Ethical Committee for Human Sciences

In its decisions, the VUB’s independent Ethical Committee for Social Sciences and Humanities endorses the general principles of the VUB’s research policy, such as the goal of providing a good research culture, high quality research output, and ensuring integrity in scientific research.

The Committee provides ethical authorisations to researchers. It checks projects submitted for authorisation for their compatibility with ethical norms and principles. In addition, the Committee provides policy advice related to developments in research, insofar as these have a clear ethical dimension and are relevant to the VUB.

The Committee is composed in such a way that all the social sciences and humanities research disciplines are represented. The official members and their substitutes are appointed by the Research Council in compliance with the Research Council Regulations relating to special advisory committees. The appointed members participate in the Committee in their own name. The Committee should include at least one legal specialist and at least one ethics expert.

The Committee meetings take place in private. The members of the Committee are bound by a commitment to confidentiality. It is possible that the persons who have asked the Committee for advice may be invited to answer questions posed by the Committee members. The Committee can also invite external experts to provide advice and, if necessary, to participate in the Committee with voting rights. Such external experts are also bound by a commitment to confidentiality.


Guidelines ECHW

English version coming soon!

Download here
E-mail ECHW Secretariat

Phone number
+32 2 629 21 39

Composition ECHW

Have a look

Intranet for VUB-researchers


Ethics Committee Dual Technologies, Military Research & Misuse


The Ethical Committee Dual Technologies, Military Research and Misuse (ECDMM) is responsible for the following:

  • Checking that activities carried out at the VUB are in compliance with applicable dual use control regimes.
  • Checking that activities carried out at the VUB are in compliance with applicable control regimes for military goods.
  • Ethics evaluation of activities involving military or defence partners or military or defence funding.
  • Evaluating activities carried out at the VUB for risks of misuse and providing recommendations or requirements for the management of such risks.
  • Providing ethical approvals for projects involving dual technologies, military research, and projects whose results have the potential for misuse.
  • Providing advice and support to the VUB research community in relation to dual technologies, military research and potential for misuse.

The ECDMM is part of the Legal and Ethics Office within the VUB’s Research and Data Management Department.

The Dutch version of this page is available here.

Secretary ECDMM

Phone number
+32 2 629 21 49


Intranet for VUB-researchers


Dual Technologies, Military Research & Misuse

Does your activity involve any of the following?

  • Items, technology or knowledge that could be used for either military or civilian applications.
  • Military items, knowledge or technologies.
  • Military partners, or partners from the defence sector.
  • Funding from military or defence programmes.
  • Items, technology or knowledge that could be used to harm people, animals, plants, the environment or property.

If so, you need to carry out the following checks:

  • Do you need export licences for any export of dual use or military items, technology or knowledge?
  • Does your funder require ethical approval for your project?
  • Are any measures needed to mitigate the risk of misuse of the results of your activity?
  • Are there any other ethical considerations relating to your activity?

The ECDMM and its secretary are here to help with these questions. Please contact us as soon as possible if you are planning any activities involving dual technologies, military research, or research with potential for misuse.

Composition of the committee

The composition of the ECDMM is approved annually by the VUB Research Council.
The Committee is composed of representatives of the fields of law, social sciences and humanities, science and technology, and the life sciences.
The secretary takes measures to ensure gender equality in the composition of the Committee.

Deadlines & Meetings

The Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis.
Details of the meetings can be found via the Intranet for Researchers.

Submitting & request for approval

New requests for approval consist of the following documents:

  • A self-evaluation, identifying which aspects of the project raise issues relating to dual technologies, military research or misuse.
  • A description of how any issues identified in the self-evaluation will be dealt with.
  • Any export licences already obtained, or a plan to obtain such licences if they are needed.

Requests should be submitted by e-mail to: ECDMM@vub.be.

If you need to submit any security-sensitive materials as part of your request, please contact the ECDMM secretary for advice on how to send them.

Ethische Commissie Dierproeven

Mission of the Ethical Committee for Animal Testing (ECD) of the VUB:

  1. Evaluating and approving of planned and executed animal experiments within the institution.
  2. Defining criteria for the ethical use of laboratory animals.
  3. Advise laboratories and users within the institution on the ethical use of laboratory animals.
  4. Advice laboratories and users within the institution regarding law and regulations concerning the use of laboratory animals.
  5. Report to the supervisory authority on laboratory animal use within the institution.

 The Ethical Committee Animal Testing consists of internal and external members competent in:

  1. Ethics
  2. Alternative methods to animal experiment
  3. Animal health and welfare
  4. Research techniques
  5. Experimental design
  6. Statistical analysis

 The composition of the ECD is yearly approved by the Research Council of the VUB.

