About the GFBR

The Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) exists to provide a global platform for the exchange and sharing of experience and expertise on research ethics among researchers, research policy makers and ethicists, among others. Its core aims are to give voice to low- and middle- income country (LMIC) perspectives in debates about global health research ethics and to promote collaboration.

The purpose, history and future functioning of the GFBR is described in the 2014 articleThe Global Forum for Bioethics in Research – Past, present and future‘.

The essential values of the GFBR include:

  • the promotion of ethically conducted research;
  • respect for the differences between many stakeholders in research – both geographical, cultural, and scientific;
  • the importance of bringing these together for mutual learning;
  • the urgency of capacity building in health research ethics review in many LMICs;
  • the need for partnership between north and south in capacity building in ethics and ethical review in the south.

Who sits on the Steering Committee?

Katherine Littler, World Health Organization, Switzerland; Michael Parker, Oxford University, UK; Anna Chiumento, Liverpool University, UK; Teck Chuan Voo, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Phaik Yeong Cheah, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand; Sharon Kaur, University of Malaya, Malaysia; Anant Bhan, Yenepoya University, India;Ā  Jantina De Vries, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Caesar Atuire, University of Ghana, Ghana; Ross Upshur, University of Toronto, Canada; Carla Saenz, Pan American Health Organisation, USA; Paul Ndebele, George Washington University, USA; Ana Palmero, National Ministry of Health, Argentina.

Funder member representatives: Rachel Knowles, UK Medical Research Council (MRC), UK; Barbara Sina, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, USA, Carleigh Krubiner, Wellcome, UK and Niresh Bhagwandin, South African MRC.

What are the aims of GFBRĀ meetings?

  • To maintain and strengthen the protection of human participants in health research.
  • To provide a forum for low- and middle-income country perspectives on ethical issues in research.
  • To explore opportunities to enhance capacity for ethical review of research.
  • To create a context for research involving human participants in which scientists, ethicists, community representatives, policy-makers, industry, and other relevant stakeholders can address ethical issues in ways that allow expeditious long-term joint management of research protocols.

These aims are kept under review and refined at the Steering Committee of Partners meeting held during each meeting.

How are the GFBRĀ meetings planned?

A Planning Committee is convened to support the annual GFBR meeting, including members with expertise and experience in relation to the meeting theme. The Committee reviews the applications to attend and present at the meeting and advises on the development of the meeting agenda. Members of the 2023 Planning Committee are:

  • Nicola Barsdorf,Ā Head, Health Research Ethics, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciencesā€™ Research Development & Support Division,Ā Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  • Soumyadeep Bhaumik,Ā Co-Head, Meta-research and Evidence Synthesis Unit; Senior Research Fellow, Injury Division, The George Institute, India.
  • Claudia Chamas,Ā Professor of Health and Intellectual Property,Ā Institute of Economics and Oswaldo Cruz FoundationĀ (Fiocruz), Brazil.
  • Toto Gronlund, Adviser, James Lind Alliance, National Institutes for Health Research, UK.
  • Sharon Kaur, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Malaysia (GFBR SteeringĀ CommitteeĀ member)
  • Francis Kombe, CEO EthiXPERT, Kenya.
  • Joe Millum,Ā Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, St. Andrews University in Scotland and Chair of theĀ International Society for Priorities in Health.
  • Mona Nasser,Ā Professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Oral Health Research, University of Plymouth, UK. Co-founder and lead of theĀ Cochrane Priority Setting Methods group.
  • Bridget Pratt,Ā Mater Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Ethics, Queensland Bioethics Centre,Ā Australian Catholic University, Australia.
  • Ludovic Reveiz,Ā Advisor, Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health, Pan American Health Organization, USA
  • Annette Rid, Bioethicist, Department of Bioethics, NIH Clinical Center & NIH Fogarty International Center, USA.
  • Katherine Littler, Global Health Ethics & Governance Unit, WHO, Switzerland (GFBR Steering Committee Member)

Who supports the GFBR?

Funding is provided by The Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council and the South Africa Medical Research Council.

The Secretariat for the GFBR is provided by the World Health Organization.

Prior to 2009 the Secretariat was hosted by COHRED, supported by a grant from the Science and Society programme of the EU’s 6th Framework Programme on science and technology.

Who are the GFBRā€™s past and current partners?

Aga Khan University (AKU)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Instituts de recherche en santĆ© du Canada (CIHR – IRSC)
Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED)
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)
Health Research Council of New Zealand
Institut National de la SantƩ et de la Recherche MƩdicale (INSERM)
Medical Research Council-United Kingdom (MRC UK)
National Institutes of Health-Fogarty International Center (NIH-FIC)
Vilnius University
Wellcome Trust
World Health Organisation (WHO)
Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)