Data Ethics Help Desk

Research involving big data and artificial intelligence (AI) presents enormous potential across various disciplines. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Scientists must be aware of the societal consequences of their work to ensure professional and responsible research. Navigating these complex ethical landscapes requires specialized skills and expertise. That’s why have established the Data Ethics Help Desk. Our mission is to support researchers to proactively address the ethical aspects of their projects, ultimately promoting responsible science.

Our Services

The Data Ethics Help Desk offers tailored support for researchers and students, customized to meet the requirements of each project.

  • Informal exchange: Sometimes it can be helpful to talk through the potential ethical implications of your research. Join us for a coffee and have some low-threshold exchange. The framework is designed to aid awareness of the ethical issues involved in your research and provide further guidance, especially suitable for B.A./M.A. thesis, doctorate thesis, or small-scale research projects.
  • Data Ethics Consultation: Our team of data and AI ethics specialists can provide practical guidance and tools to assist you in anticipating, identifying, and addressing ethical concerns in your work. Data Ethics Consultation fosters responsible decision-making processes and provides recommendations for further steps, ideal for mid-scale or larger research projects or those involving sensitive data or application areas.
  • Embedded ethics: When needed, we can accompany your project from the planning phase to release. Embedded ethics ensure that ethical considerations are integrated into every aspect of your work, promoting fair, transparent, and accountable data-driven studies. This option is well-suited for larger or high-risk projects over an extended period, starting from the early planning stages.

In addition, we provide resources and training for researchers:

  • Research Ethics Board Support: Understanding the ethics review process and preparing your proposal for such reviews are crucial steps in your work. Research Ethics Board Support provides an overview of the process of ethics review and a preliminary, non-binding assessment of your project.
  • Ethics Training: To cultivate long-term awareness, you or your team may benefit from ethics training. We offer a range of workshops on digital, data, and AI ethics that equip you with practical skills to identify and address ethical issues in your research.
  • Transfer: When transferring your research, it is essential to consider the social implications of your work. We can assist you in establishing ethical governance and ensuring that your research is founded on trustworthy principles.


Our services are available for researchers and students working with big data and/or AI, especially in health-related or sensitive contexts. Researchers should be affiliated with the University of Potsdam or with one of the other supporting universities of the Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg, the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB), and the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU). Requests outside this scope may only be considered upon reasonable request, based on individual agreement and availability.

About us

The Data Ethics Help Desk is a service provided by the Ethics Lab at the Junior Professorship of Medical Ethics with a focus on Digitalization, Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg.

Team and Contact

Prof. Dr. Robert Ranisch
Prof. Dr. Robert Ranisch
Leitung der Juniorprofessur Medizinische Ethik
Tel.: +49 331 977 213841
Dr. phil. Joschka Haltaufderheide, M.A.
Dr. phil. Joschka Haltaufderheide, M.A.
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Projekt Digital Medical Ethics Network (DiMEN)
Tel.: +49 331 977 213830
Gemeinsame Fakultät
Der Universität Potsdam, der Medizinischen Hochschule Brandenburg Theodor Fontane und der Brandenburgischen Technischen Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg