Evidence gathering

Call for evidence

The deadline for responses was 17 August 2018. If you’d still like to respond, but would like to request a deadline extension, please contact ghe@nuffieldbioethics.org.

Background paper

A background paper was written in November 2016 to provide an overview of key ethical and governance challenges associated with conducting research and innovation in the context of global health emergencies. The paper, Conducting research in the context of global health emergencies: identifying key ethical and governance issueswas written by Dr Agomoni Ganguli Mitra, Research Associate (Liminal Spaces Project) and Teaching Fellow, Mason Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh and Dr Nayha Sethi, Research Fellow (Liminal Spaces Project) and Deputy Director, Mason Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh.

Joint workshop: community engagement in and for ethical research in outbreaks of infectious diseases and other humanitarian crises

Dakar, Senegal | 17-18 March 2019

The workshop was a collaboration between four partners: the Nuffield Council on Bioethics; the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT) consortium; the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (IRESSEF) in Dakar, Senegal; and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (WEH) at Oxford University.

The overall messages that emerged from the workshop are that that research will not be possible unless a trusting relationship between researchers and potential participants can be developed, and the intrinsic value of community engagement in the context of research lies in its contribution to supporting a mutually respectful partnership between researchers and communities. Accordingly, effective and respectful engagement starts from a recognition of the experiences of people affected by the emergency, and the history associated with those experiences, and it should actively involve affected populations from the beginning and throughout the course of the research endeavour, as a two-way process contributing to the design, conduct, and outcomes of research.

Read the workshop report.

2016 workshop

9 December 2016

The Council hosted a workshop of invited guests to explore the ethical challenges for research and innovation that arise in the context of global health emergencies; to consider in the light of recent and ongoing work by a number of agencies what ‘ethical gaps’ still arose; and what further work (by itself or others) might be valuable.

It highlights the key challenges and what action might be needed in the following areas:

  • ‘Research’ as an intrinsic element of emergency response
  • Collaboration and engagement
  • Priority setting and who decides
  • How to conduct research: do the ‘usual rules’ apply?

Download the summary note: Research and innovation in global health emergencies: ethical challenges

Download a note of the meeting.

Download the agenda for this meeting.

The workshop was chaired by Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and of the Health Research Authority.

Previous work

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