Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes

Courses relevant to ethics and community engagement

Courses offered by the MOPs

[If you work at a MOP and know of current courses taking place, please email dinnah.rippon[at]ethox.ox.ac.uk]

Online Courses

Below are three free online ethics courses that we recommend. Feel free to either actively complete them from beginning to end (and get a certificate), or just browse through them to see what they are about.

Those of you coming to the summer school might be particularly interested in these courses. Of course, they are neither mandatory nor specifically required for the summer school. You can come to the summer school without any prior experience in ethics. We are simply sharing these online courses with you in case you wish to further your ethics knowledge, or just want to start thinking about ethics before the summer school.

If you have any comments on any of these courses, or suggestions regarding other online ethics courses, do share your thoughts in a blog post. We’d love to know what you think!


1. FHI360 Research Ethics Training Curriculum (RETC) 2nd Ed. (2009)


(This course is for researchers who carry out research on human subjects and those who carry out ethical review of research)

 Time to complete: Minimum of 4 hrs for individual learner; 8 hrs are suggested if this course is carried out in a group setting

 Key Notes: No registration necessary; easy to navigate/ download. Get a certificate if you score more than 80% on test

 Introduction:  This course provides a basic and accessible level of training appropriate for individuals from different professional backgrounds and world regions. It provides:

  • An overview of the main ethical principles to be considered in the development and conduct of research involving human participants;
  • Guidance to assist researchers in designing studies that are respectful of local cultures, regulations and expectations;
  • Case-studies for considering real-world examples of ethical issues;
  • Reference documents on modern perspectives that shape the research ethics field.

This training curriculum uses the lotus flower to symbolize the fundamental ethical elements. It acknowledges that each research design, like each lotus flower, will be unique in that it will be:

  • Specific to the study’s design and research
  • Relevant to the local research environment
  • Respectful of local culture.

 2.    Macquarie University – Human Research Ethics for the Social Sciences & Humanities


 (This course is specifically targeted towards researchers who engage in social science research, or those who review such research. It is generally global in outlook, but does often focus on issues particular to Australia)

Time to complete: We estimate 4-5 hrs (you need to read through 104 pages…so depends how quickly you go). The course does not provide an official time estimate.

Key Notes: Registration necessary; easy to navigate; after you pass the quiz, you can print a certificate.

Introduction: This resource examines the particular ethical issues raised by social science and humanities research. The training module is divided into 6 basic parts. You can start and stop reading at any point in the module, and you can close it and return to it later. After you have reviewed the entire module, there is a quiz that tests your comprehension of the material.

The 6 parts of the course include:

  • Introduction
  • History of research ethics violations and regulation
  • Basic tenets of ethical research practice
  • 4 ethics case studies in social science research
  • Ethical research considerations for ethnographic research
  • Doing research in Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Island Communities
  • Quiz

 3.    Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)


(This course is targeted towards researchers who carry out research on human subjects. It is especially useful for those who wish to apply for US funding, and is sometimes a requirement in such cases)

Time to complete: The course does not provide an official estimate, but we estimate about 5-6 hours.

Key Notes: Registration necessary; easy to navigate; certificate at the end if you pass the course.

Introduction: The course is made up of four sections, and you can only move to the next section after completing the first section:

  • Module 1: history, principles of research ethics, and application of research ethics principles to human subject research;
  • Module 2: research ethics committees; their authority and role in the ethical review of research;
  • Module 3: informed consent;
  • International studies

2016: Advanced European Bioethics Course ‘Ethical Issues in Human Genomics and Big Data: the need for Responsible Research and Innovation Innovation’ - Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 14 - 18 March 2016

The department of IQ healthcare, sub-department Healthcare Ethics, Radboud university medical center, announces the advanced European Bioethics Course ‘Ethical Issues in Human Genomics and Big Data: the need for Responsible Research and Innovation Innovation’ which will be organized from 14-18 March 2016.

In this course we will explore the nature of human-technology relations, as well as their value. The focus will be on ethical dimensions of developments in medical technology and genomics. Debates about new technologies reveal a need to consider their pro’s and con’s, preferably at an early stage of their development. At that point it is still possible to alter the technology, or choose an intelligent implementation strategy that helps to realize its most attractive aspects and diminish the influence of the less attractive aspects. Such early ethical engagement contributes to responsible innovation.

