Ethics Committee

The ethical aspects of any research activity should be documented with the aim to assure the protection of the participant and the commensurability of the research method.

  • How it works

    Applications are normally dealt with within a month. In case the approval is needed for a particular date the application should be submitted at least four, better six, weeks before that deadline.

    When required the departmental committee can ask for an examination by the cantonal ethics committee. An approval by a cantonal ethic committee should be reported immediately to the committee of the Psychology Department. An approval on cantonal level includes an approval on departmental level.

    For questions of content, please contact the  president. For technical questions, please contact either the  secretariat or the  technical staff.

  • Members
    • Prof. Petra Vetter (President)
    • Representation of the professors:
      • Prof. Salomé Kurth
    • Representation of the intermediate corps and students:
      • Marianne Richter
      • Yoan Mihov
      • Nadja Steinke
    • External member
      • Prof. Michael Schmid
  • Simplified procedure for students

    All BA- and MA-theses assigned at our department include the conception of an ethics request which should be submitted to the supervisor (not directly to the Ethics Committee) along with the final version of the thesis. The supervisor decides whether an official application is required. For this purpose, there are two alternatives.

    1. If the MA-thesis is part of a research project which was already approved by the committee of the Psychology Department the procedure for the additional application is simplified: Only the divergent procedures/materials should be documented and submitted.
    2. If this is not the case, a complete ethics application should be submitted to the departmental committee.

    The required forms and documents can be downloaded here:

  • Guidelines for the application

    (Application for the approval of a research project by the departmental committee)

    Conferring an approval to conduct an investigation with human-beings

    1. Before the beginning of the study all participants have to be informed about the course of the investigation in oral or written form. The materials supposed to inform the participants have to be added to the application in a separate document.
      • A detailed description of the procedure from the participants’ perspective
      • The instructions in original terms
      • The information given to the participant in the end of the study
    2. Information of the participants (or their legal representative) as part of the consent form contains
      • Title of the study
      • Short description of the aim, procedure (duration, tasks) and (potentially) indications on the value of the study
      • Potential inconveniences or risks
      • Indications of privacy protection and confidentiality
      • Indications of the voluntariness and the right to withdraw from the study without giving reasons and without any disadvantages at any time.
      • Indication of contact information for further questions or complaints
      • Indication of the responsible ethics committee
    3. For participants under the age of 18 years the agreement of the legislative representative in written form is mandatory, in addition to their assent. Additionally, participants from 14 to 18 year have to declare their agreement in written from themselves. The copies of these documents have to be added to the application.
    4. Option to submit a single application for a series of studies
      If within a project financed by a funding body (e.g., SNSF, EU grants), a series of relatively similar studies or studies within a similar topic are planned, we encourage you to submit a single application for the series of different studies (presenting the materials for one of the planned studies as an example).
    5. New: the request must also be accompanied by the signed confirmation of the responsible research group leader, otherwise the application will not be reviewed! Follow this link to download the group leader confirmation form.
    6. All documents (including the completed application form) have to be submitted electronically. The questionnaire is available in intranet only and for the staff of the Department: application to the Internal Ethics Board.