Karolinska Institutet has issued guidelines for the ethical review of student work (projects, dissertations, etc). Separate rules are in place for experiments using animal and human subjects.

The student as experimental subject

Student participation in research as experimental subjects is totally voluntary.

The Programme Committees decide on which experiments are allowable. In their assessment of a proposed experiment, the Committees take account of the risk of injury to the student and the educational value to the participating student, and of whether the experiment is insured.

Every experiment that uses student subjects must engage a medical officer so that a student who displays aberrant results can receive medical treatment.

Animal experiments

Animal experimentation is strictly limited to whatever is absolutely necessary for the students' education. When an animal experiment is included as a compulsory part of a course, the course directors are to offer an alternative that does not involve animal tests if this is possible. If you do not want to take part in animal experiments for ethical reasons, you may apply for exemption.

Students who will be handling laboratory animals are first given an introduction to the animal house. Supervisors/group leaders are required to be present at this introduction.

More information can be found in the rules on working with animals and access to the animal house at Karolinska Institutet (Ref. no. 6792/02-640).


Rejected applications for exemption from participation in compulsory modules involving animal experimentation may be appealed. For more information see: Appeals

Ethical review of student work

The Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research Involving Humans came into effect on 1 January 2004 (SFS 2003:460, and ordinance, SFS 2003:615). This new legislation covers scientific research and development activities carried out on living persons, dead persons and human biological material, and the handling of sensitive personal data.

According to the government bill on the ethical review of research (2002/03:50), student work is not normally covered by the Act. However, work done by students at a BSc or MSc level can sometimes be regarded as research, in which case it falls under its jurisdiction.

If your degree project (or equivalent) is to undergo ethical review, your supervisor will inform you and explain the process.