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HSG Ethics Committee

The HSG Ethics Committee advises researchers at the University of St.Gallen on ethical and legal aspects of research projects

Procedure for the Ethical Evaluation of Research Projects

It is strongly recommended to consider ethical and legal aspects already in the planning phase of a research project.

All HSG researchers may use the checklist in the download section to assess the ethical soundness of their research project and to establish whether a review by the Ethics Committee is required.

If you have answered at least one of the questions in the checklist with “Yes”:
We recommend to submit an application to the Ethics Committee. Please fill out the application form and submit it with all necessary enclosures to: ekunisg.ch.

Research projects that fall under the Federal Act on Research Involving Human Beings (Human Research Act HRA) are evaluated by the Ethics Committee of Eastern Switzerland EKOS.

If your project be considered unproblematic according to the checklist:
The project may be pursued without further evaluation. The Ethics Committee issues letters of exemption for ethically unproblematic projects (if requested by a funding application or a publisher). Please submit a completed and signed copy of the checklist to the office of the Ethics Committee: ekunisg.ch.

If you think that your project should be reviewed for reasons not covered in the checklist, you may of course submit an application for full review anytime.

Questions and Answers

Applications may be submitted by faculty members of the University of St.Gallen and scientific researches with PhD. For stutent projects applications may be submitted via the supervising faculty.

The Ethics Commitee accepts applications in the following time windows:

Autumn semester: during the entire lecture period.
Spring semester: up to two weeks before the end of the lecture period.

(For urgent enquiries outside these time windows please contact the office of the Ethics Committee at: ekunisg.ch.)

The Ethics Committee reviews all applications carefully. Usually, applications are handled within  3-4 weeks.

Neither a decision by the Ethics Committee nor an exemption letter absolves researchers from their responsibilities as scientists. The standards of good scientific practice, the HSG Code of Academic Integrity as well as relevant federal and cantonal laws do apply at all time.

The Ethics Committee's work is based on two decrees of the University of St.Gallen: the regulations for the Ethics Committee and the HSG Code of Academic Integrity.

The following list provides an overview of the core ethical principles that guide the HSG Ethics Committee in its reviews:

  1. Studies should be designed with a clear goal. Scientific quality and transparency must be ensured.
  2. Studies should be designed and executed with an awareness of the responsibility towards society, the environment and nature. Researchers are obliged to proactively recognize and consider possible harms and risks in connection with their research work and to take appropriate precautionary measures.
  3. Participants and research staff must be fully informed beforehand about the purpose, procedure, and content of the study. They have to understand what their role in study is, what their participation entails and whether there are any risks involved.
  4. The anonymity of participants must be respected at all times and the information they provide must be treated with confidentiality until published.
  5. Participants must take part voluntarily and they have to consent appropriately to their participation in the study.
  6. Physical or psychological harm to participants must be avoided.
  7. Original research data must be stored safely throughout the study (including long term storage) and access to data should be limited to authorized research staff.
  8. Novel use of existing data and especially data linkage, as well as the use of administrative and sensitive personal data require appropriate permissions.
  9. Funding sources and potential conflicts of interest must be made transparent.

Members are elected for two years by the Senate. Equal representation of all departments is considered. Current members (electoral period February 2023 to January 2025):

Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel (Präsidentin)
Prof. Dr. Damian Borth (SCS)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Dingwerth (SEPS)
Prof. PhD Tomi Laamanen (SoM)
Prof. Dr. Markus Müller-Chen (LS)
Prof. Dr. Markus Schmid (SoF)
Prof. Dr. Florian Wettstein (SHSS)
Dr. Georg Fischer-Varvitsiotis (Mittelbau)

Deputy members
Prof. Dr. Daria Berg (SHSS)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Beschorner (SHSS)
Prof. Dr. Timo Boppart (SEPS)
Prof. Dr. Lukas Gschwend (LS)
Prof. Dr. Isabella Hatak (SoM)
Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer (SCS)
vacant (Mittelbau)

Contact

Dr. Karim Bschir
Managing Director HSG Ethics Committee
Tellstrasse 2
CH-9000 St. Gallen
ekunisg.ch

Forms and Downloads

Regulations

Further Links

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