Human Research Ethics

Please note that over the Christmas period there will be no weekly meetings (for all applications) from 21 December to 9 January. For 2023, the periodic full committee meetings (for extended risk applications) will take place on Thursday morning of the following weeks: 2, 8, 14, 21, 26, 36, 42 and 49.

Research and Corona Regulations

Due to the still changing coronavirus situation the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) will not approve any proposed studies that do not, or cannot, comply with RIVM-guidelines, specifically any set conditions on physical contact, physical proximity, and transportation. Make sure that you discuss the contemporary corona protocols with your Faculty HSE advisor before carrying out any research involving face-to-face activities with your participants – and make sure that you mention that you are doing this in your HREC application.

This is a temporary measure that will remain in place until it is acceptable again to execute such studies. In the meantime study proposals can, and should, be submitted to HREC for assessment. As usual, the HREC will communicate the results of its assessment to the applicants.

If you are a researcher, PhD candidate or Master’s student and you are planning to conduct research which involves human Research Subjects (ie: where human participants are the source your research data) there are two main things that you need to do:

The following pages will provide you with the tools and guidance you need to effectively incorporate research ethics into your research design, and eventually seek approval for your study to go ahead.

Ethics Approval for Human Research

At TU Delft, all research involving Human Research Subjects – including Master’s theses – requires approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) before it can go ahead. Applications should in most cases be submitted and approved before potential participants (Research Subjects) are approached to take part in your study. Not only is this good research practice, but it’s something that most journals want to see before approving research articles for publication. The vast majority of research conducted at TU Delft is considered to be Minimal Risk, and if you’ve considered any risks to participants carefully in your research design, the application process will be pretty swift and easy. 

You can find out everything you need to know about the HREC application process here.