See Research

Ethics Committee BMS / Domain Humanities & Social Sciences

Submit your research project for ethical review
Go to the BMS ethics web application
Guides and FAQ, & Informed participation procedures

*Your research request may take longer to ethically review. Once approved, please mind that the current restrictions on social and physical interaction regarding the COVID-19 outbreak may affect the execution of your study. Conducting research entails risks for both the researcher and the participant. This risk of becoming infected must be taken into account when considering whether a research project can be continued (e.g. with alternative digital means) or should be postponed.
For the latest info on the restart of BMS Labhttps://bmslab.utwente.nl/corona-measures/
The UT follows the advice and recommendations of the Dutch national government and keeps you updated via www.utwente.nl/corona

NOTE: if you experience problems with your research request in the web application, please inform us via ethicscommittee-bms@utwente.nl. Preferably, use print screens and emails received by the application to provide us with the necessary info on your problem.

Welcome to the website of the BMS Ethics Committee /domain Humanities and social sciences (HSS). This committee facilitates and monitors the ethical conduct of all research on HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES involving human beings in BMS Faculty and other UT faculties.

To ensure an ethically responsible research practice, it is mandatory for staff and students from the Faculty of BMS to submit their research project for ethical assessment before the start of the research, regardless of where it is conducted. This is in principle for all intended research involving human participants in an indirect (i.e. file or social media research) or direct manner (i.e. experiments, surveys, interviews), or/and using potentially sensitive data about and/or from individuals, groups, or organizations.
The UT has adopted a university-wide research ethics policy. This policy states that an ethical review of non-medical research will be conducted by one of the 4 domain-specific committees, it may be that a small part of the research by students/staff of BMS better fits the CIS (e.g. cyber-related research) or NES domain (technology-related health research).
In case of medical research (subject to WMO-Wet medisch-wetenschappelijk onderzoek met mensen) more info is below under 'medical-ethical review'. Please note: Non-WMO research still needs ethical review by our BMS/HSS Ethical Committee
When your research has already been ethically reviewed by another committee outside/within the Netherlands, please read further under 'ethically assessed elsewhere', to know if extra action is needed by our committee. 

This BMS/HSS domain webpage offers all the information you need about the assessment procedure and the ethical principles and criteria used. Read more about our procedures below under 'BMS Research or not', 'the BMS/HSS ethical review web application', and in the FAQ.

  • What is research with humans?

    Research with human subjects can take many different forms. Basically, it is scientific research that depends on the participation of humans to generate data for further analysis. It includes interviews, surveys, observations, laboratory and field experiments, recording and manipulation of physiological functioning, interventions in human behavior and/or physiological functioning, focus groups, ethnography, but also living labs and analysis of social media content. In all these cases, the interests of the human beings studied may conflict with the interests of the researcher and the value of science as a whole. Therefore, a careful ethical assessment is necessary. Such assessment is carried out by the BMS Ethics Committee (EC) or - in case of research that is medically oriented - by an accredited MREC or the CCMO.  

  • Ethically assessed elsewhere?

    If your research has undergone ethical assessment outside the Netherlands, we ask you to submit it for assessment by us as well, as ethical guidelines for conducting research may differ between countries.

    If your research has been assessed and approved by an ethics committee in the Netherlands, but outside the Faculty of BMS, the BMS Ethics Committee will adopt the previous decision. Nevertheless, you should always provide the Secretary of the BMS Ethics Committee with documentation on the external submission and the decision. Also, identify whether the organization with which you will be working has its own requirements and policy for the ethical review of research. If it does, submit your proposal to this organization, and provide us with a copy of your application and the resulting decision. 

    In case of a research subject to WMO/non-WMO (Wet medisch-wetenschappelijk onderzoek met mensen) read further under 'medical-ethical review'. Please note: Non-WMO research still needs ethical review by our BMS Ethical Committee (BMS EC). 

  • Does my research have to undergo a medical-ethical review?

    In the Netherlands, medical research involving human subjects is regulated by law: the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (WMO). Research is subject to the WMO if:

    1. It concerns medical-scientific research, and
    2. Participants are subject to procedures or are required to follow rules of behavior. 
      Read more information to decide if your research falls under the WMO. (also in Dutch)

    If your research satisfies these two criteria, you have to undergo a review by an accredited MREC or the CCMO, instead of a review by our BMS Ethics Committee. In practice, there will always be cases in which it is not clear immediately if a study is or is not subject to the WMO: the so-called grey area. When in doubt it is best you contact the MREC or CCMO. 