Keynote speaker: prof. dr. Peter Paul Verbeek is professor of Philosophy of Technology and co-director of the DesignLab of the University of Twente. Verbeek’s research focuses on the social and cultural roles of technology and the ethical and anthropological aspects of human-technology relations.
Course design: In the first two days of this course the primary focus will be on developments in genomics and genetic modification and its consequences for public health interventions, curative medicine, patients and citizens. Ethical questions will be addressed by different stakeholders, such as scientists, engineers, health care providers, and a patient. The debates will be analyzed according to moral frameworks provided during the course. Socratic reasoning and discourse analysis will especially be part of the these day.

During the third and fourth day of this course we aim to provide an insight into the philosophy and ethics of responsible innovation. We will study the meaning of 'responsibility' in responsible research and innovation, explore the role of imagination in moral reflection about technologies that still have to come about, and become acquainted with concrete tools to conduct responsible innovation.

Lecturers: include: prof. Evert van Leeuwen, Simone van der Burg PhD, prof. Hub Zwart, PhD, Jasper Bovenberg JD, LLM, PhD, Andre Krom PhD, Vincent Blok PhD, Steven Dorrestijn PhD, Marianne Boenink PhD.
The lectures by these various experts will introduce basic philosophical and ethical concepts related to genomics and responsible innovation. There will be ample time for plenary discussion with these experts. Small group discussions and working groups are devoted to in-depth exploration and discussions of particular contemporary ethical issues.

Participants: This course is designed with participants from various backgrounds in mind: researchers working in the field of human genetics, biomedical sciences, life sciences, genetics and biology and physicians doing research that has a genetic component but also for professionals from other areas in healthcare such as physicians and nurses, health care administrators, bioethics committee members, professionals working in the pharmaceutical industry, professionals in the areas of ethics, philosophy and theology, and PhD students undertaking courses of study in any of these areas.
Location: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, the Netherlands.
Language: English.
Course Fee: € (Euro) 690 for early registration: before January 31st 2016, € (Euro) 790 for registration from February 1st onwards, € (Euro) 460 for PhD students.
Click on these links for more information and registration, or consult our website:www.masterbioethics.org, under Intensive courses or contact Simone Naber: simone.naber@radboudumc.nl. Tel: 0031 (0) 24 – 3613359 / 0031 (0) 24 - 3615320.
The intensive course ‘Ethical Issues in Human Genomics and Big Data: the need for Responsible Research and Innovation Innovation’ is part of the post-initial Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics program.

2016 Courses Offered by Oxford University Dept of Continuing Education

1. Ethics in Theory and Practice

Location: Oxford

DatesWed 20 Jan to Wed 23 Mar 2016


A broad overview of some of the major topics and debates with contemporary moral philosophy, introducing students to the nature and motivation of normative inquiry, the leading theories of moral conduct, and exploring prominent issues in applied ethics.

Course Aim:

To introduce students to ethical thinking, theory and debate.

Course Objectives:
1. To introduce students to the major competing theories of ethical decision-making, and to offer reasoned arguments for and against their plausibility.
2. To help develop students' abilities to subject claims to critical philosophical evaluation, whilst constructing strong and reasoned arguments of their own.
3. To allow students to reflect upon their own ethical intuitions, and learn to express, scrutinise and apply them in a systematic fashion.

For more information and application deadlines: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=V500-234

2. Ethics for Bioscience

Location: Online

Dates: Mon 1 Feb to Fri 8 Apr 2016


This ten week online module is designed to facilitate understanding, reflection on and engagement with key ethical issues thrown up by conducting clinical research, practicing evidence-based health care, and engaging with science and technology. Online discussion forums enable real time communication between students and the tutor, and encourage critical thought and interpretation of practical scenarios. The course contains guided readings, online discussion, case studies and other activities. Students' writing skills will improve throughout the course because of ample constructive feedback on the brief essays they produce.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 22nd January 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information and to enrol: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-93

3. Ethics: An Introduction

Location: Online

Dates: Mon 25 Jan - Fri 8 April 2016


Wed 4 May to Fri 15 July 2016


In this introduction to ethics, the philosophy of morality, we shall examine four important ethical theories (virtue ethics, deontologiy, expressivism and utilitarianism), applying them to two practical questions: the rights of animals and euthanasia. There will be plenty of opportunity to engage in debate and test your own thinking.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=V500-39

4. Introduction to Ethical Theory

Location: Reading, UK

Dates: Wed 13 April - Wed 15 Jun, 2016


How should we make our decisions? How can we know what actions are morally right and wrong? This course explores the most important ways in which philosophers have answered these questions.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=V500-313

