Institutional Review Board

The Institute of Tropical Medicine aims for the highest ethics standards for medical and non-medical research that involves human participants, human data and human biological samples. We consider that fulfilling a culture of research ethics, research integrity, and fairness in research collaboration, is a primary condition for good science.

To this end, ITM and all its researchers endorse the Declaration of Helsinki and the CIOMS Ethical Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans. Furthermore, ITM and its IRB review compliance of all its research with important regulations like the EU GDPR and the Belgian Law on Human Body Materials.

The Institutional Review Board of ITM reviews all non-commercial research protocols in which ITM researchers are involved, in order to assure compliance with adequate ethics principles and requirements. As the ITM is frequently involved in collaborative research projects with partner institutions in low- and middle-income countries, the IRB also verifies that the ethics guidelines applicable in third countries are respected and that local regulatory and ethics approvals are also secured. Moreover, the IRB reviews whether plans to engage with the research communities are in place, and to share with them the benefits of research. The IRB has developed a standardised template for reviewing research protocols. Even though the IRB works according to regularly reviewed and internally approved standard operating procedures, it is not a legally accredited ethics committee as laid down by the Belgian law (KB 4 April 2014).

The IRB has a multidisciplinary composition of 11 members ( and a secretary) including the following profiles:

  • Two medical doctors
  • An epidemiologist
  • A pharmacist
  • An ethicist
  • A statistician
  • A biologist
  • A computational biologist
  • Two biomedical scientists
  • An anthropologist and theologist

Contact us

If you have any questions for the IRB or if you wish to notify a concern, please contact: