This training program in research ethics is a renewal of a program that takes place at FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales--Latin American University of Social Sciences) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The co-Principal Directors, Dr. Ruth Macklin and Dr. Florencia Luna, have built on past educational activities and other features of the training program, now in its tenth year. Continuing from the last four-year renewal are: (1) formal courses in which the trainees enroll during their four-month stay in Buenos Aires;(2) a brief, three-session internal seminar in which Drs. Luna and Macklin introduce the trainees to the principles of bioethics and major international documents in research ethics;(3) an annual one-week seminar with renowned guest faculty;(4) a sixteen-week, distance-learning course our long-term trainees begin when they return to their home institutions;(5) rotations by the trainees among six research ethics committees at Buenos Aires hospitals and research institutions;(6) mentoring by Dr. Luna on their experience observing these research ethics committees;(7) trainees'plans for a practicum to implement some aspect of what they have learned when they return to their home institutions;(8) implementation of the practicum at their home institutions;(9) mentoring sessions with Dr. Macklin during their stay, leading up to a final research paper (newly required for the Diploma);(10) completion of the final paper for the Diploma under Dr. Macklin's supervision. Innovations in the new program are: i) providing enhanced educational and credentialing opportunities for current and past trainees;ii) developing and establishing a Master's degree in bioethics at FLACSO;iii) lengthening the duration of the training program from ten months to one year for each cohort of trainees;iv) changing the contents of the annual one-week seminar each year to enable attendees from the Buenos Aires area to participate every year without encountering redundancy in topics;v) involving past trainees in a systematic plan to mentor new trainees in their practical project developed during the training year;vi) sharing leadership of the program equally between Drs. Luna and Macklin as co-Principal Directors (co-PDs) of the training program.
This training program enrolls a small group of professionals each year from health-related fields in Latin America. The aim is to assist in building capacity of researchers and members of research review committees in the ethical aspects of research with human beings. The program has distance-learning courses and annual seminar free of charge to the public. The trainees take formal courses, develop a practical project in research ethics, and write a paper under the guidance of the faculty.
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