In this project, we propose to establish a two-year MSc in Global Health Ethics degree at the
University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences (UCT FHS), as well as to formalize the
research ethics training curriculum at that Faculty. Through a focus on decolonization of ethics
scholarship and from the perspective of the African humanities, we propose to revolutionise ethics
teaching in African health research by foregrounding African experiences, needs and worldviews
to equip our students to interrogate health research ethics drawing on the latest thinking in the
African humanities anchored into the need to decolonise global health and global health ethics.
Through the programme we sensitise our students the historical, social and political factors that
influence the shape and organisation of global health research, and the manifestation of particular
ethical challenges in it. We will combine foundational courses in African humanities with advanced
courses in six domains of frontier scientific research taking place in Africa – namely AI,
Neuroscience, Genomics, Humanitarian Research, Research in Children, and Open Science. The
aim is to graduate students that are able to critically engage with these frontier scientific
developments in a way that reflects the ontologies, experiences and needs of Africans. Over the
course of this program, we will graduate at least 15 MSc students, 6 of whom will be fully funded
and 9 of whom will be partly funded by program resources. We will also make available some of
our course content as short courses. Over the course of the program, we will offer 16 short
research ethics courses to a minimum of 320 individuals.
We will also conduct a meticulous assessment of current ad hoc ethics training initiatives in the
UCT FHS, analyze support needs and monitor the quality of ongoing efforts. Drawing on the
results of this assessment, we will design and implement a formalized curriculum for research
ethics training in the FHS which will include extensive mentorship for those currently offering
ethics training across the FHS departments and divisions. Finally we will work to increase the
visibility of ethics in the FHS and show UCT FHS staff and students that ethics is exciting and
relevant to the plethora of medical research ongoing in the FHS. We will do so by organizing
regular events in the FHS that speak to a topic in research ethics, ranging from regular discussion
forums drawing on popular forms of media (such as podcasts, videos or newspaper articles) to
introduce people to pertinent topics in ethics, to more formal monthly presentations, ‘ask anything’
ethics quickfix events and special events with diverse guest speakers from anywhere in the world.
Participation in this enrichment program will be mandatory for our MSc trainees.