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University of Twente General Ethical Commission commences operation

UT has now installed a General Ethical Commission, in addition to the four domain-specific committees that are already in existence. The new General Ethical Commission will have its first meeting on 5 November 2020. Thom Palstra, Rector Magnificus, will open this meeting. The keynote speaker will be  Philip Brey, who has also contributed to the University of Twente’s Scientific Integrity Policy.

As University of Twente, we are committed to conducting research in a responsible manner and we consider ethical review of research common and good practice for all researchers, including Bachelor and Master students and PhD candidates. To that end, we aim to encourage ethical awareness and reflection among our researchers and students.

Ethical assessment of research supports researchers and students in taking responsibility with regard to the legitimate interests of their research assignment, involved employees and their environment, as well as groups and individuals in society who are affected by the results of the research.

Four domain-specific commitees

Ethical reviews at UT are conducted and facilitated by four domain-specific committees: Natural Sciences & Engineering Sciences, Computer & Information Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Geo-Information Sciences. These four committees are installed and supported by all Faculties.  

General Ethical Commission

For complex and controversial cases, objections and quality assurance, the General Ethical Commission has now been installed. This Commission consists of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the four domain-specific committees and is supported by a secretary. The Commisison is to meet at least three times per year in order to evaluate the way of working of the domain-specific committees.

The General Ethical Commission has four tasks:

  1. It is responsible for quality assurance of the ethical review policy and will function as a platform for co-ordination between the four domain-specific committees.
  2. It will facilitate the ethical review of complex research proposals that are related to two or more domain-specific committees.
  3. It will act as a review committee in case of objections of researchers or Faculty Boards regarding the advice of one of the domain-specific committees.
  4. It will collect and propose solutions for possible complaints from participants in research projects when these complaints involve ethical issues related to research. One of the members of the General Ethical Commission will act as a contact person for complaints.  

More information can be found on the integrity website.