Ethics Committee

A large proportion of research projects deal with individual human beings and must therefore be preceded by an ethical review. The purpose of the review process conducted by the Research Ethics Committee is to ensure that the research does not violate the human dignity, integrity or other rights or basic freedoms enjoyed by human subjects of the research. The Research Ethics Committee is also expected to follow developments in research ethics and normative guidance and to communicate this information to personnel.

Preliminary review

Research plans for medical research projects must be submitted to the ethics committee of the hospital district in which the principal medical researcher is active. Other research projects dealing with individual human beings and their personal integrity are vetted by the Research Ethics Committee of Kela. The majority of interview and survey studies can potentially infringe on personal integrity and therefore are subject to ethical review. Research plans submitted for ethical review are sent to the secretary of the Research Ethics Committee (kela.tutkimuseettinen.tmk(at) In reviewing such research plans, the Committee pays particular attention to:

  • the appropriateness of the research
  • the potential for harm or discomfort to the research subjects
  • the adequacy and comprehensibility of the information provided to the subjects
  • privacy protection considerations

Material to be submitted to a preliminary review

Material which is intended to be reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee of Kela must be submitted well before the planned date on which the research is to be initiated.

As a general rule, the request for an ethical review must include at least the following information and documents:

  • Title of the research
  • Main objectives of the research
  • Research plan or a summary thereof
  • Estimate by the researcher (or the research team) about the potential risks and benefits to the subjects and an outline of measures designed to minimise the risk
  • Estimate by the researcher (or the research team) about the potential ethical or privacy protection problems associated with the research and a plan for reducing these problems
  • A model informed consent form (if applicable to the research) and an outline of the information to be communicated to the subjects either orally or in writing and of the ways intended to ensure informed consent
  • Copies of the letters which are to be sent to the subjects. The informed consent process must set aside sufficient time for the subjects to inform themselves about the issues involved before indicating their consent.

Committee members
(1 January 2016–31 December 2018)

Senior Researcher Ilpo Airio
Senior Researcher Leena Saastamoinen
Researcher Helena Siipi (external member, University of Turku)
Researcher Tuula Toikka (chairperson)
Researcher Anna-Kaisa Tuovinen
Senior Researcher Annamari Tuulio-Henriksson 
Researcher Miika Vuori
Research Assistant Jenna Mäkinen (secretary)

Last modified 20/06/2017
Updated 22/10/2012