Ethics for Social Sciences Research

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
16 October 2019 09:00 17:00 Wageningen Heleen Danen 9 / 15 Apply

Course description

This course focuses on ethical issues that are encountered specifically in research with human subjects. After identifying ethical principles for social sciences research on the basis of one specific case (brought in by the lecturer), participants will discuss their own research proposals. Interactions and feedback are tailored to the topics that are relevant to the research projects op the participants. Participants are informed about the procedures for receiving ethical approval from the Social Sciences Ethics Committee and adjust their own study protocol (including informed consent sheets) for meeting the ethics requirements prescribed by this committee.

We recommend taking this course in combination with Research Integrity (RI), which focuses on key principles of good science and good scientific conduct, and on (ways of coping with) integrity tensions.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course:

  • participants are aware of morally salient dimensions of different phases of a research project, and understand the need to come to well-considered judgments.

  • participants are knowledgeable of aspects of their study protocol (including informed consent sheets) that need specific consideration to meet research ethics requirements.

  • participants are capable to reflect on possible moral dilemmas in (their) research and formulate arguments relevant to decision making.

General Information

Target Group: PhD candidates and postdocs
Group size: Max. 15 participants
Course duration: One day  (9 am - 5 pm) 
Language: English
Credit points: 0.5
Self-study hours: 20
Name lecturer: Marcel Verweij and Leon Pijnenburg
Venue: Wageningen



Write a short text (max 1 A4) in which you formulate possible ethical aspects of your study. Reading the online e ESRC Research Ethics Guidebook maybe be helpful in this.


Seminar day:

9:00 – 10:30  General introduction – Ethical principles for social sciences research and general questions Social Sciences Ethics Committee (SEC)

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break

10:45 – 12:30 Discuss ethical issues in own research project in subgroups. Plenary feedback.

12:30 – 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 - 14:45 Presentation and assignment: Writing of study protocol/ informed consent sheets.

14:45 – 15:00 Coffee break

15:00  - 16:45 Discussion of protocols. Presentation SEC procedure.



1) Reduced fee: PhD candidates of Wageningen University with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) and post-docs of Wageningen University that are registered at one of the graduate schools of Wageningen (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS, WIMEK) € 50,-
2) Full fee: All other PhD candidates / post-docs as well as staff of Wageningen University € 100,-
3) Extended fee: All other participants € 200 ,-

Fee includes study and training material, coffee/tea and lunches.

Cancellation condition

Until four weeks before the start of the course, you can cancel free of charge. After this date you will be charged with the “Full Fee”. 

Exemption of payment:

  • When there is a replacement (who you can propose, in this case please inform the course coordinator) you will only be charged with €50.

  • For PhD’s and post-docs of Wageningen University: when you have a valid reason (circumstances beyond your control) to cancel, you will be charged the reduced fee. In this case a written statement of the supervisor/superior is required.

Note: When you do not have a valid reason to cancel or do not show up at courses that are free of charge you will be charged with €100.


For more information please contact