European NIH Grant: Curriculum
The program consists of six graduate courses, including three online courses (10 weeks each), a hybrid online/onsite project course and two onsite seminar courses (1 week each). All courses are taught in English by European and American faculty.
Onsite courses are held at Vilnius University and at other European locations. Except for these short onsite seminars, the Program's online design permits students to complete the Advanced Certificate without leaving their homes or jobs.
The total length of the Advanced Certificate Program in Research Ethics Program is approximately 16 months.
Students who successfully complete the Program are eligible to apply for scholarships to obtain an accelerated Masters of Science in Bioethics from the Bioethics Program of Clarkson and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York). Six additional online and onsite courses are required to obtain the Masters. All costs associated with the courses required to obtain the Masters of Science in Bioethics, including application fee, tuition, books and associated materials, and travel and accommodation for onsite courses will be covered by the grant.
Proseminar in Biomedical Ethics (1 week, onsite, Summer)
This 7-day introductory seminar is designed to serve as a springboard for the 16-month Advanced Certificate Program in Research Ethics. Students will be immersed in discussions of biomedical methodology and history. Through a series of workshops and interactive assignments, they will be taught to use the research tools in bioethics and the history of medical ethics (especially online research portals), and methods of bioethics case analysis and case presentation. They will also be instructed in accessing and using the Joule distance-learning course platform and Internet-based resources, and will be required to use them throughout the seminar.
International Bioethics (10 weeks, online, Fall)
The purpose of this course is to provide the historical and theoretical foundations for the Advanced Certificate Program in Research Ethics. Topics will include: the history and development of key international institutions, pivotal policies and theoretical frameworks informing international bioethics and research ethics and case studies of specific areas in international bioethics.
International Research Ethics 1 (10 weeks, online, Winter)
In this course, fellows will be able to identify and explain the prominent ethical, social and legal issues in research ethics and apply ethical and professional principles to those issues. Fellows will be able to analyze individual cases and make informed and reasoned judgments about the proper conduct of research and be able to design and develop a plan to promote education in and professional awareness of research ethics and the responsible conduct of research.
International Research Ethics 2 (10 weeks, online, Spring)
In the second course on research ethics, a continuation of Research Ethics 1, fellows will master the knowledge base that will allow them to function as ethicists on research ethics committees. They will understand the legal and ethical complexities of contemporary research issues occurring in their home countries and how the local prevailing approaches and standards compare and contrast to international ones. Fellows will be challenged to develop new theoretical and practical approaches to urgent ethical issues in the local research environment.
Online Practicum and Project (20 weeks, online, Spring/Summer)
The Online Practicum and Project will be a key vehicle for preparing fellows to facilitate institutional and societal change with regard to ethical practices in international health research. In this 20-week course, fellows will carry out projects in their home institutions including: developing and teaching short courses on research ethics, conducting empirical studies of research ethics practices, writing and implementing policies for research ethics committees, improving the management of research ethics committees, and influencing the public policy agenda of governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations. Additional practical skills that will be covered include methods for teaching bioethics, grant writing, public policy and organizational analysis, and other skills that will be useful in completing the project and instituting change.
Onsite Practicum and Capstone (1 week, onsite, Summer)
In the combination Practicum and Capstone, fellows will acquire the practical skills necessary for functioning as independent research ethicists in their home countries and in promoting institutional change. The Capstone will provide an opportunity for fellows to demonstrate they have mastered the essential knowledge base and practical skills necessary to function as a competent research ethicist in the CEE environment. The Capstone performs both an assessment and evaluative function to assure the key objectives of the certificate curriculum have been accomplished. The assessment will involve: 1) fellows’ presentations of their research or project; 2) fellows’ teaching sessions to demonstrate their skills at presenting some aspect of research ethics (e.g., consent requirements in research on vulnerable populations); and 3) fellows’ performance in analyzing cases before a mock research ethics review board.