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.Visit the Global Health Network's e-Learning Centre for a wide variety of courses in ethics, lab practice, community engagement, and many other health-related areas. https://globalhealthtrainingcentre.tghn.org/elearning/

2. 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.

 3.    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

 4.    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

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