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International research ethics 1

Module leads

Michael Parker Michael Parker

Patricia Kingori Patricia Kingori

 Salla Sariola

Learning objectives:

  • To be aware of the framework of international research ethics guidance within which individual studies are conducted and to be aware of the limitations of this guidance, including areas of ambiguity, controversy and gaps
  • To understand key ethical principles and approaches relevant to the ethics of research 
  • To understand the implications of these frameworks and the tensions between them for practical ethical decision-making in research in global context
  • To have had experience of applying these frameworks to cases in making judgements about what constitutes ethical research practice in particular cases
  • To understand the on-going debate about the responsibilities of research actors to participants and communities during and after research
  • To be aware of the importance of understanding research ethics in context and to have had experience of exploring the social and political dimensions of research in low income settings
  • To understand the important role and limitations of the concept of 'valid consent' in research ethics and the challenges of achieving high standards of consent practice in low-income settings


  1. Introduction to international research ethics guidelines and areas of on-going controversy such as 'standards of care' and 'post-trial responsibilities'
  2. Ways of thinking about ethics: theories and practical ethics frameworks relevant to international research ethics
  3. Understanding research ethics in context
  4. Consent, harms and benefits and the role of research ethics committees