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 category 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. Self-Assessment

The principal investigator must fill out an ethics and personal data protection checklist. If the answer to one or more questions is “yes”, the project must be reviewed. To that end, the PI must fill out the following forms and submit them to CIREP (together with the checklist).


Step 2. Review Application

2.1. Protocol Form

In the protocol form, applicants should describe the methods, participant profile, recruitment methods, inclusion/exclusion criteria, personal data processing strategies, etc. 

2.2. Informed Consent Form

The informed consent form 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 guide 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 3. 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.

You can learn how CIREP handles applications here.