The AISSR has developed a procedure for the ethical review of research plans, seeking to foster reflection and care. We expect requests for ethics permission to articulate and address the real, true and sometimes irreducible problems that researchers face. In order to support that way of working, we do not provide a checklist to check, but questions that challenge the researcher to think about. The aim is for researchers to devote time and effort to thinking through and making explicit how research plans will lead to good research, not only in a methodological but also in a social and ethical sense.
Please note that all PhD candidates are required to complete the ethics review of the AISSR Ethics Advisory Board as obligatory part of our training programme (also when ethical approval may not seem necessary). Should you have valid reasons to apply for ethical approval at a scientific institute elsewhere, you can send a motivated request to the secretary of the AISSR Ethics Advisory Board to ask for permission to do so.
How to decide whether asking for ethical permission is required or might be wise:
You must have the board’s permission if:
a. Your research might have a direct impact on the lives of your research informants (e.g. because their life world is interfered with; it may be dangerous for them to work with you; their privacy is at stake).
b. Your research methods may pose a danger or serious practical problems for yourself, your junior colleagues or research assistants.
c. Your research is situated in fields of clashing interests (between e.g. an institution and its clients, governing bodies and groups being governed, industry and activists, and so on) that deserve to be handled with care;
d. Your own interests may clash with those of others concerned
e. Your project could imply risks for security of human dignity, life, health freedom, property, environment or peaceful coexistence. These risks arise mainly in research that produces knowledge, products, technologies that can be misused by third parties. See also this page (Dutch only).
Some grant givers want to see written ethical permission before they will provide funds, and a significant number of fields journals ask for written proof of ethical permission to conduct a study before they publish its results.
If you ask for ethical permission, your answers to the list of questions will be assessed by the AISSR Ethics Advisory Board. If your answers make good enough sense, permission will be granted. If there are difficulties to attend to, however, the Ethical Advisory Board will engage in a dialogue with you.
We cannot read full research proposals and need a succinct summary of your research plan to inform us about your project (item Brief description of the research). We urge you to provide short and concise answers to our questions. Please take the following into account when you submit your research proposal for ethical review
Take the following steps to apply for ethical review:
Please see below PDF file for the complete list of questions.
The Ethics Committee of the FMG has formally mandated the AISSR Ethics Advisory Board to advise and give guidance in addressing ethical issues specific to research at the AISSR. In the case of a disagreement, it is possible to call upon the Ethics Committee of the Faculty.
The AISSR Ethical Advisory Board consists of a core group of AISSR researchers with different disciplinary and methodological backgrounds. It currently consists of: Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz, Dr. Michaela Hordijk, Prof. dr. Jeannette Pols, Dr. Rachel Spronk and Dr. Daphne van der Pas. When necessary, they call on the advice of third parties. The board is coordinated by Marleen Rademaker (secretary of the AISSR Ethics Advisory Board, email@example.com) and she is available for practical questions.
The board meets every month, except for July and August. The next meetings in 2023 are on November 9 and December 14. In 2024 the board meets on January 19, February 15, March 14, April 11, May 16 and June 13.
The proposals must be submitted at least 1 week before the meeting. The committee only assesses projects at the monthly meetings, so please plan ahead.
For more information on Research Ethics for social science research at the AISSR, please visit the AISSR wiki.
The AISSR Integrity Protocol articulates AISSR-wide standards on scholarly integrity and data management in the AISSR research community, and means to facilitate discussion and protection of such standards. Its purpose is to promote and guard academic integrity for the AISSR, but also to facilitate advances in the quality of our research enterprise in terms of scholarly and societal impact.
You can find the AISSR Integrity Protocol at the AISSR wiki
The Integrity Protocol also discusses who handles questions and issues of integrity. Should you have any questions, you can direct them towards Marleen Rademaker (Secretary Academic Integrity).
The Integrity Advice Committee has the goal to formulate integrity policies and -guidelines for the AISSR, such as this protocol. This committee gathers ad hoc when it’s input and expertise is required and currently includes the following members: Justus Uitermark (AISSR Academic Director), Gijs Schumacher (representative of the Department of Political Science) and Erella Grassiani (representative of the Anthropology Department). Secretary of the committee is Marleen Rademaker (Secretary Academic Integrity.
Please also refer to the Code of Conduct for Research Integrity by the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands).
For more information on Research Integrity for social science research at the AISSR, please visit the AISSR wiki.
All theses are checked for plagiarism, which is obligatory, as set down in the UvA 2014 doctorate regulations. The practical implementation of the plagiarism check has been delegated from the Dean of the Faculty to the Management Information Coordinator of the research institute AISSR.
Please be aware that the plagiarism check of the social sciences deviates from the procedure as set down below as decided by the Board of Social Sciences. Article 22.1 of the doctorate regulations states that the manuscript must be submitted for evaluation to the Doctorate Committee no later than 14 weeks before the intended date of the defence ceremony, but not before the conditions of article 17 (Finalising the thesis manuscript, the electronic version and the plagiarism check) have been met (among other conditions). The plagiarism check will therefore be carried out before the thesis approved by the PhD thesis supervisor(s) is submitted to the Doctorate Committee. This means the thesis has to be submitted 16 weeks prior to the defense.
For more information on the thesis plagiarism check for social science research at the AISSR, please visit the AISSR wiki.
Research data, collected as part of academic research, needs to be properly managed. Depending on the nature of the research project, data and/or metadata need to be properly stored to ensure privacy of research subjects. Sometimes proper management of research data enables reuse of data by means of replication, reinterpretation, or further research. At other times, the sensitivity of data prohibits sharing and demands extensive (technical) security measures to protect the rights of research subjects. Regardless of the nature of the data and the research method, research data management is important for transparency and accountability; two pillars of academic integrity.
The AISSR has appointed two data stewards to support its researchers with their research data management.
Get in touch with the AISSR data stewards through: datasteward-AISSR-FMG@uva.nl.
More information on data steward support can be found on the AISSR wiki, open to all AISSR researchers.
Research Data Management
All information and relevant documents on Research Data Management, can be found on the general RDM page at our AISSR wiki, open to all AISSR researchers.