Conducting ethical research

There are a number of regulations you are obliged to follow when conducting research. Before you start your research, you must ensure you have the permits and approvals required. When you apply for a grant from the Swedish Research Council, you must state how you plan to address the ethical issues that arise in your research.

Describe the ethical issues raised by the research

Your application to us must describe the ethical issues raised by your project. You must also explain how you plan to address these issues. Against the background of the ethical issues, you will need to explain why the research should be carried out – why it is justifiable.

Some research requires a permit

Some research may only be conducted if it has passed an ethical review.

You apply for a permit for research involving humans via the Swedish Ethical Review Authorityexternal link, in accordance with the Swedish Ethical Review Act (SFS 2003:460). The law is there to protect human beings – physically and mentally – and their integrity.

You apply for a permit for research involving animals via an animal ethics committeeexternal link, in accordance with the Swedish Animal Protection Act (SFS 1988:534). Animal experiments must only be conducted where no alternative methods are available.

Depending on the type of research you plan to conduct, you may need other permits. When you apply for a grant, you are responsible for ensuring that you have the permits and approvals required for that research. Please do not send permits or approvals to us unless we expressly ask for them.

Follow good research practice

When you conduct research, you must ensure at all times that the project follows good research practice. You and the administrating organisation confirm your responsibility for this when you approve the terms and conditions of the grant decision.

Read more about ethical issues

We have compiled a number of links to other websites with more information about ethical guidelines and advice on dealing with ethical issues:

Codex – rules and guidelines for researchexternal link

ALLEA – European Code of Conduct for Research Integrityexternal link

SATORI – outline of an ethics assessment frameworkexternal link

PublISHED ON 30 April 2018

UpDATED ON 07 January 2021


  1. Seven projects about ethics awarded grants in joint initiative

    It is now clear who will be awarded funding under the call for research in research ethics, issued jointly by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for the Advancement of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Swedish Research Council, and the Royal Swedish Aca...

  2. Research involving experiments on animals

    Some of the research funded by the Swedish Research Council includes experiments on animals as one of the methods used to answer the research question.

  3. Considering sex and gender perspectives in your research

    As from 2020, we ask all who apply for a grant from us to state whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant in their research. This applies to most of our calls. You can find instructions in the call text.