Medical scientific research with humans is reviewed by the Medical Ethics Review Board according to the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act (in Dutch: Wet Medisch-Wetenschappelijk onderzoek met mensen, WMO). The review process can be defined by different steps where the distinction is made between the review of a trial that has yet to start (primary application) and a review after approval has been granted and has started (submission of an amendment to the research protocol).
How do I submit my application?
Research proposals must meet the following technical requirements:
- The documents should be submitted as single PDF files (preferably with activated OCR function) on a USB drive or CD Rom
- The PDF files are not encrypted (even if the password is provided) or in a ZIP folder
- The files must be named according to the stipulations of the Standard research file, as described by the CCMO. (Please see the relevant website www.ccmo.nl for more info).
- The application has either a signed cover letter (on paper) which lists the files being submitted or a submission form (METc aanbiedingsformulier ).
Please make sure the version/date in the document matches the file name. The version/date in the document is leading for the registration.
You can send the CD-Rom, cover letter and/or submission form to our postal address.
Or you can deliver the application package to the secretariat of the METc in the UMCG. The office of the secretariat is located in De Brug, 7th floor, room 067.
Any application must be listed according to the Standard Research File.
The following documents are always part of the application package:
A1 METc submission form (Aanbiedingsformulier)
B2 ABR form (via ToetsingOnline)
C1 Clinical Trial protocol
E1 Information letter/leaflet for participants
E2 Consent form(s)
G1 Insurance certificate for WMO research with human subject insurance (when UMCG isn’t the sponsor)
G2 Proof of coverage of investigator or sponsor, for example insurance (when UMCG isn’t the sponsor)
H1 CV independent expert
I3 CV principal investigator
In case of a multicentre trial:
I1 List of participating centres and principal investigators
I2 Research Declaration per centre
I3 CV (local) investigator of [centre]
If the trial is sponsored by a profit-seeking company:
A2 Authorisation letter from the sponsor
K3 Clinical Trial Agreement/contract
Depending on the type of clinical trial, additional documents should be submitted:
- Research with medicinal product
A3 Confirmation EudraCT number
B3 EudraCT application form
D1 Investigator’s Brochure
D2 IMPD (Investigational Medicinal Product Dossier) or SPC
D3 Example lables (in Dutch) version …
D4 Declarations/licenses of manufacturer
- Research with food and/or supplement(s)
D2 Product information functional food
D4 Declaration of manufacturer
- Research with a medical device
D2 IMDD (Investigational Medical Device Dossier)
D4 CE marking (declaration of conformity )
D4 Recommendation of Expert on Medical Devices of the UMCG
- Research with (temporary) incompetents
E1 Information letter/leaflet for legal representative
E2 Consent form legal representative
E1 Information letter/leaflet for participants (when they’ve become competent again)
E1 Consent form for participants (when they’ve become competent again)
- Research with healthy volunteers
E3 Recruitment material (advertising text)
What happens after the primary submission?
After your research proposal is listed in the UMCG Research Registry (NOTE: this is not an official trial registry), we will process your application. A confirmation of receipt of the application is sent within 2 weeks. This letter mentions whether or not the submitted documents match the listed ones and when the application will be discussed by the METc.
Within 2 weeks after the meeting of the METc, the applicant will receive a letter with the decision of the committee and/or questions about the submission.
When you respond to the questions of the METc (rebuttal) or when you submit a substantial amendment, you only have to submit the altered documents (with red line/track changes visible) or new documents, accompanied by a cover letter. The rebuttal should include the questions of the committee and your answers.
When submitting an amendment, please describe, either in the cover letter or a separate document, such as C2 Protocol amendment, the motivation for the proposed changes.
I’ve received a letter with questions/commentaries? How do I submit my response?
You may submit the response on CD Rom or USB drive, accompanied by a (paper) cover letter:
- A point by point response (please repeat the question and then add your answer below it)
- The documents that are altered (as a consequence of the commentaries). Please highlight the changes (red line/track changes visible)
- If applicable, the additional (and new) documentation
This can be sent to the postal address of the METc secretariat.
I’ve submitted a rebuttal. When can I expect an decision?
First, we will check that the submitted documents are complete and accurate. Then we will process the rebuttal. This may take a day or two, depending on how many documents are submitted on that day.
After this, the official secretary will check whether
- The response and accompanying documents have to be discussed in a meeting or
- The response was delegated to the chair and official secretary for administrative handling.
Option 1 means that the response including documents is tabled for the first available agenda of the committee. This is done approximately 1 week before the meeting. After the rebuttal has been discussed, the applicant will be informed of the decision as soon as possible. This entire process may take 2 or 3 weeks and includes the registration of the documentation, preparing the submission for the meeting, waiting until the meeting takes place and finally making the decision letter and sending it.
