Medical Institutional Review Board

Health Research Oversight

In February 2022, the EBCI MIRB transitioned to an online format for submissions. Researchers must use the Mentor system to submit all documents. View the “Important Documents” section located on this page for more information regarding the new process for submission and account creation on Mentor.

The Mission of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Medical Institutional Review Board

(MIRB) is to protect the Tribe and its members, to ensure a mutual and beneficial partnership between the Cherokee people and researchers, and to ensure that all health-related research activities respect, promote, and benefit the health of EBCI Tribal members.

The EBCI Medical Institutional Review Board was founded in 2000 by Tribal Resolution (Resolution No. 187 [2002]) as a sister IRB to the EBCI Cultural Institutional Review Board (CIRB) to assure expertise in review and assessment of health-related research proposals. The MIRB comprises nine medical, public health, behavioral health, legal, cultural, and community representatives with experience in evaluation of research, and the membership is always majority enrolled American Indian/Alaska Native. The MIRB is housed in the Public Health and Human Services Division (PHHS) and supported by the Secretary of PHHS. The MIRB maintains registration with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (US DHHS OHRP), and is compliant with US 45 CFR.

Why EBCI Has An Institutional Review Board

For many generations, research has been conducted on Native populations with varying regard for their autonomy, sovereignty, safety, privacy, and benefit, and often without their participation or proper permission. There have been instances of profound damage to Tribal cultures and individuals as a result of research performed by outside entities.

The establishment of Tribal IRBs is a powerful means to bring the evaluation and approval process for research requests into the hands of those who will most benefit from, or be harmed by, these requests. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has complete and final say over any health-related or cultural research proposals and their results performed in the EBCI community — that is, on Tribal lands or on any member of the Tribal community — to protect our people and lands and to assure that any research performed has applicability to EBCI and potential benefits to the community.

Research Approval Process

The MIRB meets on an ad hoc basis to review research protocol submissions. Please be aware that the entire approval process takes a minimum of one month and may take up to five months. Because of the necessity to submit a Resolution and present a proposal to Tribal Government, there is no “fast track” process for proposal approval.

No research may be conducted on EBCI Tribal Lands without explicit approval by the EBCI Cultural or Medical IRB and a Tribal Resolution.

If any member of the Tribal community knows of any research being conducted on Tribal lands that has not been approved by the MIRB or the CIRB, please contact us immediately at

To reach the Cultural Institutional Review Board, contact Bo Taylor at or (828)-346-6898.​

Medical Institutional Review Board

43 John Crowe Hill
PO Box 666
Cherokee, NC 28719

Lyndsey Henderson

Monday – Friday
7:45 am – 4:30 pm

Continuing Review Of research

The MIRB requires each researcher to provide a review of their proposal‘s progress every 12 months at minimum from the date of  approval. Also, the MIRB requires that researchers submit a copy of manuscripts or publications that result from the research proposal before they are published. If the research project has any adverse results, the researcher must report these to the MIRB immediately. Continuing reviews, publications, adverse results, and amendments should be submitted on the Mentor system within the existing protocol submission. Instructions for continuing review submission can be found under important documents. 

EBCI MIRB: Important Documents

The following list comprises documents that are important to the submission process. It is important to use the Mentor Procedures document to navigate the online system used for protocol submission. Additionally, please review the Process Flow Chart, the Informed Consent Checklist, and Protocol Submission form before submitting.

EBCI Research Project Results: What Did This Research Show?

June 2019. O’Connell, University of Colorado-Denver: “Improving Health Care Delivery Project: The Health Status, Service Utilization, and Treatment Costs of American Indians with Diabetes

June 2019. O’Connell, University of Colorado-Denver: “Improving Health Care Delivery Project: Utilization of Education, Case Management, and Advanced Practice Pharmacy Services


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