You can submit an application to the Research Ethics Committee to have your social work research proposal reviewed.

Submission of a research proposal to the DGSA Research Ethics Committee is voluntary. The review is free of charge for DGSA members. Other applicants will be charged a fee of €500.

Proposals from doctoral candidates will only be reviewed if a particular publication project requires an ethical review that cannot be provided by the university at which the project is to be submitted.

The committee is not responsible for providing research ethics advice either on doctoral projects or on research planned and conducted as part of bachelor’s dissertations, master’s dissertations or teaching research projects. It is the responsibility of supervisors and instructors to teach the basics of good academic work (see Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 2019). This includes providing advice on research ethics and supporting such projects. Postgraduate and doctoral research training groups are responsible for raising awareness of research ethics among enrolled doctoral candidates, which includes providing advisory services supplementing those provided by supervisors. The committee is open to reviewing proposals for which no third-party review has been requested.

Meanwhile, the Research (Ethics) Forum, a new initiative launched by the DGSA and the Research Section, offers space for collegial dialogue. In November of each year, there will be the opportunity to discuss research ethics issues and challenges with other members of the academic social work community.