Professor Amos Laar and Partners Secure $1.2 million (NIH) Grant to Continue to Build Sustainable Research Ethics and Integrity Capacity in the Sub-Region

Professor Amos Laar, School of Public Health and partners have been awarded a $1.2 million dollar grant by Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. The award is the culmination of a strategic collaboration with international and local partners.

Titled New York University–University of Ghana (NYU-UG) Research Integrity Training Programand led by the New York University (PIs Caplan, Ogedegbe, Laar) from 2018 through 2023, the first phase of the project aimed to build sustainable research ethics and integrity capacity in Ghana. The project successfully trained 30 Fellows in Research Integrity and facilitated the establishment of a Master of Science Program in Bioethics at the University of Ghana (School of Public Health).    

The second phase of the project, led by the University of Ghana (PIs Laar, Caplan, Ogedegbe) and spanning 2023 through 2028, will continue to build sustainable research ethics and integrity capacity in Ghana through a joint partnership between New York University Grossman School of Medicine (NYU GSOM), C.K. Tedam University of Technology & Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS), University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Ghana Health Service (GHS).and the University of Ghana.

The NYU-UG Research Integrity Training Program (NYU-UG RITP) addresses the considerable need for research ethics and integrity training through three initiatives:

· The strengthening of faculty and enhancement of curriculum of the new MSc. in Bioethics Program at the University of Ghana School of Public Health. This will be achieved through a faculty exchange program, faculty development workshops, co-development and co-delivery of a series of short courses on emerging bioethics issues.

· The development and implementation of a capacity building program consisting of short courses and workshops informed by needs assessments and designed to meet the most urgent and important training needs of personnel at key institutions in Ghana’s research ethics system; and

· The continuation and expansion of the NYU-UG Fellowship Program in Research Integrity by enrolling trainees from Liberia and Sierra Leone. The expansion to other countries in the sub-region will facilitate the emergence of the West Africa Research Ethics Network (WAREN). Members of WAREN will include graduates of UG-SPH Bioethics program and members from other similar programs e.g.: the Fogarty training programs in the West Africa sub-region. 

Professor Arthur Caplan, a PI on the project from New York University sees the expansion of the project’s scope as a very timely, pioneering and rewarding opportunity”.  

”Building on a very successful initial grant from the NIH/Fogarty program, NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Division of Medical Ethics is eagerly looking forward to the extension of our partnership with the University of Ghana and its many program leaders and graduates.  Expanding the scope of the Fogarty program and concentrating on the work of institutions like research ethics committees and research integrity oversight efforts under the direction of the University of Ghana is a timely, pioneering and rewarding opportunity”.

Overall, “The current renewal will allow us to sustain the capacity in biomedical ethics we have built over the past 5 years. This is one of a few bioethics masters program in West Africa” says Prof Gbenga Ogedegbe, PI on the project from New York University 

“Toward building a sustainable research ethics and integrity capacity in Ghana, we have had a truly rewarding past five years. We have trained 60 individuals - comprising 30 Fellows and 30 MSc Students spanning over 20 disciplines. We look forward to cementing this achievement as we strive to expand both the disciplinary and geographic scope of the initiative”, noted Professor Amos Laar, Contact PI of the Project.

The University of Ghana congratulates Prof. Amos Laar, his colleagues, and collaborators for the awarded grant.


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