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Ethics for collaborative genomics research

From the start, we’ve worked with the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford to develop ethical frameworks for pursuing large-scale genomics research, particularly in the context of collaborations between researchers working in high- and low- or middle-income settings.

A highly-engaged programme of ethics activities

Our ethics team worked closely with the MalariaGEN Resource Centre and our research partners to:

  • Develop network-wide policies on ethical issues such as data-sharing, particularly for our human GWAS data
  • Provide ethics support, training and advice
  • Undertake research and facilitate consultations around important ethical issues

A range of ethical considerations, at all stages of our research

Our ethics work involved collaboratively identifying and addressing a range of important ethical issues that relate to the way our research is designed and conducted; the way data and research outcomes are analysed, shared and reported; and also the way our projects operate.

Useful ethics resources

The Global Health Network offers a library of free and open access resources with a section on ethics in health research.

MalariaGEN is a model for how you can build ethics into science – how careful, reflective appropriately critical engagement with ethical issues can actually make science more successful and make collaborations more sustainable.

Michael Parker, Ethox Centre,
University of Oxford

These ethical issues include:

From an early stage, a significant number of our partners in low- and middle-income settings expressed a strong interest in building local capacity in ethics research.
Global health research often relies on the establishment of large and diverse multi-national scientific networks. Such collaborations are dependent on partnerships between a range of institutions
Our human consortial projects are generating data on samples collected from many populations – people with different ethnic backgrounds, living in different geographical locations. 
Seeking consent for genomic research in developing countries
Sharing aggregate findings from genomics research with stakeholder