E-Mail ECD Secretariat

Phone number
+32 2 477 48 08

Deadlines & Meeting dates

Have a look

Intranet for VUB-researchers


Data Protection Office

Chances are your research involves the processing of personal data and that certain privacy laws apply to your research too. Cases as different as sending an email to a colleague in your field, using questionnaires as your research data, or analysing information that has been posted on social media platforms have to comply with privacy and data protection legislation.

As a researcher, you have to be mindful of whether or not you handle personal data and what the consequences are hereof for both those involved in your research, and for you as a researcher (e.g. personal data that is processed without a legal basis has to be deleted). Complying with these laws is not just everybody’s duty: the scientific community is judged by higher standards of ethical behaviour and the Data Protection Office is here to help you try and meet these standards with regard to safeguarding everybody’s rights and freedoms.


Do you have questions on privacy legislation (like GDPR) and the effect it has on your research? (english version coming soon)

Go to our faq

Data breaches

Do you suspect a data breach? Report it immediately!

Report here

What we do

  • Provide information on, and explanation of, the applicable privacy- and data protection laws to both central services and researchers
    Do you wonder whether or not the GDPR applies to your research? Or what ‘personal data’, ‘processing’, or ‘data minimization’ entails and how it affects your research? The FAQ (above - English version coming soon) will guide you through all of these questions about the GDPR, specifically related to scientific research.

  • Help researchers file their research into the register of processing activities of VUB (the register that every institution is legally obliged to create and maintain in order to keep track of the flow of personal data)
    Whilst awaiting the implementation of an automated way to file your research in the VUB’s registry of processing activities, you can answer the questions in this document and email them to dpo@vub.be

  • Support and guide researchers towards compliance with privacy and data protection law, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    We often drop by at faculties or research groups to give presentations and answer questions, if you would like to schedule such a presentation or would like to make an appointment to discuss a case, please send an email to dpo@vub.be

  • Provide templates and documents that you can use in your research
    For example:  templates for informed consent forms, templates for agreements and other contracts necessary when sharing personal data between institutions or the form to file your research in the VUB’s registry of processing activities
    Go to R&D Intranet for templates.

  • Assess and handle data breaches
    If you want to report a data breach, please file it in the Service Now helpdesk: https://vub.service-now.com/sp/?id=landing;

  • Handle information requests by individuals requesting access or deletion of their personal data

Intellectual Property Rights?

Advice on copyright, portrait right or ... Deze vragen worden behandeld door onze collega's van TechTransfer.


Research Data Management?

Provide advice and guidance with regard to Research Data Management, writing your Data Management Plans, and using the PURE research database

Click here

Open Acces & Open Science?

Mail to the department of Research & Datamanagement


Ethics & Integrity?

Provide advice on matters of research ethics and scientific integrity

Click here

Data Sharing Agreements?

Draft (parts of) the contracts necessary for the sharing of (personal) data with institutions other than the VUB


Information Security Policy?

Provide information and guidance on technical aspects of the VUB’s information security policy.

Click here

Contact Point Access & Benefit Sharing


The VUB Contact Point for Access and Benefit Sharing is responsible for the following:

  • Supporting VUB researchers with compliance with the Nagoya Protocol (full title: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity)
  • Supporting VUB researchers with other aspects of fairness and benefit sharing relating to research processes and results

The Contact Point is a member of the VUB Legal and Ethics Office Team, which is a part of the Research & Data Management Department.

Secretary contact point ABS

Phone number
+32 2 629 21 49


Access & Benefit Sharing and the Nagoya Protocol

Belgium is a party to the Nagoya Protocol. As a result, VUB researchers are required to comply with the provisions of the protocol, which applies to all genetic resources covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity, and to traditional knowledge associated with those resources.

Does your research involve genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge? If so, you need to check the following:

  • Are the resources within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol?
  • Who do you need to contact to ask consent to access the resources?
  • With whom will you share any benefits resulting from your research activities?
  • With whom will you negotiate to agree on what benefits to share?
  • What processes do you need to ensure that the agreements are followed?

The Access and Benefit Sharing Contact Point is here to help with these questions.
Please contact us as soon as possible via the address above if you are planning any research involving genetic resources.


Other Fairness and Benefit Sharing Services

The Contact Point also provides support with the following:

  • Other Access and Benefit Sharing legislation relating to genetic resources, including national and international law.
  • Achieving equity in other forms of research that do not involve genetic resources.

Further Information

  • Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity: here

The Access and Benefit Sharing Clearing House: here 

Tool to assess whether your research is within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol: here

  • Other Fairness Issues

Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource Poor Settings: here [link: ]