Conducting good, ethical global health research is now more important than ever. Increased global mobility and connectivity mean that in today’s world there is no such thing as ‘local health’. As a collection, these stories offer a flexible resource for training across a variety of contexts, such as medical research organizations, universities, collaborative sites, and NGOs. 

12th November 2017 • comment

This study highlights the utility of rapid ethical assessment prior to clinical trials involving complex procedures and concepts.

23rd March 2016 • comment

Community engagement is increasingly promoted to strengthen the ethics of medical research in low-income countries. One strategy is to use community advisory boards (CABs): semi-independent groups that can potentially safeguard the rights of study participants and help improve research. However, there is little published on the experience of operating and sustaining CABs.

12th March 2013 • comment

This guidance article aims to provide a fully comprehensive, pragmatic guide for researchers of all roles, but especially ethics reviewers, to explain the details of each type of ethics review. The article is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese, and has been kindly provided by www.ctmagnifier.org.

1st January 2013 • comment

Are students kidding with health research ethics? The case of HIV/AIDS research in Cameroon

by Nchangwi S Munung, Godfrey B Tangwa, Chi P Che, Laurent Vidal, Odile Ouwe-Missi-Oukem-Boyer

Universities in Cameroon are playing an active part in HIV/AIDS research and much of this research is carried out by students, usually for the purpose of a dissertation/thesis. Student theses/dissertations present research findings in a much more comprehensive manner and have been described as the stepping-stone of a budding scientist's potential in becoming an independent researcher. It is therefore important to verify how students handle issues of research ethics.

15th August 2012 • comment
19th July 2012 • comment

The border between Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) is at the forefront of the global battle against malaria, and is an important site for research.

25th May 2012 • comment

Improving Ethical Review of Research Involving Incentives for Health Promotion

by Alex John London, David A. Borasky Jr., Anant Bhan

We argue that some common concerns about using incentives to increase participation in research, such as that attractive incentives will undermine participant autonomy, are misplaced when incentives are used to overcome economic obstacles or a lack of effective motivation, and when recipients are incentivized to engage in health-related behaviors or practices with which they are already familiar and which they regard as beneficial or worthwhile.

2nd April 2012 • comment

This is an audio recording of a lecture given by Prof. Charlotte Ikels at Oxford University on 22nd February 2012. Professor Ikels is Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Case Western Reserve University and Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

12th March 2012 • comment

Ethical tensions in dealing with noncommunicable diseases globally

by Sridhar Venkatapuram, Martin McKee, David Stuckler

“…..Noncommunicable diseases pose an increasingly high burden of disease that threatens economic and social development, yet cost-effective health interventions exist."

15th February 2012 • comment

A Comparison of Online versus On-site Training in Health Research Methodology: A Randomized Study

by Rakesh Aggarwal, Nikhil Gupte, Nancy Kass, Holly Taylor, Joseph Ali, Anant Bhan, Amita Aggarwal, Stephen D Sisson, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Jane McKenzie-White, John McGready, Paolo Miotti, Robert C Bollinger

Abstract   Background: Distance learning may be useful for building health research capacity. However, evidence that it can improve knowledge and skills in health research, particularly in resource-poor settings, is limited. We compared the impact and acceptability of teaching two distinct content areas, Biostatistics and Research Ethics, through either on-line distance learning format or traditional on-site training, in a randomized study in India. Our objective was to determine whether on-line courses in Biostatistics and Research Ethics could achieve similar improvements in knowledge, as traditional on-site, classroom-based courses.Methods: Subjects: Volunteer Indian scientists were randomly assigned to one of two arms. Intervention: Students in Arm 1 attended a 3.5-day on-site course in Biostatistics and completed a 3.5-week on-line course in Research Ethics. Students in Arm 2 attended a 3.5-week on-line course in Biostatistics and 3.5-day on-site course in Research Ethics. For the two course formats, learning objectives, course contents and knowledge tests were identical.Main Outcome Measures: Improvement in knowledge immediately and 3-months after course completion,compared to baseline. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in both arms (n = 29 each). Median knowledge score for Biostatistics increased from a baseline of 49% to 64% (p < 0.001) 3 months after the on-site course, and from 48% to 63%(p = 0.009) after the on-line course. For the on-site Research Ethics course, median score increased from 69% to 83% (p = 0.005), and for the on-line Research Ethics course from 62% to 80% (p < 0.001). Three months after the course, median gains in knowledge scores remained similar for the on-site and on-line platforms for both Biostatistics (16% vs. 12%; p = 0.59) and Research Ethics (17% vs. 13%; p = 0.14).Conclusion: On-line and on-site training formats led to marked and similar improvements of knowledge in Biostatistics and Research Ethics. This, combined with logistical and cost advantages of on-line training, may make on-line courses particularly useful for expanding health research capacity in resource-limited settings.

19th July 2011 • comment

Ethical issues in human genomics research in developing countries

by Jantina de Vries, Susan J Bull, Ogobara Doumbo, Muntaser Ibrahim, Odile Mercereau-Puijalon, Dominic Kwiatkowski, Michael Parker

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide a powerful means of identifying genetic variants that play a role in common diseases. Such studies present important ethical challenges. An increasing number of GWAS are taking place in lower income countries and there is a pressing need to identify the particular ethical challenges arising in such contexts. In this paper, we draw upon the experiences of the MalariaGEN Consortium to identify specific ethical issues raised by such research in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

11th July 2011 • comment

Science 17 June 2011: 1382-1383.[DOI:10.1126/science.1205393]Describing how a convergence of factors has greatly expanded the challenges we face, Moss argues for the crucial importance of ethics in considerations of how to respond to anthropogenic climate change.A Perfect Moral Storm-  The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Changeby Stephen M. GardinerOxford University Press,New York, 2011. 507 pp. $35,£22.50. ISBN 9780195379440.

30th June 2011 • comment

This is a bibliography of articles on the topic of the theory and methodology of empirical ethics. This bibliography was last updated in June 2009, but is nonetheless included here as a potentially useful resource. We would like to keep this bibliography updated. Please let us know if we are missing any references - especially from the last two years.

8th March 2011 • comment