Logo Utrecht University

Ethics Review Board of the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences


Faculty Ethics Review Board

Application procedure
Only senior researchers with primary responsibility (from postdoc and assistant professor level) may submit a research protocol. In the case of doctoral research, this is the supervisor. The research project must be submitted to the FERB before researchers start to collect data. To apply, please fill out the questionnaire in PRIDE.

About the FERB
The general point of departure is that the Faculty Board assumes that all the research at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is conducted in an ethically responsible manner in accordance with the prevailing conduct and professional codes and (European, national and international) legislation.

However, it may be that you yourself as a researcher believe that your study should be reviewed in view of, for instance, the participation of human subjects or for the purpose of a publication, grant or otherwise.

The following is a step-by-step plan in order to ascertain if, and by which body, your study should be reviewed.

As of May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into force – posing new demands on any organization that processes personal data. Considering the nature of its scientific focus, many of the research conducted at the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is not only subject to the VSNU code for academic practice, but likely also to legislation such as the GDPR.

In order to safeguard compliance with (inter) university codes of conduct and legislation, all FSBS research will be subject to review by the faculty’s ethical review board (FERB). Through FERB review, individual researchers will comply to the GDPR, the UU research data handling framework, in line with the VSNU code of conduct for scientific practice. More importantly, researchers:

  • will be able to receive adequate support in drafting (GDPR-proof) communication to (potential) participants (consent and information letters);
  • will be able to receive adequate support in drafting formal agreements when exchanging data (data processing agreements, data transfer agreements);
  • receive formal ethical approval of their study.

To whom does this protocol apply?

This protocol applies to everyone within the FSBS who actively conducts research as part of a tenured or non-tenured position, including all PhD candidates carrying out doctoral research under the supervision of professors and all Research Master’s students. Storage and handling of personal data collected by Bachelor’s and one-year Master’s students formally is supervised by the FSBS data collection protocol for student projects.

Levels of review

The FERB considers three levels of review:

  1. Exempt;
  2. Expedited;
  3. Full.

Review by the Medical Ethical Review Committee

Please check in the PDF whether review by the MERC is required.