Blad met gegevens, foto Vladislav Bulatov

Handling research data with care

How do I arrange for informed consent?

One of the legal processing principles for academic research is the respondent's consent. If special personal data are processed of as a part of academic research, explicit permission must be givenby the respondent.

However, even if consent is not required on the basis of the  GDPR, Tilburg University has opted, for ethical reasons, to ask respondents for informed consent for new datasets and, if this is reasonably possible, for the reuse of existing datasets. 

Asking for this consent should preferably be combined with the informed consent requists requied from an ethical point of view so as not to overburden the respondent with different forms.

Informed consent

A consent form that clearly informs the respondent about his/her rights and the content of the academic study. 

The overview below shows how consent can be given for the processing of personal data and/or special personal data in the various situations.

New dataset - Collecting data from respondents yourself
New dataset - Not direct respondents
Reuse of an existing dataset

For each academic study to which informed consent applies in the above overview, respondents must complet a so-called informed consent form which includes the following information: the content and duration of the study, consequences, or risks and the rights of the respondent.

If the processing basis is consent, then informed consent must contain at least the following:

  • Consent for the processing of personal data
  • A description of how respondents can revoke their consent.
  • Preferably permission for re-use for future academic research.
  • Respondents' rights, referring to the privacy statement on Tilburg University's website.

If special personal data are processed during the study, these data must be included:

  • Explicit permission for the processing of special personal data.

Respondents must give informed consent (by means of a signature, digitally or on an audio recording) so that their consent is reproducible.

Informed consent can be given by means of a separate form or can also be included in a questionnaire whereby consent for the processing of personal data and/or special personal data is necessary, the respondent has to tick box (active action). 

Legal representative

If a person is not able to give consent himself/herself (e.g. mental or other disability, after death or other reason), the informed consent form must be signed by the legal representative of this person.


If minors are involved in research, the following rules apply

  • Younger than 16 years old: respondent (if possible) and parent/guardian must give consent
  • Older than 16 years : consent of respondent must give consent.

It is possible that different, stricter, rules within the Schools.

Please note: if personal data of minors are processed, additional security requirements apply regarding data.


  • The respondent must be given sufficient time to read and complete the informed consent form. Preferably, this form should be sent to the respondent in advance so that he or she can take note of the thematic policy on privacy and protection of personal data - scientific research 24 Version 1.0 - May 2018
  • Completed and signed informed consent forms should be kept securely within the specified retention period:
    • in a locked cabinet / archive
    • in a (digital) folder only accessible to researcher(s)