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Processing and decisions

The Swedish Ethical Review Authority decides whether the application is to be:


Approved research may be implemented as long as it does not violate any other law (besides the Ethical Review Act).

Sometimes the board sets conditions for approval. It that case, the research may be carried out as long as the conditions are met.

Approval ceases to apply if the research is not started within two years of the decision’s entry into force. A project can, however, be permitted to run over a period exceeding two years.


A rejection means that the research is not permitted to start. The application is rejected if, for example, the board deems that the presumed knowledge benefit does not outweigh the risks or the encroachment on personal integrity entailed by the research.

To be complemented

The board often requires changes or additions before it will consider approving an application. In such cases, the research is not permitted to start before the board has reviewed and approved a new version of the application.


Applications which fall outside the area of responsibility of the board are to be dismissed, in cases where an advisory statement (see below) is not appropriate. Usually, a dismissal is issued when the board does not deem the study to constitute research in the legal sense. This can be the case if the study is deemed to be part of ongoing quality enhancement work within a public authority.

Given an advisory statement

If the research is not deemed to be subject to permission or if it concerns an exclusively student-led project, the board has the option of providing an advisory statement. The statement can help the applicant to improve the study from an ethical point of view and is also proof that the applicant has not attempted to evade the law.


The Swedish Ethical Review Authority's decisions can be appealed to the Ethics Review Appeals Board that is located in Stockholm. The procedure and timeframe for appeals are specified when the applicant is notified of the decision. The decision made by the Ethics Review Appeals Board cannot in turn be appealed. 

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Any questions?

Do you have any questions regarding research ethics regulations? As an employee of Lund University, you can turn to forskningsetik [at] lu [dot] se

How to apply?

Instructions regarding how to apply for ethics approval is to be found at the homepage of the Swedish Ethical Review Authority: