The KIT Research Ethics Committee (REC) is an institutional arrangement that guarantees ethical conduct and increases the quality of KIT’s research.
The committee has been operational since 2009 for the Global Health sub-unit, and since 2020, it serves the entire knowledge unit, including the Sustainable Economic Development and Gender sub-units. The REC also reviews post-graduate research projects for students enrolled in the Master of Public Health or Master of International Health course at KIT.
We recently updated KIT REC’s terms of reference in April 2023 and the document provides general information on REC procedures. A decision tree is available in the flowchart (see below) to provide further guidance on when a REC review is recommended.
The type and content of research determine whether a research proposal needs an ethical review, a waiver for the ethical review, or no ethical clearance at all. If the proposal poses no more than minimal risk to participants, it may undergo an expedited review. If the proposal poses more than minimal risk to participants, a full review is required.
The KIT REC’s procedures are based on ethical guidelines such as the International Ethical Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans by the Council for International Organizations for Medical Sciences (CIOMS, 2016), the Netherland’s Code of Ethics for Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences created and accepted by the Dutch National Ethics Council for Social and Behavioral Sciences (2016), Guidelines for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Theology by the Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH, 2016), Code of Ethics for Research involving Human Participants by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Faculty of Science (2018), Code of Conduct for Responsible Research produced by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2017), Ethics in Social Science and Humanities by the European Commission, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union.