Under what conditions is an assessment of the ethics commission required?

Notes on the decision tree

  1. “Vulnerable” refers to persons who, at the time of the investigation, are in critical life situations and/or under increased stress, are undergoing psychotherapeutic or medical treatment and/or are totally or partially unable to protect and communicate their personal interests (e.g. persons under guardianship).
  2. Endangering includes, for example, mental or physical side effects of therapeutic interventions, or possible emotional stress or re-traumatization caused by participating in your study
  3. This could be the case, for example, through the processing, transmission of personal data and/or use of third-party software.
  4. If no decision has been made in regards to the publication of the study, but publication is a likely possibility, we recommend submitting an application
  5. If changes occur in a study that has not been reviewed by the Ethics Committee so far, please contact the Ethics Committee to clarify whether a submission is necessary

if the study participants belong to a particularly vulnerable group of people, these are groups of people who are vulnerable because of their physical, mental or psychological constitution or because of their special social situation:

  • Children and adolescents
  • People of all ages suffering from a somatic illness and/or a physical disability and/or mental disorder
  • People with cognitive deficits or dementia
  • Persons with legal adult representatives
  • People in emergency or extreme situations, e.g. people currently in situations of flight
  • Persons to whom custodial or legal measures restricting their freedom are applied
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons for whom the voluntary character of participation is questionable due to a relationship of dependence (e.g. students of the Sigmund Freud University

if the research project’s question addresses value-sensitive issues . These include, for exple:

-Gender issues
-Sexual orientation
-Religious issues
-Ethnic issues
-Political issues

In case of doubt as to whether the research project deals with a value-sensitive topic, the ethics commission will provide information as to whether a review is required or at least advisable.

if a publication of the research results is planned: note that most scientific publication organs require the submission of a positive vote of an ethics committee for research work using personal data.