Whoever conducts research on humans and wants to do so with good scientific practice nowadays needs an ethics vote, which is demanded by an increasing number of national and international publishers in the lead-up to publications, but also by funding agencies in the when it comes to planned research projects. At many universities in Bavaria, ethics committees have been in use for quite some time. However, recently, an increased need for ethical statements has also developed at the technical universities and universities of applied sciences, which are now more and more involved in research. The need for ethics in science and research is now being addressed by the GEHBa, the Joint Ethics Committee of the Universities of Applied Sciences of Bavaria, the home organisation of which is Hochschule Bayern e.V.
With currently 21 members at 14 universities of applied sciences in Bavaria – experts from various fields including, for example, nursing, biology, artificial intelligence (AI), electronics, and law – the GEHBa offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and a distinct interdisciplinary expertise unique in Bavaria. Thanks to the resulting independence, the GEHBa is also in a position to evaluate ethically joint interdisciplinary research projects. The management board of the GEHBa currently consists of the three founding members Prof. Dr. Walter Swoboda (HNU’s DigiHealth Institute), Prof. Dr. Horst Kunhardt (TH Deggendorf) and Prof. Dr. Karsten Weber (OTH Regensburg). The coordination office of the GEHBa is located at Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences.
Since its first meeting on June 30th, 2020, the GEHBa has issued several votes and assessments on ethical aspects of research projects carried out at different Bavarian universities and is, thus, about to leave its initial pilot phase. Additional GEHBa meetings have already been scheduled for the end of October and November 2020 and January 2021. Application forms, the statutes of the ethics committee, as well as meeting dates and deadlines for submission of applications can be viewed and downloaded on the GEHBa website, which is permanently updated.