The mission of the University of Toronto MHSc in Bioethics International Stream is to strengthen individual and institutional leadership capacity in bioethics, with particular emphasis on research ethics, in low- and middle-income countries. We work in partnership with existing and emerging programs in strong institutions in the developing world to identify leaders who will make those programs successful and sustainable. Building upon the success of the program over the past 8 years, (32 graduates as of June 2008, program experience rated highly by graduates), the reach of the program will refocus on West Africa (especially Ghana and Nigeria), and continue to focus on South Asia (extending beyond India and Pakistan to Bangladesh). Key emerging issues of global ethics (such as genomics/biotechnology and public health ethics) will be incorporated into the curriculum. We will build on continuous professional development program for graduates. The University of Toronto Component consists of 10 months of course work covering breadth and depth areas in bioethics, and resulting in the MHSc degree. The Home Country Component consists of 14 months of mentored research, educational, and leadership activity in bioethics in the trainee's home country culminating in a workshop in Toronto to facilitate intertrainee exchange of experiences, ideas, successes, and challenges. The program draws upon an internationally-distinguished faculty from a variety of disciplines. Over 4 years, the program will train at least 12 highly-qualified individuals nominated by home institutions and carefully selected for potential impact in their home country. We believe our targeted and strategic approach, intellectually rich environment for bioethics scholarship, legitimizing effect and discipline of the graduate degree, emphasis on adult learners and career development, continuous evaluation and improvement of our programs, and long-standing and trusting partnerships with institutions in developing countries, are the key success factors of our program.
As clinical research expands globally it is imperative to build capacity in the developing world for the ethical assessment and regulation of research in the contexts where the research will be conducted. The University of Toronto, Masters of Health Sciences in Bioethics (MHSc), International Stream is devoted to contributing to capacity building efforts in international research ethics. Over the past 8 years, working with established organizations in the developing world, the program has graduated 32 fellows with MHSc degrees who are leaders in scholarship and practice in ethics and regulation of human research. In this renewal we intend to continue our efforts in capacity building with a specific focus on Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, four of the most populous nations in the world, with pressing health needs.