DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Responsible conduct of research (RCR) is an essential requirement for research training in developed countries and most academic and funding institutions require researchers to obtain such training before starting a research project Jordan is one of the more academically established countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with a high per-capita university education and progressive research agenda. It is also the hub for pharmaceutical drug development with over 20 companies generating generic drugs and exporting it to the region and globally. Jordanian pharmaceutical companies involve 7 Contract Research Organizations (CROs) in Jordan to conduct clinical drug trial and related human research. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in Jordan because of shifts to a Western lifestyle and better control of communicable diseases. Jordan has one of the highest smoking and obesity rates in the MENA region, which are the leading risk factors for NCDs. The training of researchers in the responsible conduct of research is essential for population public health research in prevention and clinical trials related to treatment of NCDs. However, research without appropriate ethical standards and training of researchers can produce e harm rather than benefit. Jordan does not have training in the area of responsible conduct of research and research ethics that is comparable to Western and more developed countries. Training the next generation of research scientists in Jordan will require sustained effort in research ethics training. The aims of this proposal are: To build capacity of individual learners by creating a master's level research ethics
curriculum with a focus on public health and clinical drug trials; To develop institutional capacit by using a step- wise teaching methodology to deliver knowledge to learners; To develop regional capacity by translating curricular and educational material from English to Arabic; Create a database of research ethics case studies; and To establish a mentoring mechanism to continue the engagement of graduates. This program will be able to develop a new cadre of research ethics expertise in Jordan and the region. A minimum of 120 such graduates are expected to finish the program with a graduate-level certificate in research ethics. This will involve capacity building of the main partnering academic institution in Jordan, the Jordan University of Science and Technology which is among the highest ranking research university in Jordan and the region. This will provide the required paradigm shift in research ethics among researchers in Jordan and the region and promote further research productivity and provides better protection of research subjects but also raise the standard of RCR to be at the international level. The overarching goal of the program is to enable participants to make ethical decisions based on increased knowledge of acceptable standards of scientific conduct and integrity. While achieving this goal, the program will develop institutional and regional capacity n teaching methods and RCR.