Human Subjects Research

The goal of the MCC College Research Review Committee (CRRC) is to review all research that is proposed by faculty, MCC students or outside individuals to be conducted on human subjects at Mesa Community College. The purpose of the committee is to assure the protection of the subjects and compliance with federal regulations.

The basic principles that govern the MCCCD IRB in assuring that the rights and welfare of subjects are protected is described in Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (“The Belmont Report”), and the National Commission for the protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, April 18, 1979.

What type of research must be reviewed?

Not all research involving human subjects must be reviewed. The following guidelines will help you decide if your research is human subjects research.

Definition of research

Research is gathering information or data in a systematic way to draw generalizable conclusions or otherwise develop or add to a body of knowledge (US code 45 CFR 46102(f). If research is intended to be shared publicly in a web site, a conference, or a publication, it adds to the body of knowledge and should go before a review board.

What is not considered research

Research generally does not include classroom activities and studies for internal management purposes such as program evaluation, quality assurance, quality improvement, journalism or political polls. Data collected for internal departmental, school, or other Institutional administrative purposes (teaching evaluations, customer service surveys, etc.) is not human subjects research. Information gathering interviews where questions focus on things, products or policies rather than about people or their thoughts regarding themselves are not human subjects research. Observational studies of public behavior where there is no interaction or intervention with subjects and the behavior is not private (including internet chat rooms and television) does not constitute human subjects research.

Definition of human

If you are gathering data by interacting with live people it probably qualifies as human research. As defined by US code 45 CFR 46102(d), a human subject is a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or identifiable private information through any means. Intervention includes both physical procedures by which data are gathered and manipulations of the subject or the subject’s environment that are performed for research purposes. Private information includes information about behavior that occurs in a context in which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place and information which has been provided for specific purposes by an individual and which the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public.

Additional Resources

The Maricopa Community Colleges are required by the federal government to document compliance to human subjects protections when conducting research. Administrative regulations are designed to meet three primary goals: protect human subjects, encourage research, and comply with state and federal requirements.

Faculty & External Researchers Contact

Dr. Lutfi Hussein
CRRC Chair

English Department
Building LA3
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ 85202

Students & Test Subject Contacts

Dr. Carolyn St. Peter