The research output of Low and Middle Income countries (LMICs), particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, has greatly increased over the last 20 years. This increase is due in part to increasing access to both local or international research funds and various local/international initiatives aimed at strengthening LMIC research capacity. Makerere University is one of the most research-intensive universities in Sub-Saharan Africa and has over the years retained its position among the top 10 universities on the continent. Despite the growth and expansion of the research enterprise and though better than most Sub-Saharan African countries Makerere University has been slow in developing a corresponding capacity in international bioethics and yet like in other research active low- and middle-income institutions it faces many research bioethical challenges. The goal of this application is to develop a sustainable core group of doctoral-level trained bioethics scholars at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) with the capabilities to conduct original empirical or conceptual bioethics research on challenging health issues and to support the design and implementation of health research at the highest bioethics standards in an African context. This will be achieved through the following aims:
Aim 1 : To develop individuals with capabilities to conduct original empirical or conceptual research on critical bio-ethical issues in the region Aim 2: To develop a critical mass of bioethics scholars with the capabilities to give robust advice based on theories, concepts and research findings on development of evidence-based bioethics policies in the region Aim 3: To develop individuals with competencies to sustain scholarly careers providing leadership in teaching bioethics, research design and implementation, ethical review of research and research ethics consultation The planned activities are designed to recruit, select and rigorously train Makerere University and its local partners faculty who will be supported through a 4-year sandwich joint supervision doctoral training program, focusing on research bioethical questions and or challenges of local relevance. The graduates of this training will be equipped to in due course and with subsequent post-doc training become independent bioethics researchers who can teach bioethics and bioethics research courses, lead the ethical review of research and provide expert consultation to their institutions, Government of Uganda, the private sector and international research organizations.
Makerere University is one of the most research-intensive universities in Sub-Saharan Africa and has over the years retained its position among the top 10 universities on the continent. In this project we propose to support doctoral-level bioethics research training of seven candidates who will form a sustainable core group of bioethics research scholars at Makerere University with the capabilities to conduct original empirical or conceptual ethics research that addresses challenging issues in health research and research policy at the university and later other institutions in Uganda. The candidates will be selected very carefully from among those who have a strong desire to make bioethics research a significant part of their career and also demonstrate academic rigor and suitability for doctoral level training. A very experienced group of faculties at Makerere University, Uganda, Johns Hopkins University, USA together with African bioethicists on the continent but outside Uganda will provide a high level doctoral training including supervision and mentoring. The trainees will acquire deep understanding of both bioethics and research methods employed in both bioethics research and health research in general. The project is innovative, sustainable, and builds on a longstanding collaboration in bioethics training between Makerere University and John Hopkins University.