Few researchers in the Balkans and Black Sea countries are explicitly taught the international standards for the ethical conduct of research as part of their formal scientific or medical training. Hence, few of those who currently serve on their institutional research review boards (IRBs) have the formal educational background to fully appreciate, address, and lead their institutions in responding to the complex and subtle issues involved in today's ethical conduct of biomedical research, and most importantly, human subject research. By pooling the combined resources of Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM) and the University of Belgrade School of Medicine (UBSM) we propose to create an educational program for clinicians, biomedical researchers and other professionals from this region that will provide them with the knowledge and skills to enable them to become leaders and spearhead the development of research ethics infrastructure and regulation. The training that we propose will utilize both traditional and innovative methods involving face-to-face and distance learning seminars to teach research ethics. We will focus on developing competencies and nurturing the essential attitudes that trustworthy researchers should have. We shall train a diverse group of individuals who are in positions to become important resources for their institutions or countries. We expect them to go on to serve the research communities in their home countries and institutions as teachers and as leaders in the development and implementation of mechanisms to assure the ethical conduct of research. The broad goal of our program will, therefore, be to train a pool of individuals to be ethically informed and sensitive leaders who understand, embrace, and express the core values of the international biomedical research community. At the end of this three year educational program, trainees will be well-prepared to think critically about today's and tomorrow's complex ethical issues of domestic and international biomedical research. Over the span of the five-year project the participants will become a community of scholars and resources for each other and their region.
Advances in biomedical science that promote health are only achieved through research. Because of the importance of this research and the need for assuring society's trust in the research enterprise, it is critical for the international scientifi community to certify that studies are conducted according to the highest ethical standards and train researchers to understand and embrace the principles for the ethical conduct of research. This project provides that training in the Black Sea region, and prepares trainees to share their knowledge with others.