The Role of FEN
The Research Ethics Committee (forskningsetiska nämnden or FEN) is the advisory committee at Dalarna University that reviews degree projects at the first- and second- cycle levels to ensure that they follow ethically sound practices. FEN is tasked with providing education and information on issues of ethics with relevance to research and education. Fen gives recommendations on degree projects, at the first- and second- cycle levels, which involve human beings or human organs, and which come to the attention of FEN as a result of a research ethics application.
FEN also assists with evaluations of research projects that fall outside laws on ethical vetting (Etikprövningslagen), but that require ethical review.
The main focus of FEN is the first- and second- cycle levels. For doctoral students and researchers, the Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans (Lagen om etikprövning av forskning som avser människor, 2003:460 applies, whereby research ethics applications are made to the national ethical authority in relation to where the research is going to be conducted; in Sweden this is the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (Etikprövningsmyndigheten or EPM). FEN answers questions concerning applications to EPM, but a full preview of such applications is not part of the remit of FEN.
Ethical reviews by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority are regulated by Swedish legislation and limited to data collection and processing carried out in Sweden; FEN applies the same limitation.
Students and Researchers
When you are writing an academic paper that involves people, it is important that you do so in an ethically sound manner. There are a number of points that you, as a student, need to consider before, during, and after the completion of your paper. Read what these are in the document Ethical Guidelines for Research Theses and Essays at Dalarna University (pdf).
Use this form for student projects that are about people: Ethics self-assessment form (pdf). It will help you determine if you need to make an ethical application or not.
You may need to ask people if they are willing to participate in your study. It is important that you inform them about your study before asking. Use this document to formulate your information: Mall för informationsbrev (pdf, in Swedish).
If you need to have your project reviewed for research ethics, submit an application to FEN.
Processing of personal data
Many research projects, graduate thesis or reports involve processing of personal data. All such processing must follow the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). More information, advice and guidelines concerning how to handle this at Dalarna University are to be find at our web-guide:
- Ansökningsformulär till Forskningsetiska nämnden för studenter (pdf, in Swedish)
- Instructions (pdf, in Swedish) to help you complete the form: anvisningar.
For Researchers and Doctoral Students:
- Ansökan till Forskningsetiska nämnden (pdf, in Swedish)
- Anvisningar (pdf, in Swedish) (instructions to help you complete the form)
- Informationsbrev - forskningsprojekt (pdf, in Swedish). the template for when you write the information letter
Also see Etikprövningsmyndigheten
Checklist for applications to FEN
Check that all the following tasks are accurately carried out before the application is sent to FEN (note that the application form must be completed in Swedish):
- Ethics self-assessment
- The application has been signed by all relevant persons (including supervisors)
- An application about the processing of personal data in accordance with GDPR has been made
- Complete project description with relevant appendices (e.g. interview guide, questionnaire etc.)
- Information to potential study participants in accordance with FENs information templat
- Separate informed consent form(s)
The Role of FEN
FEN will prevent and discourage research misconduct by way of information and seminars. FEN also processes reports of academic misconduct.
Falling under FEN’s area of responsibility in terms of researcher integrity are research projects headed by Dalarna University employees.
Employees at Dalarna University
The document Administrative Procedures in the Event of Research Misconduct and Deviations from Good Research Practice (in English from page 8) (pdf) explains how research misconduct shall be dealt with by the university.
There are a number of considerations that researchers need to be aware of that make for good research practice. These are specified in, for example, the publication Good Research Practice by the Swedish Research Council. Chapter 8 is specifically about research misconduct.
It is essential that research material is documented and archived so that projects can be reviewed and reports of research misconduct can be dealt with. The university has certain guidelines for what type of material needs to be documented and archived: see Regler för dokumentation och arkivering av forskningsmaterial (pdf, in Swedish).
- Vetenskapsrådets rapport 2017 - Vad är god forskningssed? (pdf, in Swedish)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Personal Data in Researchers' Work
The Work of the Committee
Times for Meetings
Each semester, FEN meets four times. Research ethics applications need to be submitted at the latest eight days ahead of a given meeting.
Deadline for Submission of Application
- Chairperson: Dara Rasoal
- Acting Chairperson: David Gray
- Secretary: Kerstin Göras
- Members, Humanties/Social Studies: David Gray and Roger Melin (substitute)
- Members, Ethics: Dara Rasoal and Peter Nilsson (substitute)
- Members, Health Sciences/Medical Sciences: Anna Cristina Åberg and Elena Zottelle Tseli (substitute)
- Members, Sciences/Technology: Jerker Westin and Roger Nyberg (substitute)
- Student Representatives: Vacant, Maria Taxell Stoltz (substitute) Student Union