HAN Research Ethics Committee (REC)
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) is an independent committee of HAN University of Applied Science. Read more about its purpose and what it does for students, staff and research participants.
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) of HAN University of Applied Science has 2 aims:
- Raise awareness among students, researchers, and research supervisors about the ethical and legal aspects of research.
- Safeguard the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of research participants.
Its members provide information (e.g., guest lectures, tutorials), contribute ideas about research curricula for bachelor and master students, and advice on ethical and legal questions about research. The REC is mandated by the executive board to review whether research proposals meet with ethical and legal requirements. To that goal the REC reviews research proposals, assessing whether the research methods are ethically sound and how they deal with human subjects and research data. The REC also advises on any legal need to have the proposal reviewed by a recognized medical research ethics committee (MREC).
The REC may provide a letter of approval for the purpose of publishing research results in a scientific journal. All research that involves people and/or their data, except student research, must be submitted to the REC.
Who sits on the committee?
The REC consists of a ‘core committee’ comprising the president, a legal secretary, a research methodologist, an ethicist, a medical doctor, a privacy officer and an expert in research policy. They meet once every 3 weeks and are assisted by representatives from each school (14) of HAN. All HAN schools provide 1 member to the REC to ensure full representation.
Which guidelines does the REC use to assess research?
Leading guidelines for the assessments are The Dutch Code for Research Integrity; The Dutch Code for research ethics in Social and Behavioral Research; Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (WMO); Dutch Medical Treatment Contracts Act, General Data Protection Regulation, EU Medical Device Regulation and the data management regulation of the HAN-UAS.
How is research assessed?
The REC offers researchers the opportunity to apply for review of their research plan. They can do so using an online application form. The president, the legal secretary, the representative of the school from which the application is made plus a member of the core committee evaluate each application and discuss their findings in the full committee meetings.
The advice of the committee is binding, unless explicitly stated otherwise. The researcher may only start the data collection if the REC has given an unconditional positive advice. After the researcher has processed the committee's comments, the committee determines whether the advice given has been adequately processed and whether unconditional positive advice can finally be given.