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Dr Maru Mormina

Dr Maru Mormina

Maru Mormina

Senior Researcher and Ethics Advisor

Maru joined Oxford in 2018 as Senior Researcher and Ethics Advisor. Her primary affiliation is with the Ethox Centre where she is developing a programme of research in global ethics, but she also works with Research Services where she is responsible for the development and leadership of a complementary programme of ethics advice to and support for University of Oxford researchers working in low and middle income settings.  


Trained in both the life and the social sciences, Maru started her career as a population geneticist, holding academic appointments at Cambridge and UEA. There, she researched patterns of migration, admixture and adaptation in prehistoric and contemporary populations around the world, particularly in East Asia and South America. This work exposed her to some of the ethical challenges of conducting research in developing countries and sparked an interest in development ethics. After a short career break, Maru completed a Masters in Bioethics at King’s College London and moved to the University of Winchester where she became Reader in Science, Ethics and Society. She was also the Chair of the University’s Research Ethics Committee.


Maru’s main research interests lie in the areas of global ethics and international development with a specific focus on the role of science and technology in development and the partnership model as a strategy for research capacity building in low and middle income countries. She is interested in theories of global justice (particularly Sen’s Capability Approach) and how they can be applied to international partnerships and capacity strengthening initiatives. Her current work aims to provide an ethical analysis of international partnerships and a conceptual framework for capacity strengthening in low and middle income countries which draws from the Capability Approach, the Right to Development and concepts of solidarity borrowed from political philosophy.

Professional activities

Maru’s research aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice to produce knowledge that is relevant to and usable by those “on the ground”. To this end, she collaborates closely with development practitioners. In recent years she has worked with the Monitoring and Evaluation team at the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) conducting an evaluation of “training the trainer” strategies within global health partnerships. She also has links with the International Network for the Advance of Scientific Publications (INASP), and the Centre on Global Health and Security at Chatham House.

Maru has lived and worked in South America and collaborated with many colleagues in these countries; she therefore brings a distinctive Global South perspective into her work.

Recent Publications

Science, Technology and Innovation as Social Goods for Development: Rethinking Research Capacity Building from Sen’s Capabilities Approach

Mormina, M. Sci Eng Ethics (2018).


A conceptual framework for training of trainers (ToT) interventions in global health

Mormina, M. and Pinder, S. Globalization and Health (2018). 14 (1):100


Full list of publications can be accessed here.

Recent publications

More publications