Our Ethics Committee


The IACCHOS Institute’s Research Ethics Committee 

The Research Ethics Committee is at the service of researchers who may refer to it in various circumstances.

In the words of Éric Gagnon, "Ethics is more than a set of instructions, imperatives and prohibitions; it is a critical review of research, of the reasons and motives that guide a researcher and give meaning to his work. More than simply the application of a moral theory or code, it is first of all an effort at calm reflection, and it is around such a compelling vision of ethics that ethics reviews should be structured, and not on the basis of a timid and short-sighted deontology. The role of committees should be to stimulate and foster reflection, rather than to control researchers; to nurture a process of critical thinking which does not end with the granting of an ethics certification by the local committee, but which continues throughout all of the research project, a process of reflection which goes far beyond a committee and the assessment of each individual protocol. It seems to me that the time has come for committees to evolve from examiner and judge to facilitator and discussion leader. The researcher is responsible for his or her research. As for the committee, it is there to point out certain rules, remind the researcher of their responsibilities, prevent various problems, and above all provide food for thought regarding the potential consequences of what the researcher is planning to do and to raise the question of relevance, but without being the judge of the latter"[1].

The committee is likely to be called upon in at least 6 circumstances :

  1. When researchers are faced with ethical dilemmas before, during, or after their research.
  2. When a sponsor seeks the opinion of the research ethics committee.
  3. When awareness of the ethical dimension of research is called for.
  4. When there is a need to reflect on the specifics of research ethics in the social sciences.
  5. When academic freedom of research is being challenged.
  6. When allegations of a breach of integrity are levelled by or against a researcher affiliated with the Institute.

These 6 aspects determine a comparable number of missions summarized below

Composition of the Research Ethics Committee  :

Prof. An Ansoms
Prof. Aurore François
Dr. Jean-Paul Sanderson
Prof. Vincent Dupriez (président)

Mediator: Prof. Emeritus Thierry De Smedt.
Tel/fax: +32 10 45 50 08
Email : thierrydesmedt51@gmail.com

Requests for an opinion or consultation of the Research Ethics Committee should be addressed to its Chairman: Vincent.Dupriez@uclouvain.be


[1] Eric Gagnon , « Le comité d’éthique de la recherche, et au-delà », Ethique publique, vol. 12, n°1, 2010, pp. 299-308. Article disponible en ligne : https://journals.openedition.org/ethiquepublique/284