    Cooperation between the University of Twente and CMO Arnhem-Nijmegen

    The METC Twente closed down in 2019. The University of Twente and Rehabilitation Centre Het Roessingh cooperate with the accredited MREC 'Research Ethics Committee in the region Arnhem-Nijmegen (CMO A/N)' and stimulate research to submit there.
    You can submit your research dossier to the CMO A/N through their online portal. There is an instruction manual available for submission to CMO A/N. This procedure can also be used for advice on WMO applicability (non-WMO statement).
    NOTE: The local hospitals, MST and ZGT, have decided to further cooperate with the Medical Research Ethics Committees United (MEC-U) in Nieuwegein. Ongoing studies were transferred to the ‘Medical Research Ethics Committees United’ (MEC-U) in Nieuwegein. If you conduct your study within these hospitals you might be asked to submit your research at the MEC-U. There are no agreements between UT and MEC-U, thus costs will be charged. 

    TechMed Supports

    TechMed supports UT researchers with this type of research. Get in contact

    Non-WMO research

    If your research does not fall under the scope of the WMO then it does not have to be reviewed by an accredited MREC or the CCMO. However, please note you may need a non-WMO declaration in case you carry out your research in a hospital or another medical institution. Both METCs can provide this statement: CMO A/N or MEC-U.
    Also, identify whether the organization with which you will be working has its own requirements and policy for the ethical review of research. If it does, submit your proposal to this organization, and provide us with a copy of your application and the resulting decision. 
    NOTE: Non-WMO research needs to be submitted for review by our BMS Ethical Committee (BMS EC). A declaration that your research is ‘not subject to WMO’ does NOT constitute proof that it is ethically unproblematic. If you have a non-WMO declaration, add this to the attachments in your application request.

    NOTIFY us, when your research was assessed and decided on by a medical-ethical research committee
    Send notification to the EC secretary
    If your research has been assessed and approved by an accredited MREC or the CCMO, the BMS EC will take over this decision. This way, we strive to avoid double ethical assessment. 
    However, you should always notify the BMS EC that you plan to submit your research project to a METC. You need to provide us with a copy of your submission and the formal reaction by the MREC/CCMO
    Both documents concerning the METC assessment should be sent to the secretary (Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman).

    Costs involved with WMO/non-WMO research 

    The CMO A/N foresees a rate of €2000 (all-in) per study for UT researchers. Due to a transition period, no costs are charged at the moment. The non-WMO statement is in any case free of costs. MEC-U rates can be found here, however, if a researcher employed at the ZGT or MST submits the study, no costs are charged. 

    BMS may refund

    If you have notified the BMS EC, the costs of the medical-ethical review of your study may be refunded by centrally administered research funds of the BMS Faculty: the department pays first and will be compensated. Hence, only when these costs were not part of the budget plan of the project (normally these ethical review costs will be included in the budget plan).
    Note, the refund of costs is only applicable to the main study review, not to amendments or non-WMO statement (mostly free of costs). If you have questions about this procedure you can contact the secretary of the BMS EC, Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman.

  • BMS Research or not?

    Please note that the BMS Ethics Committee assesses research with human subjects carried out by, or under supervision of, employees of the BMS Faculty only. The Ethical review of research is obligatory for employees as well as for students' bachelor/master thesis projects using human subjects. Researchers from other faculties have to comply with the rules and procedures within their own faculty. If researchers from different faculties are involved in the same project, the human subjects research should be assessed by the faculty of the principal investigator.

    Students from programs offered by other UT-faculties, in which BMS employees are involved as supervisors should comply with the ethical regulations of their (first) supervisor’s faculty. This means that students from, for example 'the Health Sciences program', should submit their project for ethical approval to the BMS Ethics committee only if their first supervisor is a BMS-employee.

    More info on the rules for submission to the BMS Ethics Committee and exceptions.
    see FAQ (topic: 'Who can submit ..')

    For Teachers: Student research in the context of modules or courses

    The Ethics Committee of the BMS Faculty developed a guidance document for teachers who offer modules or courses in which students are trained in research. Different from student research for the bachelor or master thesis, such student research need not be standardly submitted for ethical review. At the same time, the Faculty wants to ensure that such research is conducted in a responsible manner. The attached document discusses relevant considerations and gives some advice on how teachers could safeguard ethical standards 

    If you have any questions about how to proceed in particular courses or modules, you can always contact the ethics contact person (under Contactsof your department, or the BMS Ethics Committee itself, via Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman: ethicscommittee-bms@utwente.nl

  • Procedures: Ethical Review Web Application BMS/HSS domain

    Procedure web application and review of your research request

    You can submit the request for ethical assessment of your research via the 'BMS Ethical Review web application'. The person responsible for the research fills in a number of questions regarding the project. The questions in the web application consisting of a general part (questions on, for example, purpose and research question), the type of research (collection new data or existing/secondary data) and a specific part (questions on, amongst others, sessions, consent, provided information and expectations of participants). If you do not finish the questionnaire right away, the web application allows the saving of a concept version, so you can continue later.