Option 2 means that the chair and official secretary will check the responses with the commentaries. In some cases, a member of the METc is contacted for additional input. When the chair, and upon request a member of the METc, decides the rebuttal is adequate, the official secretary makes the approval letter to the applicant.
This process may also take up to 2/3 weeks, depending on the time available to the chair and member of the METc.
I want to submit a modification (AMENDMENT) to my approved research protocol. How do I do this?
You may submit the proposed amendment on CD Rom or USB drive, accompanied by a (paper) cover letter:
- A cover letter (A1) (including a list of the documents being submitted) and/or
- A METc submission form AMENDMENT (see our Documents page)
- A summary (C2) of the amendment including motivation for the proposed modifications
- The revised documents (track changes/red line visible)
- In some cases a new version of the ABR-form must be submitted as well
- In case of research with a medicinal product: a EudraCT Notification of Amendment Form (B5) and, if applicable, also a modified EudraCT Application Form (B3)
Only substantial amendments must be submitted for approval to the METc UMCG. The sponsor decides when an amendment meets those criteria. Generally, an amendment is considered ‘substantial’ when the proposed revision have significant impact on:
- The safety or physical or mental integrity of the participants;
- The scientific value of the research;
- The execution or management of the trial;
- The quality or safety of any investigational product (medicinal, device, food/supplement) used in the trial.
What is a SAE of SUSAR?
During the trial so-called Adverse Events can occur in a patiënt/participant. The research protocol should describe the procedure in case of these events.
A Adverse Event or Adverse Reaction is any untoward medical occurance in a patient or participant but which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with this treatment.
A Serious adverse event is any untoward medical occurrence that at any dose
- results in death
- is life-threatening
- requires inpatient hospitalization or causes prolongation of existing hospitalization
- results in persistent or significant disability/incapacity,
- is a congenital anomaly/birth defect, or
- requires intervention to prevent permanent impairment or damage
- any other important medical event that did not result in any of the outcomes listed above due to medical or surgical intervention but could have been based upon appropriate judgement by the investigator
If certain SAEs do not require (expedited) reporting, these SAEs should be specified, as well as the frequency of reporting of these SAEs in line listings, or in an annual safety report or otherwise.
Who should report?
The sponsor (or delegated party) should report the Serious Adverse Event (SAE) or Suspected Unsuspected Serious Adverse Reaction (SUSAR) to the central reviewing METc and the CCMO (as competent authority).
Applicants can report the SAEs through ToetsingOnline. The METc receives a notification of a new report. The decision on the report is filed in ToetsingOnline
A SAE that is fatal or life-threatening must be reported within 7 days after the sponsor was made aware. Other SAEs must be reported within 15 days.
For more information on SAEs, SUSARs and reporting thereof, please go to the website of the CCMO.
Start or (premature) termination of the research
Start of the trial.
You must inform the METc of the actual starting date of the study. This is the date of inclusion of the first participant. The study must commence within one year of the positive decision has been issued. The decision expires after one year.
The applicant reports the date of inclusion via an (electronic) message. The message must mention the METc file number and title of the research. The date of inclusion should be reported as soon as possible. The METc enters the actual starting date in ToetsingOnline.
Premature termination of the trial.
There are additional instructions for reporting a (premature) termination for research with a medicinal product than a research without medicinal product.
In case of a premature termination you have to notify this within 15 days to the METc stating the reason for termination in case of a research with a medicinal product, also to the competent authority (CCMO or Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport), must be informed.
For more information on notifying the METc (and/or CCMO) the end of the research, please see the website of the CCMO.
End of research.
The research protocol describes the definition of the end of the trial. Usually this is the date on which the last measurement was carried out at the last subject. The ‘last patient, last visit’. This means that the involvement of the participant is concluded, the data collection completed and data analysis can commence.
Research without a medicinal product.
The applicant notifies the METc of the end date within 56 days of the end of the trial.
Research with a medicinal product.
The applicant notifies the METc of the end date within 90 days of the end of the study. This concerns the end date in The Netherlands. In a multinational study the start and end date for the research part outside the Netherlands may be different. The global end date of the research must be reported to the METc and the competent authority, the CCMO.
Way of submission.
In the End of trial Form you can mention the end of trial date. In case of a premature termination of the research, please describe the reason(s) for the early termination.
Attachments, such as publications/articles or a final study report, can be submitted as separate PDF-files. The METc will process this in ToetsingOnline.
In case of a research with medicinal product, also the EudraCT End of study form (B7) must be filled out and submitted to the METc. These documents must also be submitted to the competent authority, the CCMO at: email@example.com.
You are required to submit a progress report one year after the issuing of the decision, and every year thereafter. You can use the Progress report template on our Documents page. The report can be sent to the postal address of the METc.