Research ethics

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The University of Kassel views research designed to gain new scientific knowledge and continue developing academic disciplines as one of its central tasks. It is essential to protect the freedom of research, but also respect the sense of responsibility associated with ethical issues in research.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Academic of Sciences have repeatedly emphasised the importance of research ethics and published relevant guidelines.

The ethics committees at the University of Kassel

The University of Kassel has a central and two internal facutly ethics committees:

  1. The central ethics committee at the University of Kassel, , which started its work during the 2018/19 winter semester, supports and advises researchers and academics from the faculties 02, 06-16 and the Kunsthochschule. The committee checks research projects from an ethical point of view, when requested to do so in writing, and assesses safety-relevant research risks. Its response to the research project comes in the form of an ethical appraisal with a view to the envisaged methodical completion and an estimate of the consequences, particularly for human beings and the environment. The central ethics committee is managed by the Research Services Office.
  2. The ethics committee in the Humanitirs faculty exclusively assesses applications from faculty 01. The major focus of the committee’s work is therefore in the fields of psychology and education.
  3. For Social Sciences, an ethics committee discusses applications from its own area. Researchers in this field can contact the internal committee of faculty 05.

Note on decentralized ethics committees at the University of Kassel

Decentralized ethics committees exist in the departments 01 Human Sciences and 05 Social Sciences. Researchers of these departments are asked to contact the respective contact persons directly for questions and application reviews. Please note the varying dates, deadlines and application documents.

The central ethics committee of the University of Kassel

For an ethical evaluation of your project, researchers of the University of Kassel from the departments 02, 06-16 and the University of Arts and Humanities must first fill out a self-assessment, which can be obtained on the website of the central ethics committee.

Please send the completed version to the office of the central ethics committee. You will subsequently receive an evaluation as well as further information. If an assessment is required, you will also receive the application form in this way.

Depending on the evaluation of the self-assessment, you will receive a different application form. Please do not use old versions, as the contents may change over time. You will always receive the latest version from the office.

Applications to the commission can be submitted electronically by e-mail to the office up to 4 weeks before a regular meeting date. Therefore, please also consider a lead time for completing the self-assessment and preparing application materials. The meeting days can be found on the Central Ethics Committee page. Please take into account the submission deadline accordingly.

Coordination in the committee’s office

Carolin Schwarz
Research and Postgraduate Support