Ethical Considerations in Research Collaborations

September 22 & 23, 2011

University of Washington, Seattle


Post-conference survey results (PDF)

Ethical Considerations in Research Collaborations program (PDF)

The University of Washington and Region X of the Public Health Service were funded by the Office of Research Integrity, of the US Department of Health and Human Services to host a conference on the responsible and ethical conduct of research. This conference was hosted in collaboration with co-sponsors UW Office of Research, UW Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The theme is “Ensuring an Ethical Foundation for Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Biomedical Research and the Provision of Public Health Services.

Research and delivery of public health services is no longer constrained by geography, culture or resources. This conference provided a realistic path forward for building or enhancing ethical foundations for collaborative research and public health service. Participants took home suggested best practices, documents, educational materials, and created new networks for industry and cross cultural collaborations.

Nationally recognized speakers from across the country presented a broad range of concepts, experiences, policy directives and best practices for developing and maintaining individual and institutional ethical foundations for research. The conference provided suggested approaches for assuring responsiveness to the NIH, NSF and other sponsor requirements for graduate student and post-doctoral mentoring and inclusion of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for students and researchers.

The conference focused on ethical challenges in three areas of research collaborations:

* University-Industry Collaboration: Building Translational Research Models
* Researcher to Researcher Collaboration: Promoting Shared Standards and Resources
* Collaboration in the International Arena: Challenges and Opportunities

The primary objectives of the conference were to:

  • Discuss and produce recommendations and best practices that will promote a shared foundation for ethical interactions with industry in developing basic and translational research collaborations.
  • Explore and produce a summary document of best practices that enhance the basic understanding of the legal and ethical standards for sharing of primary data and biological samples, including, maintaining and building research repositories.
  • Explore the multitude of challenges involved in university/industry relationships and provide and disseminate an executive summary of the discussion of shared definitions, regulatory requirements and common practices among researchers in the public and industry sectors.
  • Promote understanding of cross cultural and global ethical policies and commitments and post an executive summary of the conference session and break out materials and agreements.
  • Distribute the conference materials and products throughout the region and nationally through ITHS (WWAMI), NWABR newsletters, educational materials, blogs and other electronic means, especially through vehicles such as the CTSA website.
  • Encourage further exploration and dialogue on how to best promote a conscience of integrity and ethical conduct among biomedical and public health researchers and the students whom they teach and mentor