Welcome to the website of the Ethics Committee of the Department of Social Sciences

Chair: Prof. Dr. Michael Fröhlich

Vice Chair: Prof. Dr. Shanley Allen

The Ethics Committee acts on the application of a scientist of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. Only university professors and research assistants are eligible to apply. The supervisors must also submit the application in the case of ethical questions in theses. The ethics committee gives its opinion on ethical aspects of planned research projects on humans. Its work is based on the ethical guidelines of the German Psychological Society and the Association of German Psychologists. The responsibility of the responsible scientist remains unaffected.

Before submitting an application, potential applicants are required to check whether an application to the ethics committee is necessary on the basis of the following criteria:

  Will the project result in a publication?
  Do the participants belong to a group of persons who require special protection and care in their dealings?
  Does deception of participants take place in the broadest sense?
  Are extensive data sets with personal data collected? Are images and sound recordings made?
  Are brain imaging procedures used in the broadest sense?
  Can the study cause psychological and physical stress, such as anxiety, in the participants?
  Is the study an intervention study?
  Are there potential conflicts of interest of project participants?

Each application is reviewed on the basis of two expert opinions and discussed in the commission. If the committee decides positively on the application, an ethics vote is prepared, which can be presented to third-party funding bodies and journals, for example. The ethics vote may contain conditions and is only valid if these conditions are observed. Cases requiring medical expertise are referred to the Ethics Committee of the Rhineland-Palatinate Medical Association. Further details on the constitution of the committee and the procedure can be found in the regulations and the rules of procedure.

In an ethics vote, the Ethics Committee certifies whether a planned research project is in accordance with ethical guidelines. The Ethics Committee does not have the task of deciding on the implementation of research projects. Please only submit an application for an ethics vote if it is to be expected that such a vote will actually be required.

The ethics committee checks in particular whether

  all precautions have been taken to minimise the risk to subjects;
  there is an appropriate balance between the benefits and risks of the project
  the informed consent of the subjects or their legal representatives has been secured;
  the implementation of the project complies with the relevant legal provisions, in particular the provisions on data protection.

Please use the application template and submit applications in electronic form only. Applications can be submitted at any time; however, they should be submitted at least four weeks before the meeting of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee usually meets on the same day as the Departmental Council.

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