The Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) will hold a two-day meeting at the Fondation Mérieux, France, on 3-4 November 2015 on the theme of: “Emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments.” This will be the first full GFBR meeting since 2008 and follows the re-launch of the Forum in June 2014 in Mexico.
Following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa last year, renewed attention has been given to ethical issues that arise when research is undertaken during and after disease epidemics, particularly when these occur in low-and-middle-income countries. Outbreaks of MERS-coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the H5N1 avian influenza virus in recent years have all involved complex ethical challenges for the researchers involved in studying the diseases, healthcare workers on the ground, charities, governments, policy-makers and academics. The GFBR meeting will seek to identify and understand the valuable lessons to be learned for the global bioethics and research community in how to anticipate and address these issues in future outbreaks.
Who can attend the GFBR meeting?
There will be a competitive selection process. Up to 80 participants will be selected from the eligible applicants who submit an application to attend by the deadline. We are seeking broad geographical representation, a mix of disciplinary expertise including researchers, clinicians, healthcare workers, bioethicists, policy-makers, health system functionaries, lawyers, and a combination of people who are early in their careers and leaders in their fields.
To submit an application to attend, please provide the following information in Microsoft Word or pdf format, in English, by Monday 29 June 2015:
Short letter of intent not exceeding one page, outlining:
o Why you would like to participate in the GFBR meeting;
o What you can contribute to the meeting. Please note we are looking for people who have an interest in or experience of working on emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments.
Name, institution and contact information
Short CV (1-2 pages)
Contact information and email addresses of two references
Whether you require funding to cover travel and accommodation costs, or you are self-funding.
o Please note that funding will be prioritised for applicants from low- and middle-income countries. Applicants from other countries are welcome to apply if they can self-fund their attendance.
Awards: Decision Making and Eligibility for Funding
Successful applicants from low-and middle-income countries who require full funding will receive an award to cover:
return travel to the meeting (economy airfare and standard ground transportation costs); and
accommodation (2 or 3 nights maximum, including meals).
Participants will be expected to meet all other costs.
The GFBR Planning Committee will select successful candidates (both self-funded and those applying for funded places). The selection committee will consider the following factors:
Country of origin. We would like to ensure a representative distribution of participants from different regions;
Background/current area of expertise. We would like to seek representation from many different disciplines relating to the theme of the meeting;
Experience of ethical issues related to emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments;
Reasons for attending the meeting. We hope to attract participants who will be able to actively contribute to the meeting.
Please email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received after the deadline of 29 June 2015 will not be considered.
Applicants will be informed of the decision by the planning committee by 24 July 2015. The decision of the committee will be final.
Support for the GFBR
The GFBR is sponsored by a range of international funders. The Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are providing funding for this meeting. The Fondation Mérieux is generously providing the venue for this meeting.
Members of the Planning Committee for this upcoming meeting are: Philippe Calain, MSF; François Hirsch, Inserm; Nancy Kass, Johns Hopkins University; José Lapa e Silva, Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Katherine Littler, Wellcome Trust; Christophe Longuet, Fondation Mérieux; Barbara Sina, NIH; Paul Tambyah, National University of Singapore; Aissatou Toure, Pasteur Institute Dhakar; Ross Upshur, University of Toronto; Douglas Wassenaar, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Aminu Yakubu, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria.
Members of the GFBR Interim Steering Committee are: Elizabeth Bukusi, Kenya; Anant Bhan, India; Yali Cong, China; Patricia J Garcia, Peru; Katherine Littler, UK; Florencia Luna, Argentina; Joseph Millum, USA; Michael Parker, UK; Frances Rawle, UK; Barbara Sina, USA; Douglas Wassenaar, South Africa.