The Johns Hopkins Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program (FABTP) has provided one-year graduate training in research ethics to 23 African researchers, Research Ethics Committee (REC) staff, and government officials since 2001 with 3 additional trainees selected for 2008. Funding is requested for 12 more African one-year trainees 2009-2012. FABTP trainees spend 6 months at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and JHU Berman Institute of Bioethics, completing a rigorous program of research ethics, bioethics, and methods courses, IRB observations, a weekly FABTP seminar, ongoing ethics seminars at JHU and the NIH, and regular meetings with JHU mentors. This ensures training in the FABTP four core competencies: 1. theory and principles;2. training in research ethics;3. research ethics committees;and 4. empirical research on research ethics. Each trainee writes a 20-25 page practicum proposal while at JHU including objectives, literature, methods, budget, and timeline. Trainees complete an original, funded practicum in research ethics in home countries during the last 6 months, with mentoring and regular """"""""check ins"""""""" from JHU and African faculty. The FABTP also organizes and staffs a one-month research ethics program in June, cost-shared with other Fogarty programs who send trainees to JHU for intensive courses, seminars, and visits to OHRP, NIH, and FDA and interactions with our trainees. Before the program, only 1 FABTP one-year trainee had published in bioethics. Evaluations now show 2001-2007 cohorts have published 60 ethics articles, worked on 48 empirical ethics projects, taught in 39 ethics courses, given 72 ethics presentations, started two new research ethics committees, sat on 15 RECs, and attended 138 ethics workshops. Trainees and faculty collaborated on a widely cited paper on African RECs that showed the range of history and capacity of African RECs as well as the tremendous impact these individual trainees have made with capacity development for ethics review in their home institutions. FABTP participation laid the foundation for 7 of our 23 trainees to go on to advanced degree programs in bioethics. Our goal is long term. We recognize that professional development depends on regular project guidance, connecting colleagues to multiple professional opportunities, regular communication and community building through emails, a newsletter, the FABTP reunion and various """"""""mini-reunions"""""""", and continuing such support and mentoring long after trainees return to Africa. If funded, we will continue to provide rigorous and practical training in research ethics to extraordinary African professionals, facilitate the completion of innovative and locally valuable practicum work in trainees'home institutions, devote resources to community building for bioethics in Africa through collaborations with other Fogarty programs, AMANET, and ongoing connections with our alumni, and continue to rigorously evaluate our program to ensure we provide the best quality research ethics training possible.

Public Health Relevance

As more and more health projects occur in low income countries, and particularly in Africa, it is critical for professionals from the local environment to have sophisticated, in-depth training in the ethics of research with humans. Research is a critical tool for improving the health of populations;and yet research will not be successful - and ought not be - if conducted in ways that are unduly harmful, are disrespectful, or are exploitive. It is only through the in-depth training of a cadre of intelligent, accomplished African professionals in research ethics that quality local oversight, critique, and collaboration on the ethics of health projects can occur. This training program has existed since 2001 training African professionals who now have taken on extraordinary leadership positions in research ethics in Africa and now are training others to do the same.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Education Projects (R25)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP2-B (51))
Program Officer
Sina, Barbara J
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Kass, Nancy E; Ali, Joseph; Hallez, Kristina et al. (2016) Bioethics training programmes for Africa: evaluating professional and bioethics-related achievements of African trainees after a decade of Fogarty NIH investment. BMJ Open 6:e012758
Hyder, Adnan A; Ali, Joseph; Hallez, Kristina et al. (2015) Exploring Institutional Research Ethics Systems: A Case Study From Uganda. AJOB Empir Bioeth 6:1-14
Ali, Joseph; Kass, Nancy E; Sewankambo, Nelson K et al. (2014) Evaluating international research ethics capacity development: an empirical approach. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics 9:41-51
Hyder, Adnan A; Pratt, Bridget; Ali, Joseph et al. (2014) The ethics of health systems research in low- and middle-income countries: a call to action. Glob Public Health 9:1008-22
Ndebele, Paul; Wassenaar, Douglas; Benatar, Solomon et al. (2014) Research ethics capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of NIH Fogarty-funded programs 2000–2012. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics 9:24-40
Hyder, Adnan A; Zafar, Waleed; Ali, Joseph et al. (2013) Evaluating institutional capacity for research ethics in Africa: a case study from Botswana. BMC Med Ethics 14:31
Osamor, Pauline E; Kass, Nancy (2012) Decision-making and motivation to participate in biomedical research in southwest Nigeria. Dev World Bioeth 12:87-95
Ali, Joseph; Hyder, Adnan A; Kass, Nancy E (2012) Research ethics capacity development in Africa: exploring a model for individual success. Dev World Bioeth 12:55-62
Appiah-Poku, John; Newton, Sam; Kass, Nancy (2011) Participants' perceptions of research benefits in an African genetic epidemiology study. Dev World Bioeth 11:128-35
Barsdorf, Nicola; Maman, Suzanne; Kass, Nancy et al. (2010) Access to treatment in HIV prevention trials: perspectives from a South African community. Dev World Bioeth 10:78-87

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