When to Apply for Ethics Review of Human Subjects Research Projects

Which projects must be submitted for review?

CIREP recommends applying for ethics review in the following situations:

  • When the project has external funding, especially from European or State agencies;
  • When the results are to be published in journals that require evidence that the project has been reviewed by an ethics committee;
  • When the project involves personal data processing, especially when dealing with special categories of personal data.

CIREP does not review research projects retroactively. Thus, researchers need to apply for ethical review before they start their project. The meeting calendar and tentative application submission dates are listed here

In case of collaborative projects not led by UPF, CIREP can waive the review requirement if the lead partner has obtained approval from their institution’s ethics committee and the UPF researchers commit to follow the established protocol.


Which projects are NOT reviewed by CIREP?

For biomedical research projects, contact CEIm. For research projects involving animals, contact CEEA.



How to Apply for Ethics Review of Human Subjects Research Projects

The following steps must be followed in order to apply for ethics review of a project (for projects conducted at BESLAB, please refer to the approved protocol):


Step 1. Online Training - mandatory

The principal investigator (PI) must complete CIREP’s research ethics and personal data protection online training before seeking ethics review. 


Step 2. Self-Assessment - mandatory

The PI must fill out an ethics and personal data protection checklist and follow the instructions included in that document. 


Step 3. Review Application

3.1. Protocol Form - mandatory

In the protocol form, applicants should describe the research objectives, methods, participant profile, recruitment methods, inclusion/exclusion criteria, personal data processing strategies (unless a DPIA is attached; see 3.2), and other ethical aspects of the project. 

3.2. Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) Form - if applicable

Exceptionally (if indicated in the checklist), you may need to fill out the DPIA Form. In the DPIA form, applicants should provide information on the personal data processing involved in their project. Skip section 5 in the protocol form if you need to submit a DPIA.

3.3. Informed Consent - if applicable

The informed consent document should describe the participation in a clear and intelligible manner so that potential participants can make an informed decision whether to participate or not. The template provides text that can be adapted and enumerates all the fields that must be included in the form.

Check out our guides for help filling out the forms. 


Step 4. Submitting the Application

The signed documentation is to be emailed to [email protected]. If the applicant is a PhD student, their advisor will have to be listed as the application IP and sign it.

Please note that, before a new application is registered, CIREP checks that the documentation provided is complete and that the information provided is sufficient to evaluate the project in a 24-48-hour deadline. During the prescreening, IPs may be requested to provide more information. If you have not completed the online training, you will be asked to do so before your application is processed. 

You can learn about how CIREP handles applications here.