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About the Central Ethics Committee

As part of its commitment to both academic freedom and scientific responsibility, the Central Ethics Committee provides researchers at Freie Universität Berlin with support in addressing and evaluating ethical issues related to research. In addition, it promotes awareness within the university of ethical concerns in research.

Members of Freie Universität Berlin can consult with the Central Ethics Committee or its individual members prior to carrying out a research project whenever third parties require an ethics review (external funding institutions and publishers often do) or if a project otherwise raises significant ethical questions. The Central Ethics Committee also issues official ethics statements. In these cases, the entire committee is involved in the review procedure, which begins with a written request submitted to the office of the Central Ethics Committee using the form provided online.

The Central Ethics Committee is responsible for reviewing research projects in all departments of Freie Universität Berlin except for the Department of Education and Psychology, which has its own ethics committee. The Ethics Committee of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is responsible for projects that involve medical research on humans or material taken from humans as well as epidemiological studies that use personal data. The Central Ethics Committee does not cover issues that fall within the remit of the State Office of Health and Social Affairs (LaGeSo), especially ethical matters in veterinary research.

Each department at Freie Universität Berlin nominates a representative to serve on the Central Ethics Committee. The Central Institutes at Freie Universität Berlin may also nominate one representative each. A list of the current members is available online. Freie Universität Berlin’s Vice President of Research serves as the chair of the Central Ethics Committee. Its office provides the Central Ethics Committee with administrative support and is part of Division VI: Research.

You can read more about the review procedure in the Central Ethics Committee’s bylaws. The office of the Central Ethics Committee welcomes any questions you might have regarding its procedures.