Review Board Social and Economic Sciences

The Review Board of the Social and Economic Sciences is an institutional review committee that examines research projects for ethical acceptability according to the rules of good scientific practice. The purpose of the Review Board is to ensure that adequate measures are taken to protect the rights and welfare of the people who participate as subjects in a research study. To this end, documentation is required to weigh up the risk-benefit potential of the research projects.



  • Anita Gantner
  • Kathrin Figl
  • Yana Litovsky
  • Florian Morath
  • Heiner Schumacher

Please, fill out the application form that can be downloaded from

Office of the Vice Rector for Research/Board for Ethical Issues

If you want to use the shortcut procedure for laboratory experiments, please confirm in the application that your project satisfies all of the following requirements:

  • No deception involved
  • Voluntary participation
  • No physical risks
  • No measurements of physical state (e.g., saliva samples, blood samples)
  • Clear information for subjects regarding duration, repetition, interactions and which is common information to subjects
  • Random procedures are clearly explained to participants
  • Anonymity regarding who is interacting with whom during the experiment
  • Paying at least the opportunity cost of time, and avoiding negative payments (losses)
  • Confidentiality of payments
  • Anonymous experimental data kept separate from non-anonymous payments data

If your project indeed satisfies these requirements, then the head of the review board can forward your application to the Board for Ethical Issues of the University of Innsbruck and you will get an IRB approval in a few days.

In case your project is not a standard laboratory experiment that satisfies all requirements mentioned above, you need to describe its ethical aspects in detail in the application. In particular, be specific about the following issues:

  • Who are the subjects, how do you recruit them (if at all)?
  • What do subjects know about the project at which stage? What data do you record?
  • What are the different treatments/conditions?
  • How will you use the data in your analysis?
  • How do you guarantee that the identity of your subjects remains anonymous?
  • If you link data from different sources, how do you link them?
  • Will there be a debriefing? If not, why?
  • Do subjects potentially incur costs for which they are not compensated?
  • Who will have access to the data?
  • Are there potential conflicts of interest due to the particular interaction between experimenter and subjects?

Please, indicate all potential risks for subjects (if there are any).

To facilitate the work of the review board, please take the following points into account:

You should give the review board some time to consider your application. Typically, all issues are resolved within four weeks, but it may take longer during holiday periods or if it is a complex project that has a number of ethical issues. Plan the timeline of your project accordingly.

Please, write the application in English.

The IRB complies with the requirements of the European Commission Ethics in Social Science and Humanities - see website Board for Ethical Issues at the University of Innsbruck.

For questions to the Review Board Social Sciences, please contact Oliver Koll

For questions to the Advisory Board on Ethical Issues in Scientific Research, please contact Robert Rebitsch

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