The Global Health Bioethics Network


What is the Global Health Bioethics Network?

The Global Health Bioethics Network is a programme to carry out ethics research and build ethics capacity across the Wellcome Trust’s Major Overseas Programmes (MOPs) in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand-Laos, and Viet Nam. The Global Health Bioethics Network is funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award from 2012 - 2016 and is a partnership between the following institutions:

    • KEMRI-Wellcome Unit, Kilifi, Kenya
    • Malawi–Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi
    • Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, Mutbatuba, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
    • Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
    • Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
    • Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

The Global Health Bioethcs Network has two related aims:

    • To carry out ethics research across the MOPs in Viet Nam, Malawi, Thailand-Laos, Kenya, and South Africa
    • To improve the capacity of the MOPs to identify and address the ethical issues in their own research

The primary ethics research carried out by the Network will focus on four related questions:

    • How can biomedical researchers across the MOPs develop effective solutions to practical ethical problems in the context of conflicting, ambiguous and sometimes contradictory guidance and regulation?
    • What are the responsibilities of researchers and research institutions to the communities in which the research is carried out?
    • What are the ethical obligations of researchers in collaborations bringing together research institutions and other organisations e.g. hospitals, with different and sometimes competing interests, concerns and priorities?
    • How should researchers address practical ethical issues arising in the development of effective and appropriate community engagement in diverse research settings across the MOPs?

The activities to build the capacity of the MOPs to identify and address the ethical issues in their own research will include the following:

    • Annual capacity-building bursaries will be awarded to junior researchers (Ethics Fellows) across the MOPs
    • Education, training and mentorship will be provided for Ethics Fellows and other MOP staff, including an annual ethics summer school and regular ethics workshops
    • Open peer-review of bursary applications will provide formative feedback and advice to members of MOPs with an active interest in ethics
    • Support will be provided for MOP directors and other scientists in identifying and addressing the ethical aspects of their own research
    • Support will be provided across the MOPs for the development of funding applications for complementary ethics research and capacity-building e.g. PhD studentships
    • Collaborative on-line ethics resources will be developed to support and complement these activities

Contact details

The Global Health Bioethics Network is co-ordinated by the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford. For more information about the Network and its activities, please contact Dinnah Bogecho on or Mike Parker on