Research ethics

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 at the University of Kassel

For a review of their project, scientists from the faculties 02, 06-16 and the Kunsthochschule must first complete a self-assessment via the learning system moodle.

On the basis of the questions listed there, they find out whether a review by the central ethic committee is required and to what extent their project is ethically sensitive. There are two sections: 1. a classification of whether a review is required by an external body and 2. a self-assessment of ethically sensitive aspects.

To subscribe to the moodle course, please send an e-mail to the central ethic committee’s office ( to receive an access key.

For more information on dates, deadlines and documents, please visit the website of the central ethics committee's website.

Coordination in the committee’s office

Carolin Schwarz
Research Services