    Once you have completed and submitted the questionnaire, the web application will automatically forward the request to the supervisor involved (if any). If research is conducted by students or trainees, the supervising staff member bears the ultimate responsibility (because there needs to be an employment relationship with the University).
    After the supervisor has approved the request, it will be sent by the Ethics Committee (EC) secretary to the relevant reviewer of the EC.
    The EC reviewer will assess whether the submitted research satisfies the characteristics and conditions for ethically responsible research. He or she may ask some further questions (you will be notified by an automated email) for clarification or suggest some improvements, to which the applicant/researcher is expected to respond. Then you can edit your answers in the application form and if helpful you can add a comment as well. Make sure you press ‘submit for review’ after you make changes to your request/added a comment.
    The final decision (approval/rejection) will be communicated via an automated email by the web application. The intention is to complete the ethical review within 14 working days after the initial submission of the request.

    Web Application of EC BMS/HSS domain
    Go to the Web Application of EC BMS/HSS domain

    More information

    Guides BMS Ethical Review web applicationGuides can be downloaded here
    PDF of the questions in the web application (and the informational notes accompanying each question) is available here (e.g. for use when preparing the answers to the questions with your supervisor in advance).
    An FAQ is available as well. 

    Changes to your research after the ethical review is completed?

    If any substantive changes (amendment) are made to the research proposal (eg., methods or design) after the ethical review has been completed, these changes must be submitted to the ethical committee. Send your changes to the ethical committee via e-mail to: ethicscommittee-hss@utwente.nl, stating your request number. The changes will be presented to the involved EC-member and it will be decided if they are approved or if the changes are too substantial such that a new research request should be submitted. 

  • General Ethical Principles, Data Management, GDPR/Privacy/Personal Data

    Ethically responsible research is based on a broad set of general ethical principles, which guide the ethical assessment. These include:

    • Avoidance of exploitation;
    • Just distribution of benefits and burden;
    • Respect for persons:
      1. Participants are treated as autonomous agents;
      2. Participants with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection;
    • Respect for human dignity;
    • Scientific validity;
    • Scientific, societal and/or educational relevance;
    • Respect for rights and specific interests of (specific groups of) research participants, and/or the community/society
    • Safeguarding confidentiality and respecting privacy matters.

    The BMS Faculty subscribes to the Dutch Code of Ethics for Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences involving human participants that is intended as a guideline involving research not covered by the WMO.

    BMS Data management Policy

    As from 1 October 2018, the UT has a new Research Data Management (RDM) policy. It replaces the data policy of 1 July 2015. This document sets out minimum criteria for the management and storage of data. These policies specify how scientists within the faculty are required to handle research data. Because of national and international laws, regulations, and funder requirements, data management is very important for the research department, researchers, and students.
    Note, students do not have to make a data management plan. Student and supervisor(s) have a joined responsibility in the proper handling of data collected by the student. Storage possibilities for students are listed here and save tools for online interviews.
    The BMS data policy is available in Dutch & English (UT policy above is newer and thus leading). Many steps in improving the infrastructure, facilities, and support have already been taken, which can be found on the BMS LAB website and the BMS Datalab website. 

    Guidance on Data Management for students

    Starting this 2021/2022 academic year, there are a series of micro-lectures available teaching students how to handle their data during, and after, their study. Based on 5 simple questions, all aspects of Research Data Management (RDM) will be addressed in fun, animated, short online recordings. Go to Vimeo for all 5 recordings https://vimeo.com/showcase/8682601.

    Privacy (GDPR) & Personal Data

    When you collect or use personally identifiable data of persons (e.g., respondents, informants, test subjects, interviewees) who participate in your research, you have to comply with the GDPR privacy law. If possible, process the data of the persons in your research anonymously right from the start or as soon as possible, anonymous data does not fall under the GDPR law. You can also work with pseudonymization (make use of coding), in that case, make sure you keep the key secure and separate from your research data, pseudonymized data falls under GDPR regulations. More information on this can be found on the UT privacy website and on BMS Datalab.

    Also, make sure that you know the rights of your participants and use an informed consent procedure when processing their personal data. 

    Processor agreement / Verwerkersovereenkomst

    When you work with an external party (processor) that helps you processing research data, you may need a processor agreement in case the research data is identifiable to individual persons (also the case if data is coded/pseudonymized). Get in contact with the PCP of BMS: Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman to sort out if this is necessary. 

