Research Ethics Review @FSS VU

The Research Ethics Review Committee (RERC) advises researchers at FSS-VU about ethics issues in their upcoming research.

Who should apply

Only research project leaders @FSS-VU can submit research for ethics review. PhD students and master thesis students should ask their supervisor to submit the application. In exceptional circumstances researchers from outside FSS-VU can submit research proposals to the RERC. Contact the RERC secretary here.

The procedure

Before submitting a new project, you should have prepared the following documents:

  1. Information for participants.
  2. Consent form for participants.
  3. A data management plan.
  4. Research data anonymization procedure (if you collect personal or sensitive data).
  5. A short description of the research questions, the societal and scientific relevance of the research, and the research design (max. 1 A4).

The procedure for submitting a new project is:

  1. Self-check. Complete the ethics review self check when you plan a new research project. Click here to go to the check list. The elements of the self check are displayed in a flow chart. The self check tells you whether your research requires full ethical review by the Research Ethics Review Committee. If so, you receive an email message containing your responses and a statement that your research complies with the guidelines of FSS-VU and you can start your research. If your research requires ethics review by the committee, proceed with the following step.
  2. Application. Fill out the ethics review application form and upload the required documents – the information letter, the consent form and a data management plan. You will receive an email message containing your responses. Save the result of your form for your reference.
  3. Full or expedited review. If your application raises minor or no ethical issues, an expedited review will follow by the secretary and one committee member. If your application raises more serious issues, the committee will discuss it at its next meeting. The board meets once a month during the academic season (September – June), on the last Monday of the month.
  4. Advice. The board will respond to your application with an advice.

The board may ask you for clarification or further information regarding your application.


Regulations of the Ethics Review Committee

Overview of ethics review procedure

Flow chart of self-check

Information for participants template

Consent form for participants template

Data management plan template

Research data anonymization procedure template

Time line

Plan enough time for the ethics review process. Complete the self-check 3 months before you start collecting data. In case your research requires full ethics review by the committee, reviewers need 10 days to read your application and give a recommendation to the committee.  Then the committee discusses your proposal at its next meeting (once a month). In case questions remain, you may have to resubmit your application. In case your research qualifies for expedited review, the advice will generally follow within one month after submission of the application.

Members of the committee

  • René Bekkers (chair)
  • Ivar Vermeulen (vice-chair)
  • Peter van den Besselaar
  • Frédérique Six
  • Peter Versteeg


If you have questions, send an email to the secretary Rob Kloppenburg (at or ask them over the phone: 020 598 6850.