The Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen (EC-BSS) consists of the four chairs of the four departmental chambers or subcommittees, the executive secretary and at least one other member, all appointed by the Faculty Board. The members of the departmental chambers are appointed by the Director of Research (DOR) of each department. There is one chamber for each department in the faculty: Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogical & Educational Sciences, and Teacher Education. The EC-BSS may be supplemented (either temporarily or permanently) with non-voting advisors.
The task of the EC-BSS is to conduct ethical and scientific integrity reviews of proposals for research in the social and behavioural sciences that involves human participants and that does not require review under the Medical Research Involving Human Participants Act (Wet medisch-wetenschappelijk onderzoek met mensen, WMO)*. This concerns research that is carried out by or under the supervision of researchers who are affiliated to BSS, including research conducted by PhD students, Bachelor students and Master students.
The researcher with final responsibility for the research (the principal investigator, or PI) must first decide whether the research falls under the WMO or any other applicable laws and regulations that impose conditions on the research, such as the GDPR/AVG and the Dutch Implementation Act UAVG.
* Research that requires review according to the WMO must be reviewed by a Medical Ethics Review Board (Medische Ethische Toetsingscommissie, METc), like the METc Groningen.
Researchers must submit their research plan for ethical review, unless it has been reviewed by an METc. They can do this using the EC Request module in the Faculty Research Portal. Once the research plan has been approved, EC-BSS issues a formal ‘positive decision’.
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