Dr Mark Sheehan
BA (Hons), MA (Hons)/BSc, PhD
Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Ethics Fellow
- Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy
- Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy, St Benet's Hall
Mark Sheehan is Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Ethics Fellow at the Ethox Centre and a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in the Faculty of Philosophy. He received his PhD in Philosophy from The City University of New York, where his PhD thesis was on the nature of moral judgements. Prior to his PhD, he received an MA (Hons) and a BA (Hons)/BSc from the University of Melbourne. Prior to coming to Oxford he was a lecturer in the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, Ethics Fellow at the Mt. Sinai Medical School, New York and Adjunct Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at The City College of New York.
He is a National Research Ethics Advisor for the National Research Ethics Service, a member of NICE’s Highly Specialised Technology Evaluation Committee, co-leader of the Ethical Analysis of Key Concepts GECiP sub-domain in the context of the 100K Genome Project and was recently a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on research in children and. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Thames Valley Priorities Committee in the NHS. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics. Finally, he is Dean and Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford.
As BRC Ethics Fellow, Mark is involved in Research Ethics and Governance as well as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) across the Oxford NIHR BRC themes. This involvement includes discussions with researchers about research ethics issues in their work, collaborating on research proposals with ethical components and conducting research on issues in research ethics, ethics generally and PPI that engage with the research themes within the BRC.
Mark has set up and teaches (with the considerable help of colleagues) a series of sessions on research ethics aimed at researchers in the Medical Sciences Division and at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital. He also teaches Medical Ethics and Law to the Graduate Entry Medical students at the Medical School and lectures on the Medical Law and Ethics course in the Law School.
He has published in a broad range of bioethics and medical journals such as the Journal of Applied Philosophy, the Journal of Medical Ethics, the Cambridge Quarterly on Healthcare Ethics, the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Bioethics. With colleagues from the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, he wrote an EU-funded textbook on research ethics (which can be downloaded from
Current Research Themes:
1. Research Ethics and Governance
2. Ethics and Reproductive Technologies
3. Ethical issues in Resource Allocation
4. Commercialisation and Health
5. Methodology in Applied Ethics and Bioethics
Reasonable disagreement and the justification of pre-emptive ethics governance in social research: a response to Hammersley.
Sheehan M. et al, (2018), J Med Ethics
In defence of governance: ethics review and social research.
Sheehan M. et al, (2017), Journal of medical ethics
Variation in university research ethics review: Reflections following an inter-university study in England
Vadeboncoeur C. et al, (2016), Research Ethics, 12, 217 - 233
Expertise, Ethics Expertise, and Clinical Ethics Consultation: Achieving Terminological Clarity.
Iltis AS. and Sheehan M., (2016), J Med Philos, 41, 416 - 433
Placebo-controlled study in neuromyelitis optica-Ethical and design considerations.
Cree BA. et al, (2016), Mult Scler, 22, 862 - 872
Who cares about research integrity?