Ethics and animal welfare
Research ethics at ETH Zurich
Success in research is based on expertise. Outside academia, however, that alone is not sufficient, as an environment based on trust is required in which the work can be developed. And trust can only come about where people’s actions are underpinned by integrity. That is why it is a matter of such importance at ETH Zurich, and especially for its management, that integrity in the university’s research is promoted and demanded.
Researchers are given the necessary freedom to determine the course of their research themselves, and also to take responsibility for it. This can then create fertile ground for successful science, provided it is enriched with truthfulness, self-criticism, transparency and fairness.
All research studies involving work on human beings that are carried out by members of ETH Zurich and do not come under either the Therapeutic Products Act (Heilmittelgesetz) or the cantonal law on patients (Patientengesetz) must be assessed by the Ethics Commission at ETH Zurich before trials begin.
The Executive Board approved the "Guidelines for Research Integrity and Good Scientific Practice at ETH Zurich" (RSETHZ 414) in 2007. The guidelines have been in force since January 2008.
The trusted intermediary is available to offer researchers at ETH Zurich advice, support and mediation with regard to integrity in their research and good scientific practice. If there is any suspicion of incorrect behaviour in connection with research then the trusted intermediary is the point of contact. If such a notification is received, the trusted intermediary assesses the situation using the procedure defined in the "Procedure to address allegations of research misconduct at the ETH Zurich" (RSETHZ 415).
Animal Welfare Officer
In recent years, ETH Zurich has pushed ahead with expanding its core competencies in Life Sciences, and this has led, among other things, to a growing requirement for animal testing. To ensure that the ever-increasing amount of research involving animal experiments can be carried out in an efficient and exemplary manner, in particular in relation to animal welfare, a new in-house ETH position of Animal Welfare Officer has been created.