The overall goal of the Middle East Research Ethics Training Initiative (MERETI) training program is to ensure the sustainability of individual and institutional research ethics capacity in the Middle East. There has been a recent increase in clinical trials activity in the Middle East and therefore, it is crucial that research ethics capacity is enhanced so that there are adequate protections of the rights and welfare of research participants. There also needs to be indigenous scholars in research ethics who can contribute critically to the complex international debates surrounding the conduct of research in resource-limited countries. Only then can research address the existing health inequities. To achieve our goal, we propose the following specific aims: Offer a Masters of Science in Clinical Research with Specialization in Research Ethics that will promote the careers of indigenous scholars in the Middle East. Our plan is to enroll at least 8 health professionals during the 5-year funding period. Intensify our current 12-month Certificate Program so as to impart to individuals more of the necessary critical skills to pursue scholarly activities, become research ethics educators, and assume leadership roles in research ethics committees. Our plan is to enroll 16 individuals in our revised program. Certificate trainees will complement the efforts of the master's trainees. Incorporate new distance learning activities in our program that can further expand the educational scope and reach of the MERETI programs, and provide our trainees with additional teaching opportunities. We have found that distance learning activities add a further educational dimension to our training program and can be an efficient means to provide the necessary research ethics training. Enhance the impact of MERETI by developing and implementing a sustainability plan that includes eNetworking, a trainee development program, and continued institutional collaboration with Cairo University. To sustain the successes of our trainees, we intend to implement innovative approaches for continuing the development of their careers. We have also established important collaborations with important individuals and organizations in the global health field that further assures our success. Essentially, we intend our training program to ensure the career development of our trainees that extends into the post-training period. Only then can our program realize its long-range overall goal.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal aims to offer a Masters of Science in Clinical Research with Specialization in Research Ethics to at least 8 individuals from the Middle East during the 5-year funding period. Such training will lead to sustainable research ethics capacity by enhancing the career development of individuals in the field of research ethics who can become leaders at the national and international levels. Their efforts will ensure the conduct of ethical clinical and public health research and ensure that such research is responsive to existing inequities in the distribution of health care services across global communities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Education Projects (R25)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Sina, Barbara J
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Silverman, Henry; Edwards, Hillary; Shamoo, Adil et al. (2013) Enhancing research ethics capacity in the Middle East: experience and challenges of a Fogarty-sponsored training program. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics 8:40-51

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