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When and how to submit a request for ethical approval

Do you need to submit your research for ethical review?

Does your research:

  • involve human subjects (not previously approved by the Biological safety Officer Ir. Ilja Sitters) OR
  • include the use of data (either new or existing), the collection and analysis of which might conflict with the interests of the individuals, groups or organizations to which these data pertain OR
  • include the use of human or animal material (including cells and cell lines) that have not been previously approved by the Biological safety Officer OR
  • include the use of genetically-modified cells or organisms that have not been previously approved by the Biological safety Officer OR
  • can  be classified as ‘dual use’ research, with potential applications in for instance military or police technology.

If you answered YES to any of the above questions then you DO need to submit your research for ethical review.

Examples of research projects that usually do NOT pose ethical problems include the following: literature research, document analysis of publicly available reports design/construction/testing of new technology outside the mentioned areas of application.  

The researcher is responsible for the full and correct description of the research in the checklist and application, and positive advice is based only on the material that has been submitted.

Submission procedure

  1. You can submit the request for ethical assessment of your research digitally by email to the Secretary of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Sciences Ethics Committee (email: m.c.kamp@utwente.nl). 
  2. Your application must contain at least the following three documents, which can be found below: 
    A) Checklist; The person responsible for the research fills in the checklist with a number of questions regarding the project. The questions in the checklist consisting of a general part and a specific part.
    B) Information brochure; this must have been written in easily understandable English, without real technical terms. 
    C) Informed consent; The informed consent form is only required if that is relevant.
  3. 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 for clarification or suggest some improvements, to which the applicant/researcher is expected to respond.
  4. The final decision (approval/rejection) will be communicated via an email by the Secretary of the Ethics Committee. The intention is to complete the ethical review within 14 working days after the initial submission of the request.

    If you are a bachelor or master student and your research is part of a course in your study, your teacher will take care for the ethical approval.  

The researcher is responsible for the full and correct description of the research in the checklist and application, and a positive advice is based only on the material that has been submitted.

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 Secretary of the Ethics Committee including 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. 

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