The primary purpose of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the welfare of
human subjects used in research.


Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46, which applies to:

Research involving human subjects conducted by U.S. Health and Human Services or other federal department or agency that has adopted the federal Office for Human Protections (OHRP) policy that is not otherwise exempt


Non-exempt human subject research covered by Assurance of Compliance

Although community colleges such as Merced College are generally not considered to be “research institutions,” all applicants for Federal grant funds must have an IRB process in place to assure that proposals submitted are compliant with Federal human subjects regulations.

The IRB compliance process applies to all research involving human subjects at Merced College (not just grants), applying to studies such as a dissertation, thesis, or research project. Also, approval of a dissertation or thesis by the institution where the individual is pursuing a degree does not substitute for or constitute approval by Merced College’s IRB.



do no harm

maximize benefits


distribution of burden and benefits is equal

Respect for Persons:

individual autonomy is respected

persons with diminished autonomy need extra protections