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 Thames Valley Priorities Committee in the NHS. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics. Finally, he 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 teaches a range sessions on research ethics across the University aimed primarily at practitioners and researchers. He also teaches Medical Ethics and Law to the Graduate Entry Medical students at the Medical 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
Misuse of "Usual Care" in Emergency Care Research: A Call for Adapting Rules Governing Exception from Informed Consent (EFIC) Studies.
Cowan E. et al, (2020), Am J Bioeth, 20, 59 - 61
Measuring the impact of participatory research in psychiatry: How the search for epistemic justifications obscures ethical considerations.
Friesen P. et al, (2019), Health Expect
'It's a tough decision': a qualitative study of proxy decision-making for research involving adults who lack capacity to consent in UK
Shepherd V. et al, (2019), Age and ageing, 48, 903 - 909
Authority and the Future of Consent in Population-level Biomedical Research
Sheehan M. et al, (2019), Public Health Ethics
Protection by exclusion? the (lack of) inclusion of adults who lack capacity to consent to research in clinical trials in the UK
Shepherd V. et al, (2019), Trials, 20
Who cares about research integrity?