How to make an ethics self-assessment in research projects – Aalto support and guidelines

Here we provide support, links and tips on how to work your way through the research ethics self-assessment for research projects that is required for EU grants. The processes and advice apply to all research and are relevant for other funding instruments as well.
Research ethics and conducting an ethical self-evaluation are important in all research projects

It is important to reflect upon ethical issues when planning a research project and designing its research protocol. Taking the time to consider all the potential risks for research participants and study subjects, researchers and society upfront, will save you from worries later on. It will also improve the quality of your research plan, not to mention facilitate its implementation. Increasingly many major funders and scientific journals expect researchers to conduct research according to accepted ethical guidelines. Following proper ethical processes matters!

On this page, we will examine research ethics from the perspective of ethical self-evaluations. We will mainly focus on the issues and requirements raised in connection to EU grants. This website follows the structure of the following EU instructions: EU grants: How to complete your ethics self-assessment.

As part of the funding application, Aalto and you as a researcher commit to compliance with ethical principles and relevant legislations. In ‘Declarations’, Aalto and you as a researcher declare to follow research integrity, namely the ALLEA code. Please also look up the Finnish guidelines. 

The ‘Declarations’ section also includes a commitment to an exclusive focus on civil application. If your research involves dual-use items (non-military items that can be modified to be used in e.g. terrorism or as weapons of mass destruction) or technology which can be used to undermine democracy or human rights, or other items subject to regulations, you need to apply the proper procedures and apply for permits. See more: Responsible internationalisation – Export control and sanctions compliance at Aalto University | Aalto University

Next, we will take a look at the specific topics in the EU Grants guidelines linked above, giving you advice and links for further reading. 

Topics in ethics self-assessment

The self-assessment topics below are categorised into the specific fields that require different processes. 

Most of the ethics issues above are addressed in the ethics self-evaluation table of the form. However some are addressed in the Security table; namely questions on EU classified information, Misuse and other security issues. 

Horizon Ethical Research Evaluation


Annukka Jyrämä

Annukka Jyrämä

U901 Research Services
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