Lecturers Researchers Tilburg University

TLS Ethics Review Board

The TLS Ethics Review Board (ERB) is a committee established by the TLS board, and it assesses the ethical aspects of research proposals.

Why Ethics review

The ERB has been established in order to prevent harm to research subjects and to increase ethical awareness amongst TLS researchers. The existence of an ethics board also ensures compliance with the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice. Furthermore high ranked journals increasingly require ethical clearance before publication.

When to apply for ethical clearance

If you want to know if you should apply for ethical clearance and submit your application to the ERB, read this document. In short you need to apply if your research can cause harm.

At least there is a risk of harm when:

  • The research involves vulnerable groups such as children, patients, people subject to discrimination, minorities, people unable to give consent, people of dissenting opinion, immigrant or minority communities, sex workers, etc. Experts, for example judges or police officers, are not considered to be a vulnerable group unless disclosure of the data collected can put them in a vulnerable position.
  • The research involves sensitive data. Sensitive data are personal data revealing, among others, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.
  • The characteristics of the research design itself are endangering to participants, or when there is a risk that results will be abused by third parties. While these situations are less likely than those listed under A. and B., researchers should be aware of potential harm in these situations.

If you are unsure if your research should go to the ERB, please contact erb-tls@tilburguniversity.edu

How to apply for ethical clearance

In order to apply for ethical clearance, you need to fill out the integrated application form. In future an online version of this form will be available. For now please send it to erb-tls@tilburguniversity.edu. More information about the GDPR and data management parts of this form can be found in the links below.
Students can apply via the student submission form