Ethical review of research

Kela’s research organisation is committed to compliance with The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in human sciences, as issued by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK (PDF), appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The task of Kela’s Research Ethics Committee is to conduct, upon request, an ethical review of research projects involving human participants and to issue relevant statements. The Research Ethics Committee does not review research projects that fall within the scope of the Medical Research Act (488/1999, Laki lääketieteellisestä tutkimuksesta). The Committee holds no legal position, and its tasks do not include the granting of official approvals to carry out research projects.

When is it necessary to apply for a statement from Kela’s Research Ethics Committee?

Researchers are required to carefully read the ethical principles (PDF) for research involving human participants, as issued by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK, to independently assess the need for an ethical review of their intended research and, if necessary, to request a statement from the Research Ethics Committee. If the research project includes several sub-projects, the researcher shall request an ethical review separately for each sub-project.

The researcher can also request a statement from the Ethics Committee when so required by a research funding agency or co-operative partner, or if the results of the research are to be published in a scientific journal that requires a preliminary ethical review. The Committee can also deal with any particular ethical issues that arise during the research process.

When is a statement from Kela’s Research Ethics Committee not necessary?

A statement from Kela’s Research Ethics Committee is generally not necessary in the following cases:

  • The study utilises unidentifiable register data and a statement is not required for any other reason
  • The research project has been reviewed by another ethical body and no other party requires a separate review by Kela’s Research Ethics Committee
  • The matter concerns a final project or thesis for a qualification or degree and a statement is not required for any special reason, for instance, by Kela as a provider of data. The researcher working on the thesis must apply for a review together with the thesis supervisor.

Committee members and meeting dates

Committee members, 1 August 2019–31 December 2021

Riitta Luoto, Medical Director, Kela (Chairperson)
Anna-Kaisa Tuovinen, Researcher, Kela (Secretary)
Raila Brummer, Data Protection Officer, Kela
Saija Karinkanta, Senior Researcher, Kela
Minna-Liisa Luoma, Research Manager, National Institute for Health and Welfare
Miia Saarikallio-Torp, Senior Researcher, Kela (Deputy Chair)
Mikael Sallinen, Research Manager, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Ella Sihvonen, Senior Researcher, Kela
Helena Siipi, Senior Researcher, University of Turku
Päivi Tillman, Senior Researcher, Kela

Committee meetings in 2021 Deadline for statement requests (by 4 p.m.)
31 Aug 17 Aug
28 Sep 14 Sep
26 Oct 12 Oct
30 Nov 16 Nov
14 Dec 30 Nov

Instructions for submitting statement requests

Detailed instructions on drafting and submitting a statement can be found from this link (PDF)

Submitting a statement request

The statement request and necessary appendices shall be sent as a single PDF file via e-mail no later than 2 weeks before the meeting of the Committee to:

The Committee can only process written statement requests that arrive prior to the stated deadline.

Additional information: