Commission for resaerch and ethics

Ethical reflection on appropriate goals and means of scientific research is given an increasingly prominent role in the German and European research landscape. The Technische Universität Berlin is aware of its social responsibility as a renowned research institution. Therefore, the Executive Board of TU Berlin has decided to establish a Commission for Ethics in Research. This commission was constituted in February 2021.

Responsibilities of the commission

The Commission for Ethics in Research advises the Presidential Board and will not issue regular ethics votes on research and publication applications by scientists at TU Berlin. For this purpose, decentralized ethics committees have been and will be established in the faculties. In a first step, the comission has drafted ethical guidelines for research at the Technische Universität Berlin, which are to be binding for the entire TU Berlin.

In individual cases, the committee may also be called upon to advise on critical projects, for example with regard to dual-use issues, to ensure compliance with the TU Berlin's civil clause, or to evaluate general ethical issues.

Other issues on which the commission can be approached:

  • Evaluation of dual use questions on ethics in technology research, IT research, biological-chemical research on a case-by-case basis
  • Evaluation of compliance with the civil clause at the TU Berlin in individual cases
  • Evaluation of critical cases in the context of the export control procedure (BAFA) in individual cases
  • If necessary, processing of further compliance issues that are not yet foreseeable today
  • Evaluation of critical individual cases that cannot be handled in the decentralized ethics committees and corresponding recommendations
  • Contact point and clearing house for all decentralized ethics committees
  • Recommendations for relevant further training of members of the TU Berlin

The chairpersons of the decentralized ethics committees of the TU Berlin are entitled to submit applications to the commission in addition to the members of the Presidential Board and the committee members. Further details are regulated by the bylaws.


University professors

Prof. Dr. Regina Ammicht QuinnUniversität Tübingen – Spokeswoman of the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) and Head of the Department of Society, Culture and Technological Change
Prof. Dr. Birgit BeckFaculty I – Chair of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology (Chairman of the commission)
Prof. Dr. Martin GrötschelFormer president of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the Einstein Foundation Berlin and the Zuse-Institute Berlin
Prof. Dr. Jens KurreckFaculty III – Chair of Applied Biochemistry (Vice chairman of the commission)
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-SpringorumFaculty I – Director of the Center for Research on Antisemitism
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christine AhrendFaculty V – Chair of Integrated Transport Planning

Scientific staff

Dr. Stefan UllrichResearch group leader at the Weizenbaum Institute (Vice chairman of the commission)
Dr. Gabriele WendorfHead of the Center for Technology and Society, Chairperson of the Sustainability Board

Employees in technology, service and administration

Dr. phil. Irina SchwabHead of the University Archives
Annette HillerHead of the Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration and Head of the data protection team



Non-voting advisors

Prof. Dr. Gabriele SteidlOmbudsperson
Prof. Dr. Jens KurreckOmbudsperson
Annette HillerHead of Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration and Head of the data protection team
Marianne Walther von LoebensteinChief Safety Engineer/Environmental Officer
Ali Agool, Dr. Dagmar DransfeldCompany doctor
Zur Erweiterung der Fach- und Prozesskompetenz werden zu den Sitzungen der KEF auch die nicht stimmberechtigte Berater*innen qua Amt eingeladen.

Further information

Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Related Research

The Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research is a body established by the DFG and the Leopoldina to sustainably strengthen awareness of the dual usability of research results and the responsible handling of security-relevant research, as well as the self-regulation of science in this regard.

Decentralized ethics committees

The main task of the decentralized ethics committees, which review the ethical soundness of research proposals and publication submissions on a professional level, is to issue corresponding ethics votes. These ethics committees act as Approval Committees (Research Ethics Committees - RECs), i.e. regularly working committees that evaluate a growing number of applications (e.g. third-party funding applications, publication submissions, etc.). The members of the decentralized ethics committees come for the most part from the respective disciplines for which they review the applications and must have acquired expertise through appropriate training events or tutorials.

If a decentralized ethics committee is unable to conclusively evaluate a complex application despite intensive consideration, the chairperson can request advice from the commission for resaerch and ethics.

Chair of the decentralized ethics committees

Faculty I:N.N.
Faculty III:Prof. Dr. Sina Bartfeld
Faculty IV:Prof. Dr. Marianne Maertens
Faculty V (IPA):Prof. Dr. Markus Feufel
Faculty VI:Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jörg Gleiter
Faculty VII:Prof. Dr. Katrin Talke