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Ethical Action in Global Research: A Toolkit



Ethics in Global Research


This site provides an ethics toolkit for researchers, practitioners and others who conduct or support research in complex, low income or fragile settings.

This toolkit is the result of a series of discussions with more than 200 global researchers from more than 30 countries designed to inform and support ethical choices in global research.

What was clear from these discussions was that global research projects are typically:
  • defined by intractable, large scale, and complex challenges
  • undertaken in settings with emerging and/or limited research infrastructure and in the context of broader resource limitations (for both individuals and institutions)
  • delivered by multi-team, cross-country, cross-cultural and cross-sector partnerships involving universities, governments, civil society and NGOs
  • more changeable as the context often changes throughout the course of the project
  • occurring in the context of high humanitarian need and socio-political instability which may influence local priorities, policies and practices

In sum, both context and potential impact are dual drivers for paying particular attention to upholding the highest possible standards of research conduct and preventing misconduct.

This toolkit promotes a values-driven, solution-focused and iterative approach to ethics. It seeks to illuminate and address existing and emerging issues in a rapidly changing landscape of expectations about ethical research conduct.

Video by Evelyn Gonzalez

A work in progress: Be part of the conversation

Please Contact Us

We are aware that this toolkit is a work in progress and needs to be under continuous review. If you have suggestions, please contact us. Your suggestions will be welcome.

We hope this toolkit will encourage further conversation as we all strive to undertake impactful clinical practice and research with our communities.

Contact Authors

Dr. Clara Calia, Professor Liz Grant & Professor Corinne Reid, University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Cristóbal Guerra, Universidad Santo Tomás, Chile


If you would like to cite this toolkit, please use the following citation:
Reid, C., Calia, C., Guerra, C. & Grant, L. (2019). Ethical Action in Global Research and Clinical Practice: A Toolkit. The University of Edinburgh. Available at: