Projects will generally be subject to the HRA and require authorization by a Cantonal Ethics Commission if one or more of the following apply:
- one of the objectives of the research is to make or to refine a clinical diagnosis;
- one of the objectives is to contribute to understanding of a pathology and/or the way that the human body functions;
- objective health-related data (physiological indicators) are collected;
- research subjects are recruited based on a medical condition, including self-diagnosed).
If you are not sure whether you need the authorization of a Cantonal Ethics Commission, you can obtain initial advice by submitting a request for a clarification of responsibility. The procedure is free of charge for the Vaud Ethics Commission (which deals with all projects in French-speaking Switzerland, except Geneva, which has its own ethics commission).
For projects subject to the HRA, a full scientific protocol should be submitted online on the BASEC portal. Fees from CHF 800 to CHF 1,200 are charged for the evaluation of a full project. Your institute may cover some or all of the fees: you should apply directly to the director of your host institute. Further information is available on the website of the Swiss Ethics Commission (http://www.swissethics.ch).
Please also check the website of the Vaud Ethics Commission (CER-VD) (in French only).