    Register your research with personal data (Report data processing)

    The UT has a documentation obligation for data registrations of personal information. This means all research that processes data of persons. Therefore, employees and students (see FAQ) need to register their research. 
    Read more info and the link to the UT GDPR Registration tool for processing Personal Data

    For the BMS faculty, Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman is the Privacy Contact Person (PCP). The UT Data Protection Officer (DPO) can also be contacted.

  • SONA Test subject Pool

    SONA can be used for recruitment of student participants for research by BMS students/staff. However, it can only be used by students from the educational programmes that the faculty Behavioural, Management and Social Studies (BMS) support
    For students of the bachelor Communication Science and Psychology participation as a test-subject is a requirement of the bachelor graduation learning goals. Students can fulfill their test-subject obligations by participating in the research projects put forward by academic staff and students via the Sona test-subject system.   

    More information on the SONA test subject pool via the BMS Intranet.

  • Informed consent/participation procedure/privacy

    Click for more information on informed participation & consent procedures and examples of informed consent forms (in Dutch and English). 

    For more info on Research and Privacy (GDPR) go to BMS Datalab.

  • Ethical codes per discipline

    In many scientific disciplines, professional codes for ethical conduct of research have been published, outlining what is considered good ethical practice in a specific domain of research. These codes offer general principles and guidelines to take into account when you are designing your own research, and are often slightly more specific than the general ethical principles mentioned above. We have listed a few of them here. Please note that you need to consult only the code that is relevant to your discipline and/or research method, and that the list is not exhaustive.

  • Members of the Ethical Committee BMS/HSS domain

    The Ethics Committee has representatives in all BMS departments; they are listed below. Some of them are EC members, and others are EC contact persons. They all function as the first person to consult in that department when you have questions regarding the ethics of human subjects research. They also stimulate attention for research ethics in their department. EC members are involved in the assessment of research proposals and participate in policy discussions in committee meetings. Some of the EC contact persons are involved in the assessment of research proposals but do not participate in committee meetings.

    The Committee members meet 4-5 times a year to discuss controversial cases, reflect on ongoing developments on research and their ethical implications, and advise the dean on policy issues regarding the ethics of human subjects research.

    The EC is supported by a secretary, who you can contact in case of general questions concerning the EC and its functioning, the web application and also in case of complaints, Contact: ethicscommittee-bms@utwente.nl. The current secretary is Lyan Kamphuis-Blikman. Administrative tasks with regard to the assessment procedure and SONA are taken care of by the secretariat, whom you can also contact with questions regarding the web application.


    Dr. P.W. (Peter) de Vries

    Chair, reviewer

    Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety (PCRS)

    Dr. L.J.M (Lyan) Kamphuis-Blikman

    Secretary, Web application, Complaints  

    Faculty of BMS  

    L.A.M. (Lorette) Bosch-Padberg

    Secretariat, Web application, SONA  

    Faculty of BMS  

    A. Kragt

    SONA (substitute in absence of Lorette)

    Faculty of BMS

    Dr. Patrick Smith

    Vice-chair, reviewer

    Philosophy (PHIL)




    Dr. E.J. Aukes

    reviewer

    Science, Technology & Policy Studies (STEPS)
    (also reviewer for CSTM)

    Dr. N. Beerlage-de Jong

    contact person, reviewer

    Health, Technology and Services Research (HTSR)

    Dr. H.C. van Beusichem

    contact person, reviewer

    Financial Engineering (FE)

    Dr. G.W.J. Bruinsma

    contact person, reviewer

    Industrial Engineering & Business Information Systems (IEBIS)

    Dr. V.I. Daskalova

    contact person

    Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM)

    Prof. M.D. Endedijk

    contact person

    Educational Science (OWK)

    Dr. M. Galetzka 

    member, reviewer

    Communication Studies (CS)

    Dr. G. Jansen

    member, reviewer

    Public Administration (PA) (also reviewer CHEPS)

    Dr. P. M. ten Klooster 

    member, reviewer 

    Psychology, Health and Technology (PHT)




    Dr. Henny Leemkuil

    member, reviewer

    Instructional Technology (IST) (also reviewer OWK)

    Dr. R.H.J. van der Lubbe

    contact person, reviewer

    Cognition, Data Analysis and Education (CODE)

    Dr. J.G. Meijerink  

    member, reviewer

    Human Resource Management (HRM)

    Dr. A.M. von Raesfeld Meijer 

    contact person, reviewer

    Entrepreneurship and Technology Management (ETM)

    Dr. M. de Visser

    contact person, reviewer

    Entrepreneurship and Technology Management (ETM)

    Prof.dr. J.H. Walma van der Molen

    reviewer    

    Teacher's Programmes (ELAN)