The identification and addressing of the ethical aspects of biomedical research is essential to its successful and appropriate conduct. Increasingly, to achieve this large-scale collaborative global health research networks are building ‘embedded’ programmes of ethics support, training, and research into their work from the outset. These sometimes include ethics researchers as Principal Investigators in the initial funding applications. This qualitative empirical ethics research project aims to study the implications of this emerging phenomenon. Through the use of semi-structured interviews with senior researchers in low and high income settings, it will investigate the experiences, perceptions and views of leading researchers about the increasing emphasis on embedding ethics into research collaborations. It will explore the advantages and disadvantages, benefits and limitations of this emerging model of embedded ethics and will attempt to understand this is the context of views about about the broader responsibilities of relevant stakeholders such as research funders and other institutions and organisations for ensuring that practical ethical issues in global health research are addressed. The project will conclude with an international workshop on the role of ethics programmes in supporting high ethical standards in international research.

This research is funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust (96527)