigned to the appropriate IRBMED staff within 24 hours during the normal business hours. Submission volumes are closely monitored by IRBMED so additional resources (weekend coverage, additional board meetings, eResearch tools, etc.) can triggered as needed. 

IRBMED Guidance: Reporting Time-Sensitive Modifications (UPDATED, December 14, 2020)

Single IRB and Multi-Site Research Information for Research Reactivation

Ceded studies

Studies that are utilizing an external IRB must still follow all UMOR procedures for ramping up the study.  This includes obtaining approval from the Reactivation Committee.  An amendment (or ORIO) must also be submitted to IRBMED prior to re-opening the study.

sIRB Instructions

Please check back to this page frequently for specific instructions and guidance regarding ramping up sIRB studies.

All UM study teams will need to collect current information from each participating site regarding current, local study status. If UM is the IRB of Record, as the lead study team, download this Single IRB COVID-19 Checkpoint Survey for Participating Sites and fill out the study title and HUM#. After that is done, send this document to all of the participating sites that UM IRBMED is the IRB of record for. Each site will need to fill out the survey and return it as directed at the bottom of the survey.  


IRBMED COVID-19 FAQs Related to Research Reactivation

IRBMED COVID-19 FAQs Related to Research Reactivation

A list of FAQs is available to answer commonly asked questions related to IRBMED submissions and research reactivation. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, contact the IRB staff owner of the submission (this information is available in eResearch) or send your question to

Also see the UMOR COVID-19 Research Re-engagement website for FAQs on Human Research Re-engagement and re-engagement guidelines. 

IRBMED News, Updates and Announcements Related to COVID-19

IRBMED News, Updates and Announcements Related to COVID-19 are published here​​​. 

Additional Relevant Guidance

COVID-19 Guidance Related to Informed Consent Procedures

Note: The ‘Wet Ink Signature / No Photo’ and ‘No Signature’ methods are not to be utilized outside of COVID-19 circumstances as they represent FDA guidance for obtaining consent during the pandemic. Contact IRBMED ( or 734-763-4768) with questions about these procedures.

Medical School Office of Research, Research Reactivation Updates

Research Reactivation updates from units within the U-M Medical School Office of Research.

OHRP Guidance

OHRP Issues Guidance on COVID-19, Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) issued guidance for institutional review boards (IRBs) and the research community on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (April 8)

FDA Guidance

FDA Guidance on Conduct of Clinical Trials of Medical Products During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Guidance for Industry, Investigators, and Institutional Review Boards (Updated April 16)

Of note regarding documentation for missed protocol-specified procedures, the FDA urges investigators to capture specific information in the case report form that explains the basis of missing data, including the relationship to COVID-19 for missing protocol-specified information (e.g., from missed study visits or study discontinuations due to COVID-19)

NIH Extension to Active Non-NIH Certificates of Confidentiality

NIH Issues Automatic 12 Month Extension to Active Non- NIH Certificates of Confidentiality, To decrease the burden for the research community, during the public health emergency for COVID-19, NIH is automatically extending the expiration dates for NIH issued CoCs that were current (i.e., not expired) as of April 15, 2020.
(April 15)



IRBMED December 2020 Holiday Hours

IRBMED will be closed Friday, December 25, 2020 - Friday, January 1, 2021. The office will re-open Monday, January 4, 2021. 

If you have an emergency related to human subject research when the office is closed, please call the UM operator at (734) 936-4000 and ask them to page the designated Chair on-call.


IRBMED Seminar Series: Regulatory and Financial Implications of Single IRB Review for Multi-Site Research

October 13, 2020

IRBMED hosted an installment of its Seminar Series on October 13 that focused on the regulatory and financial implications of Single IRB (sIRB) review for multi-site research (MSR). Presentations described U-M procedures and processes in place to comply with regulatory and institutional requirements under sIRB mandates. New information regarding financial considerations and IRBMED efforts for Quality Assurance for these application types were also shared. Slides for this seminar and other previous installments of the Seminar Series are available


SignNow Software HIPAA and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant

April 9, 2020

SignNow Software is HIPAA and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant for patient signatures. Study Coordinators are no longer required to have patients sign the HIPAA Permission to Use SignNow form before signing informed consent documents. See IRBMED updated guidance for Informed Consent Procedures Using Electronic Systems and Remote Use of Paper Documents and guidance for the use of SignNow for Electronic Informed Consent Procedures.


