This initiative seeks to develop and implement a new Master of Research Ethics Studies (MORES) program at the University of Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur. As the first bioethics-related Master's program in Malaysia, MORES will be developed and sustained by leveraging the collective strengths of Johns Hopkins University, Berman Institute of Bioethics (JHU) and UM program faculty who are national and international experts in bioethics, medicine, public health, law, science and education. The MORES program is directly responsive to significant increases in the conduct of international health research, including collaborative clinical trials, in Malaysia and the region. These research trends in part reflect the fact that Malaysia ? a middle-income country of more than 30 million people ? is facing a ?triple burden? of non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases and injuries. Being a multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious (majority Islamic) country, additional layers of ethical complexity for research and researchers are ever-present and in need of concerted attention. The JHU-UM collaboration will lead to the development of a regional hub for research ethics training and capacity development at a premier public university that is responsive to these needs as well as the significant gaps in both researcher and Institutional Review Board research ethics oversight capacity in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Specifically, over a period of five years we will: 1) engage with diverse stakeholders at UM, nationally and regionally in developing the MORES program to support a regional network for research ethics, 2) increase UM faculty capacity for high quality research ethics education and scholarship through JHU-UM faculty partnerships and focused faculty professional development, 3) establish and sustain a robust 12-month Master of Research Ethics Studies degree program at UM and provide funded research ethics Master's training under the program for 40 emerging leaders from Malaysia and the region, and 4) create and curate several shareable, durable resources that enhance research ethics training regionally and globally. MORES trainees will be able to engage thoughtfully and skillfully with a wide range of ethics challenges in international biomedical and social science research, and contribute to the enhancement of ethics policies, training programs and practices in Malaysia and the region. They will be equipped to lead and improve IRBs, help raise national and institutional research ethics standards and awareness, and teach others within their home institutions and beyond. MORES will also help to encourage growth of scholarship amongst faculty and trainees on diverse topics in research ethics to address longstanding and emerging research ethics challenges. In sum, we propose to create a model curriculum and regional hub for research ethics capacity development in Malaysia and Southeast Asia that embraces locally tailored content, collaboration and resource sharing, as well as knowledge and skills development for faculty and trainees who will become part of the next generation of leaders in research ethics.
This initiative will develop and implement a new Master of Research Ethics Studies (MORES) program at the University of Malaya (UM) - the first of its kind in Malaysia - by leveraging the collective strengths of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and UM program faculty who are national and international experts in bioethics, medicine, public health, law, science and education. The collaboration will lead to the development of a regional hub for research ethics training and capacity development at a premier public university that is responsive to rapidly increasing clinical and non-clinical research activities, diverse populations, multiple disease burdens, and gaps in both researcher and Institutional Review Board research ethics oversight capacity in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Building on nearly 20 years of successful partnerships in research ethics capacity strengthening and existing JHU-UM relationships, this program is designed to produce a phased transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise from JHU to UM over the course of five years, while providing Master's degree training in research ethics to 40 individuals from Malaysia and the region, resulting in a sustainable positive impact on the research ethics and health research landscape.