Research Ethics Committee

Important notification

Projects must be submitted to the committee for consideration before project investigation begins. The Research Ethics Committee cannot issue its approval retroactively, that is, once the project is already running or has already been completed!

Evaluation request

When a project must be approved by an ethics committee

1) The approval of the ethics committee is required by law; in the Czech Republic this applies only to research projects in the field of biomedicine.

2) In the case of a project in which biomedical techniques are used (e.g., MRI, the sampling of blood or other biological materials, measuring biological parameters) for research in non-biomedicine fields (e.g., psychology or sports studies).

3) When the provider of a grant (e.g., a grant agency or foundation) requires the approval of the ethics committee.

4) In the case of research that does not fall into any of these categories, but when the editorial board of an academic journal requires the approval of the ethics committee to begin the peer review process; this depends on the customs of the given field of research (the submitter should know this).

Furthermore, approval from the ethics committee is recommended if the research subjects are children, for projects in the field of psychology, when a cover story is used in research, and if sensitive personal data are collected during research (information about health, sexual orientation, etc.).

In other cases in which researchers collect data that have no ethical implications it is sufficient to consult your Consent Form for Participation in a Research Study and Consent Form for Processing Personal Data with the lawyers specializing in research from the Legal Office of the Rector’s Office of Masaryk University (Mgr. Veronika Smítková and Mgr. Jana Klimentová) to ensure that relevant laws are observed, especially those related to the processing of personal data.

When to submit a request

The committee accepts requests for project evaluations on a rolling basis. The time needed to evaluate each project can vary; it depends on the quality of the materials provided. Requests should be submitted to the REC at least four weeks before the deadline for submitting your grant proposal to the funder, or before the planned start of an internal project.

If you are unsure about anything, you can ask questions any time before you submit your request.

Deadlines for submitting requests for evaluating projects to be submitted to large grant competitions (those of the Czech Science Foundation, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, the Czech Health Research Council, etc.) are posted on the REC’s website well in advance in the news section. The Research Office of the MU Rector’s Office also distributes this information to project support officers at each faculty.

How to submit a request

You must submit a request for a project evaluation in the ISEP section of INET using the Project Proposal Editor application.

  1. When entering a project, when asked "Does your project need an assessment by the Masaryk University Research Ethics Committee" click "Yes".
  2. If you are entering your project in ISEP solely to request an evaluation from the REC (for example, for a thesis or paper), select Masaryk University as the investor and under programme framework/project type select "Project proposals for the ethics committee".
  3. Once you create a project, carefully fill in the information in the Ethics section.
  4. Upload the documents necessary for the evaluation (Application for Ethics Review and Consent Form for Participation in Research Study), see "Required documents" a click "Save".
  5. Zvolte možnost "Finalize and submit to Research Ethics Committee MU" (only then is the ethics committee secretary informed by the system about your request).
  6. You can see whether your project proposal has been accepted for review, the results of the review ("Status"), and your project’s reference number (e.g., EKV-2019-001) in the upper left corner of the Ethics section.
  7. Once the review has been completed, you can download a scan of the approval in the Documents section in the Project Proposal Editor (not the Accepted Projects Editor).

If you are unsure about anything or if your project proposal has been locked for editing in INET, contact the committee's secretary.

Required documents

Current forms and templates can be downloaded in the Documents and links section

For your project to be reviewed, you must submit the following documents:

  • Application for Ethics Review – this form is available in English.
  • Consent Form for Participation in a Research Project (or an equivalent consent form that includes information for research participants and Consent for Processing Personal Data; using the Ethics Committee’s forms is not required but is recommended).
  • Or other relevant documents (you will be informed of other documents that you must submit, such as a "Letter of Commitment" when you fill out the Application for Ethics Review).

The project review process

Usually, your submitted documents will be carefully studied by two members of the ethics committee (reviewers) and the committee’s lawyer, who will each write an independent review. The reviewers’ and lawyer’s notes are sent to the submitter of the proposal to be resolved and for missing information and documents to be provided, etc. The reviewers and the lawyer will evaluate how their comments have been addressed, will include their reviews, and conclude by stating "I recommend/do not recommend the commission to approve this proposal." Finally, the full project documentation together with the reviews are presented to the committee, which then electronically votes upon it.

Validity of approval

The Research Ethics Committee’s approval is valid from the day approval was issued until the end of the project period (for grant-funded projects) or for the period stated in the submitted Request for Project Assessment by the Research Ethics Committee (for internal projects and theses). It is possible to request an extension of the validity of the approval from the committee, but only during the project implementation period, not after it (in this case, it is necessary to submit a new assessment request). During the review process, you may be asked to modify the start date of the project. Projects that have already begun will not be assessed.

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