Merced College’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness oversees the District’s federally-recognized Institutional Review Board (IRB). For meeting materials and notes visit BoardDocs.

Merced College’s IRB is approved through 12/15/2024.

Merced College IRB Vision Statement

The Merced College Institutional Review Board (IRB) is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of research conducted at the College.  Research conducted at Merced College should reflect the College mission as well as the principles of academic freedom and the dedication to the pursuit of new knowledge.

Merced College is committed to protecting and ensuring the rights, privacy, and welfare of those individuals participating in research projects conducted at our institution.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Merced College Institutional Review Board is to protect the rights and welfare of the human research participants.

To accomplish our mission, we strive to:

  • Maintain appropriate ethical conduct and regulatory compliance;
  • Honor and respect all persons;
  • Engage in a continuing quest for excellence;
  • Use new technologies and practices in accomplishing our charge.

Purpose, Authority & Principles

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.


  • Beneficence
    • do no harm
    • maximize benefits
    • justice
    • distribution of burden and benefits is equal
  • Respect for Persons
    • individual autonomy is respected
    • persons with diminished autonomy need extra protections

IRB Composition

Minimum five members with expertise and diversity of representation:

  • Minimum one scientist and one non-scientist;
  • Minimum one non-affiliated member;
  • One member alternate;
  • Individuals knowledgeable of institutional commitments, regulations, applicable law, and relevant professional conduct and practice;
  • Non-members; consultants as appropriate

IRB Membership

Name Title
Alfredo Mendoza Director of Grants Development, Merced College (Chair)
Dr. Dee Sigismond Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Merced College
Dr. Gary Gargano Psychology Professor, Merced College
Dr. Denisha Dawson Chemistry Professor, Merced College
Karrie Bullock Reference Librarian, Merced College
Luis E. Flores Senior Research Analyst, Merced College
Danielle Dai’re-Benziger Community Member
Donald Barclay Community Member
Amber Norris Program Assistant, Merced College (Non-member)
Chika Takahashi Student, ASMC Legislative Officer, Merced College

IRB Registration

The Merced Community College District (MCCD)/Merced College Institutional Review Board is registered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); registration number IORG0007554.