Research projects involving human beings are governed by ethical principles to which UZH and its members are committed. Project leaders must weigh the proportionality of the foreseeable burdens and risks for the study participants with regard to the expected gain of knowledge and avoid burdens and risks that are not absolutely necessary for the research project. In most cases, an ethical review of the research project and its approval are necessary. Here you will find information on whether an ethical review and approval is necessary for your research, as well as on the corresponding legal bases and procedures.
The UZH Ethics Policy protects participants when involved in research projects carried out at the University of Zurich. It provides information on the applicable legal bases and the respective procedures for the ethical review of research projects.
If the Swiss Human Research Act (HFG) applies to a research project, it must be approved by the Cantonal Ethics Commission (KEK) before the start of the study.
The HFG applies to research on human diseases as well as on the structure and function of the human body. Studies that are within the scope of the HFG are for example:
You can perform a self-assessment using the Data Protection/Ethics Self-Assessment Tool (DESAT).
A final assessment of whether a research project falls under the HFG and therefore must be approved or not can be requested from the KEK for a fee (clarification of responsibility).
If a research project does not fall within the scope of the HFG, there is no legal requirement for an ethical examination. The principal investigator may nevertheless ask for an ethical evaluation of a research project if:
For an ethical examination of your research proposal in such cases, please contact the ethics committee of your faculty:Faculty of Theology Faculty of Law (in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics Faculty of Medicine Vetsuisse Faculty (in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Faculty of Science (in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) Researchers can use the Data Protection/Ethics Self-Assessment Tool (DESAT) to query specific requirements and recommendations regarding data protection and ethics.