About NESH

The National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH) has been in existence since 1990. The Committee has twelve members: two lay representatives and ten members with different professional backgrounds.

Members of NESH 2022-2025

Heidi Østbø Haugen (Chair), professor at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, the University of Oslo.

Kari Steen-Johnsen (Deputy chair), sociologist and research professor at the Institute for Social Research.

Lene Bomann-Larsen, head of the department of research at The Norwegian Police University College.

Kjetil Fretheim, vice-rector and professor of diakonia and ethics at MF University College in Oslo.

Rakel Christina Granaas, consultant and pensioner. Former senior adviser in the University and College Council.

Tove Klæboe Nilsen, head of research at Northern Norway Regional Health Authority.

Rani Lill Anjum, philosopher. Researcher at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

Bernt Aardal, professor emeritus at the Department of Political Science, the University of Oslo (UiO).

Anne Marie Frøseth, professor at the Faculty of Law, the University of Bergen (UiB). 

Johs Hjellbrekke, professor at the Department of Sociology, the University of Bergen (UiB). 

Jakob Maliks, professor of Social Studies: History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Member of the national board for scientific publishing, the board of the Academy of Sciences and the board of teacher education at UHR

Anne Line Wittek, professor, vice-head and head of studies at The Department of Education, The University of Oslo (UiO).

Arild Hovland (Deputy member), social anthropologist, pro-rector for research at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Thomas Ugelvik (Deputy member), professor at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, The University of Oslo (UiO).

NESH’s charter states, among other things, that the Committee shall draw up guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, the humanities, law and theology. The first version of the guidelines was published in 1993. This version was revised in 1999. A new edition was published in 2006, and a new version with updated references to relevant legislation came in 2016. The latest revision was finished in December 2021 (to English in February 2022).

In 2003 the committee made guidelines for Internet Research. These were revised in 2018. (Read the guidelines: A Guide to Internet Research Ethics)

The Committee uses the guidelines actively when giving its opinion on specific research projects. It also happens that researchers, wanting to safeguard ethical considerations in their research projects, ask NESH for an evaluation. Typical questions that NESH has been asked to evaluate include how best to ensure that consent is freely given and whether children can consent by themselves to take part in research projects. The Committee has also been asked to evaluate a number of other research ethical aspects, such as the limits for the protection of sources,the researchers’ duty of confidentiality and the duty to inform about planned criminal acts.

In addition to giving advice in individual cases, external activities such as the organisation of seminars on research ethical issues are an important part of NESH’s work.