Researchers at VU Amsterdam working with personal data need to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GPPR) and the Uitvoeringswet Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (UAVG). This applies to personal data of any kind, such as text, photographs, databases, videos, audio recordings, etc. To this end, researchers working at the Faculty of Humanities who are planning to (re-)use personal data in their research need to submit an application to the Research Ethics Review Committee (ETCO) before commencing their research project.
The primary objective of the ETCO is to conduct an ethical review to ensure that research at the faculty that process data on human subjects is conducted in a lawful, ethically acceptable, and responsible way. Studies that process data on human subjects need to be submitted to the ETCO at least one month before the study commences. This concerns research conducted within the faculty buildings itself as well as research conducted on behalf of the faculty (for example at a school, company or institution). Research by visiting researchers must first be reviewed by their own institution before it may be submitted to the ETCO of the Faculty of Humanities at VU Amsterdam.
The ethics review is applicable to studies that are not medical or clinical in nature. In accordance with the Medical Research involving Human Subjects Act (WMO), research that is medical or clinical in nature needs to be submitted to an a accredited MERC (Medical Research Ethics Committee). In those cases in which it is not clear immediately if a research project is or is not subject to the WMO, the EtCO may request a non-WMO statement before conducting an ethical review.
The guidelines and procedures of the ETCO are described in the Research Ethics Review Protocol.