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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 2 (2006 Deadline)

Capacity Building in Research Ethics and for Research on Ethics  
Adnan A. Hyder, The Johns Hopkins University
Aasim Ahmad and Arshi Farooqi, Aga Khan University
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $232,732
US Funding:    $150,000
Project Dates on US Side: February 1, 2007 - November 30, 2009

Project Overview

The goal of this project was (1) to improve the ethical conduct of human subject research in light of indigenous sociocultural values in Pakistan and (2) to develop skills and capacity to conduct research on ethics in Pakistan. The development of capacity in Pakistan in research ethics involves the rationale that not only is international collaborative research involving developing counties increasing exponentially, but there is also a concerted effort to increase the number of researchers in these countries. To achieve this objective, this project involved six research ethics certificate courses to be presented over two years, resulting in the training and certification of some 120 researchers from all over Pakistan. The certificate courses offered had two components comprising modules in basic bioethics and research ethics. The former was a foundational module with a focus on three broad areas: bioethics history and issues to date; Western thought; and Islam and its philosophic tradition. The research ethics module covered essential principles for human subject research, examining different ethical issues raised by clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and public health research, especially in the context of developing countries and international collaborative research. The long-term goal of this project is for the individuals trained to become resource persons in their respective institutions not only for ethical review of research, but also for eventual establishment of similar training programs. 

Major Results

  • Presented six very positively evaluated research ethics certificate courses over two years, resulting in the training and certification of approximately 120 researchers from all over Pakistan
  • Courses and workshops attracted approximately 2,000 applicants as of late 2009, representing many of Pakistan’s major public and private sector healthcare institutions
  • Received a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to support complementary activities in the area of research ethics education and training, including the development of a master’s program
  • Hosted three researchers from AKU at JHU for extended training and development of independent research projects, for which they requested separate funding through AKU channels to carry out in Pakistan

Progress Report Summaries

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