5. Qualitative Research Methods

Location: Oxford

Dates: Mon 13 - Fri 17 June 2016


Exploring qualitative research through interviews: This module will provide an overview of the principles and practice of qualitative research. Students will explore how people make sense of their lives, and recognise ways in which qualitative research bridges the gap between scientific evidence and clinical practice by examining the attitudes, beliefs, and preferences of both patients and practitioners. Participants will learn to collect data using observation, interview and focus groups and become familiar with the techniques of thematic qualitative data analysis.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 27th May 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-34

6. Systematic Reviews

Location: Oxford

Dates: Wed 4 to Tue 10 May 2016


Mon 11 to Fri 15 July, 2016


Wed 1 to Tues 7 June, 2016


This module will take students through the process of doing a systematic review. It will focus on the practicalities, and build on the introductory modules. The module will use a problem-based learning approach in which each participant brings a specific topic for a systematic review to discuss, justify and revise during the module. It will stress the importance of choosing the correct study design to answer the question posed by the systematic review and will, therefore, not be restricted to systematic reviews of randomized trials.

This module is relevant both to people who will conduct systematic reviews and to those who will use knowledge from the ever-increasing number of systematic review being done by others. It does this by providing participants with a thorough understanding of the systematic reviews process, and how decisions made during the systematic review may have influenced its quality and relevance.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Monday 18th April 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information and to enrol: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-20

7. Introduction to Study Design and Research Methods

Location: Oxford

Dates: Mon 11 to Fri 15 Jan 2016 


Mon 23 to Fri 27 May 2016


This module will introduce some of the more advanced concepts and skills of research design, emphasising how they relate to evidence-based health care. Choosing and designing the most appropriate study to address a clinical question is paramount in generating the best evidence. As students learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of 6 key study designs, they will also learn how to design a research protocol. Participants will design data collection and analysis, to include appropriate statistical tests. They will also learn strategies to manage bias and assess the quality of published research.

Students will apply their learning in small groups to develop a protocol for an allocated research question, for which they will receive constructive and academic feedback.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 23rd October 2015. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information and to enrol: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-21

8. Introduction to Statistics for Health Care Research

Location: online

Dates: Mon 18 Jan to Fri 25 March, 2016


Mon 16 May to Fri 22 July 2016


Take your first steps to unlock the power of statistics. This ten week online statistics module is designed for health and social care professionals who want to understand the basics of analysis methods commonly used in medical research, in order to understand published research and to participate in more specialised courses. Students will learn to use and interpret basic statistical methods using SPSS, with reference to cohort studies, case control studies and randomized controlled trials. Online discussion forums enable communication between students and the tutor to provide support and to interpret and understand real-life scenarios.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 18th December 2015. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-23

9. Mixed Methods in Health Research

Location: Oxford

Dates: Mon 18 to Fri 22 April, 2016


Mixing methods for maximal meaning.

This module will introduce students to the nature and design of mixed methods research. This module assumes students will have some experience in either qualitative or quantitative methodologies, as the focus will be on practical ways to combine the two to develop a variety of mixed methods studies. Students wanting to learn how to do qualitative and/or quantitative research should attend the Qualitative Research Methods and/or Introduction to Study Design & research Methods course. Participants on this mixed methods course will appreciate how research combining qualitative and quantitative approaches can give a deeper understanding of complex healthcare issues. They will learn how to design, implement and analyse a mixed methods study to answer their own clinical question.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 1st April 2016. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-171

10. How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol Preparation

Location: Oxford

Dates: Mon 4 to Fri 8 July, 2016


The How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol Preparation course is a one-week module of the MSc in Experimental Therapeutics. Offered by the Department of Oncology and the Department for Continuing Education’s CPD Centre, the teaching will be led by Dr Grant D Vallance, Information Manager at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, and will feature face-to-face lectures and tutorials from some of Oxford's leading clinicians and scientists.

The module can be taken as a stand-alone short course. It includes group work, discussions, guest lectures, and interaction and feedback with tutors and lecturers.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=B900-35

11. Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research

Location: Oxford

Dates: Begins in October 2016


The Postgraduate Diploma is normally completed between 1 - 3 years. Applications for admission in October 2016 are accepted from 1 September 2015. The application deadline is Friday 29 July 2016 (12 noon UK time).

It consists of two compulsory modules and four option modules selected from an extensive list of subjects. This provides the students with an opportunity to learn how the principles of health research can be translated into practical actions in selected areas.

Students who transfer to this programme of study from the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research, with three successfully completed modules, are required to undertake three additional option modules to fulfil the requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma.

For more information: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=187

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