Centre for Medical Ethics and Law
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics
The Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and the Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, United States have been awarded a training grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research ethics education through the ARESA programme in Southern Africa from 2011-2016. The forth course will run from January 2015 - December 2015. The educational programme comprises three 2-week intensive educational modules, a research assignment and home-based reading in between modules. Successful applicants will be awarded scholarships to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics (PGDip Health Research Ethics).
Module 1: Introduction to bioethics, health law and human rights
Module 2: Dual Review of Research as an ethical imperative
Module 3: Research and Vulnerability
Trainees will be required to complete a research assignment/paper in order to fulfill the requirements of the course. The topic can be conceptual in nature or a more empirically-grounded theme in research ethics can be selected. Trainees will be encouraged to conduct their own empirical research, or to use previously collected data, where this is appropriate and feasible. An ARESA faculty member will approve the topic of a trainee's practicum assignment/paper, and a mentor for the assignment at the trainee's home institution will also be identified. Each trainee will be linked with a specific ARESA faculty mentor with expertise in the topic of choice.
The PG Dip (Health Research Ethics) curriculum will employ a combination of didactic and practical experiences. Case based interactive small group learning will be a prominent feature of the program. Trainees will complete a test at the end of each module and are required to complete a research assignment. Mentorship will be provided by faculty and institutional mentors. Empirical research into controversial ethical issues that arise in research in developing countries is encouraged. Publication of research will be encouraged and supported via writing workshops. The course is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training. By the end of the course, all trainees must submit proof of GCP and Responsible conduct of research training. The ARESA Newsletter is circulated biannually and will be trainee driven. A network of REC members has been established and trainees will have an opportunity to be involved in this activity as well.
Module 1 test 20%
Module 2 test 20%
Module 3 test 20%
Group assignment 15%
Research assignment 25%
Specific Admission Requirements
Prospective candidates must:
- have a background indicating a significant interest in bioethics or research ethics.
- have a degree in health sciences, law, social sciences or the humanities, including philosophy & theology.
- submit a letter of support from their home institution demonstrating institutional support & explaining why the research ethics capacity-building of the applicant is important to the home institution.
- be computer literate, have internet access at home institution and be fluent in spoken and written English.
- be a Southern African resident, though limited exceptions can be made for residents of other African countries.
- not be concurrently registered for another degree at any institution.
In keeping with South African guidelines for diversity in REC membership, gender and race will be considered in selecting trainees.
Preference will be given to:
- members of research ethics committees and regulatory agencies.
- mature midcareer professionals who have research ethics experience.
Applicants must submit:
1. A letter of application including a brief summary of the trainee’s reasons for seeking entry to the programme including the following:
- Description of experience and interests compatible with the programme,
- Description of research ethics activities, such as teaching or membership on a ResearchEthics Committee, or a position in which regulation, administration or monitoring of research activities is a primary function,
- Anticipated ways in which the applicant intends to use the skills and expertise gained by this postgraduate course;
2. Written statement that they completed the application, including the letter of application, on their own and without the assistance of others.
3. A formal University of Stellenbosch Application Form;
4. Curriculum Vitae;
5. Official transcripts of all academic work at a post-secondary level, signed by a notary or institutional official.
6. Two letters of recommendation certifying applicant’s academic qualifications and suitability for the program;
7. Name of a qualified person who would be willing to serve as the home institution mentor (if such a person can now be identified), together with a letter from the proposed mentor confirming a willingness to supervise the applicant’s research (if no such individual can now be identified, other arrangements will be made upon admission); and
8. Letter from applicant’s Dean or supervisor certifying that the applicant will be granted leave to attend all course activities without interruption or distraction, for preparation for course work, for completion of the research project at his/ her home institution, and a commitment by the institution to assist to develop the applicant’s career in bioethics and research ethics. Applicants who live and work in the Cape Town area must, in particular, obtain a firm commitment from their Dean or supervisor that the applicant will have no responsibilities or duties that interfere with or require absence from attendance or preparation during the three two-week training sessions at the Tygerberg Campus, University of Stellenbosch.
9. A declaration that the applicant is not registered for another degree.
The 10 candidates who are admitted will receive scholarships to cover the following:
1. Full tuition fees for the Diploma course.
2. A subsistence allowance of R2800 per 2 week module attended.
3. For candidates living outside the greater Cape Town metropolitan area:
a. Accommodation during the three modules.
b. Travel expenses (at equivalent of economy return air fare from their home institutions to
Cape Town for attendance at the three two- week modules.
Deadline for applications for 2015 academic year: 30 September 2014
Please click below for a downloadable application form.
Application form 2015
Please send all completed applications to:
Ms Kelsey February
ARESA Administrative assistant
Tel: (021) 938 9921