Upon request, the local Ethics Commission of Furtwangen University assesses and examines research proposals which involve people, with regard to ethical tenability and human dignity, and issues a related statement. This can only be carried out for the thesis work and course projects of HFU students, in particular research in which questionnaires, tests and the observation of testers is carried out. Students should submit a request together with their supervisor.
Medical or pharmacological research projects which fall under the stipulations of the Pharmaceuticals or Medical Devices Act are excluded from examination, however projects in the field of epidemiology and health sciences are not.
All academics are required to comply with ethical standards and requirements at all times. However, in principle there is no requirement to submit an application to the local HFU Ethics Commission although ethical evaluations are often a requirement of third party funding providers and publication organs. The local HFU Ethics Commission can advise researchers on this issue.
The ethical assessment of applications is carried out in accordance with the general guidelines of the German Society for Psychology (DGPs) and the German Society for Nursing Research, as these cover the important areas clearly and concisely and, furthermore, are recognized in the scientific field. The first step in the application is for each applicant to complete a brief basis questionnaire. If all questions are answered with "No", no further application is required and the Ethics Commission will confirm that the project has a clean ethical bill of health within a few days. If at least one question is answered with "Yes", the application must be examined in detail and therefore a detailed application is necessary.
One member of the Ethics Commission is responsible for the processing of detailed applications, although at least 2 other members will be involved in the assessment. All members of the Commission are academics with the relevant expertise and experience. The Ethics Commission will reach a decision based on their assessment and will make this decision known to the applicant in a reasoned statement. The whole process from submission of the application until the decision is given, generally takes 4 weeks.