New NIH Online Application System for Certificates of Confidentiality

March 3, 2020

Certificates of Confidentiality (CoCs) protect the privacy of research subjects by prohibiting disclosure of identifiable, sensitive research information to anyone not connected to the research except when the subject consents or in a few other specific situations. 

NIH has updated its Certificate of Confidentiality request process for non-NIH funded research through a new CoC online system. The current Certificate of Confidentiality system is being retired in March 2020. NIH will be unable to accept new CoC requests from March 11 to March 19, 2020, while NIH transitions to the new CoC system. The new system streamlines and simplifies the CoC request process by using self-certification statements and shortened text fields, as opposed to attachments. The new system also requires direct submission by the authorized institutional official rather than the investigator. NIH will update its CoC webpage to provide additional information about these upcoming changes. 

Please note that this update does not apply to NIH funded research. NIH provides Certificates automatically for all NIH-funded and conducted research studies that began on or after December 13, 2016 fall per the NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality.

Key Points:

  • NIH will be unable to accept new CoC requests from March 11 to March 19, 2020, while NIH transitions to the new CoC system.
  • As of March 13, 2020, access to the current system will no longer be available. Current users who wish to obtain copies of their CoC documentation should access the system prior to that date.

​​Additional information is available at the NIH Certificates of Confidentiality website:


Planned Administrative Withdrawal of Applications by IRBMED

March 4, 2020

An IRB application is considered “abandoned” by IRBMED when the application has been with the study team for more than 6 months without the study team addressing the changes required for approval. This applies to new study applications (HUMs) as well as child submissions (AME, SCRs, and ADVs). Addressing these large volumes of “abandoned” studies that do not have an appropriate state of closure is important as we start planning toward transition to the new eResearch application in the coming years.

This announcement describes IRBMED’s action plan to manage these abandoned IRB applications, beginning on March 2, 2020.

  • New study applications or Amendments that have been pending since 2018 or earlier years, will be withdrawn in the eResearch system through the “Administrative Withdrawal” activity without prior individual notice to study teams.  After this action is completed, study team members will be notified of the action through an automated correspondence in eResearch. After an application is withdrawn, it is archived and no longer able to be submitted; however, study teams will be able to access information from the IRB application at any time.
  • For new study applications or Amendments pending from January 2019 to September 2019, the study team will be contacted in eResearch for a status update.  If there is no response from the study team by the timeframe specified in the correspondence, these applications will also be administratively withdrawn by IRBMED.  After an application is withdrawn, it is archived and no longer able to be submitted; however, study teams will be able to access information from the IRB application at any time.
  • For Continuing Reviews or ADV (AE/ORIO) submissions, irrespective of the timeframe, the study team will be contacted in eResearch for a status update. 

Contact IRBMED with any questions or concerns. or 734-763-4768



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All Guidance

Guidance documents represent the current thinking on protection of human subjects in research. You can search and bookmark any guidance document in Research A-Z.


documentsInformed Consent & Assent Templates

IRBMED offers numerous downloadable templates to assist researchers in creating informed consent and assent documents. In addition to standard consent and assent templates, several specialty templates, for use in specific types of research situations, are also offered. You can search and bookmark any template in Research A-Z.

U-MIC logoEducation & U-MIC

The goal of IRBMED’s Education Program is to meet the ongoing educational needs of the research community. In addition to in-person classroom education on an assortment of relevant topics, IRBMED also offers multimedia presentations (U-MIC), which are short videos and voiceover slide shows that address topics relating both to ethics in human subjects research and to IRB procedures.


icon of paper labeled with S.O.P.Standard Operating Procedures

The IRBMED Standard Operating Procedures serve as the method by which the IRBMED implements the governing rules of the HRPP Operations Manual (OM). The IRBMED Standard Operating Procedures serve as a reference for investigators, IRBs, administrators, and others.


crowd of people iconInformation for Study Subjects

The IRBMED protects the rights and welfare of participants in clinical trials and other human subjects research studies by careful review and monitoring of research in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and University policies.

Question mark iconFrequently Asked Questions

A list of FAQs is available to answer commonly asked questions by the research community. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please contact us at



Standard Informed Consent Template

Exempt Human Subjects Research

Standard Operating Procedures

Adverse Event Reporting

Other Reportable Information or Occurrence (ORIO)



Contact us at or 734-763-4768 / (Fax 734-763-1234)

2800 Plymouth Road, Building 520, Room 3214, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

A list of IRBMED staff is available in the Personnel Directory, or view the list of Regulatory Teams.