About NEM

Among other things, NEM addresses complaints under the Health Research Act on decisions in Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK).


NEM was established in 1990 by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Until then, ethical questions concerning medical research had been evaluated by the Medical Research Council’s ethics committee. NEM is a continuation of this committee.

Appointment and composition

Members of NEM 2022-2025

Kari Milch Agledahl (Chair), associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine, UiT The Arctic Univesity of Norway. Chief physician and specialist in eye diseases. Former head of the Clinical Ethics Committee at Finnmark Hospital Trust.

Anne Kjersti C. Befring (Vice Chair), associate professor at the Faculty of Law, The University of Oslo (UiO)

Helge Alsaker Solheim, counselor and hospital chaplain, Haukeland University Hospital.

Siri Forsmo, dean at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU.

Trine B. Haugen, professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences, OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University.

Jan-Ole Hesselberg, psychologist specialist. Program manager at the Dam Foundation and head of the Kavli Foundation's program for health research.

Thomas Langø, chief researcher, SINTEF Digital, Department of Health.

Steven Blackman (Lay member), self-employed. Consultant, editor, copywriter and project manager.

Jostein Greve, lawyer and senior adviser at the National Institute of Public Health.

Jo Røislien, professor of medical statistics at the University of Stavanger, senior researcher at the Norwegian Air Ambulance and guest researcher at King’s College London

Kaja K. Selmer, scientist. Group leader in the division for clinical neuroscience at the R&D department, Oslo University Hospital.

Lars Øystein Ursin, associate professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Ingrid Miljeteig (Deputy member), associate professor at the University of Bergen (UiB). Assistant director at the Bergen Center for Ethics and Prioritization.

Berit Støre Brinchmann (Deputy member), Professor at Nord University and Nordland Hospital.

The committee has 12 full members and two deputy members with different professional backgrounds. Traditionally, the committee has been chaired by a physician. Pursuant to its charter the committee, in addition to having medical expertise, includes members with competence in ethics, psychology, genetics and the law. The committee also has lay representative.

Committee members are appointed by the Ministry of Education and Research based on recommendations from the Research Council of Norway. Members are given four-year terms, with the stipulation that no individual can serve on the committee for more than two periods. The committee usually meets six to seven times a year.


The Committee has a permanent secretariat director who attends to the day-to-day business of the Committee. Norway’s three national research ethics committees also have a common secretariat in the centre of Oslo with joint PR and administrative functions. 


NEM's guidelines are published here.

All publications by the national committees for research ethics are found here

Annual reports

Starting 2018, the national committees for research ethics have been required to publish annual reports. NEM's reports are found here (Norwegian only).


NEM is an advisory and coordinating body for the seven regional committees for medical and health research ethics (REK) and for the two committees evaluating clinical trials of medicinal products and medical devices (REK KULMU). In addition, NEM is the appellate body for project applications handled by REK and REK KULMU.

REK must pre-approve the following:

  • Medical and health research projects that aim to generate new knowledge
  • Research biobanks
  • Exemption from confidentiality for other types of research

For more information, go to REK's website.

The regional committees consider all research projects within their field, while NEM only resolves appeals. As part of this process, NEM often addresses complex research ethics questions in its written decisions and sets precedent accordingly. Most of NEM's rulings since 1997 are available online (mainly in Norwegian). Cooperation between NEM and the regional committees is ensured by meetings between the chair and the secretary from all the committees twice a year.

In addition, all committee members from both NEM and the regional committees meet for a two-day conference, the Storfelles-meeting, in the autumn for professional replenishment and discussion.

In addition to publishing decisions, statements, reports and guidelines, the committee may organizes open debate meetings on various research ethics topics.