Meeting: Emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments

3-4 November 2015, Fondation Mérieux, France, 

Deadline for applications to attend:  Monday 29 June 2015

The Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) is holding a two-day meeting on the theme of: “Emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments.” This will be the first full GFBR meeting since 2008 and follows the re-launch of the Forum in June 2014 in Mexico.

Theme: Following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa last year, renewed attention has been given to ethical issues that arise when research is undertaken during and after disease epidemics, particularly when these occur in low-and-middle-income countries. Outbreaks of MERS-coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the H5N1 avian influenza virus in recent years have all involved complex ethical challenges for the researchers involved in studying the diseases, healthcare workers on the ground, charities, governments, policy-makers and academics. The GFBR meeting will seek to identify and understand the valuable lessons to be learned for the global bioethics and research community in how to anticipate and address these issues in future outbreaks.

Who can attend the GFBR meeting? There will be a competitive selection process. Up to 80 participants will be selected from the eligible applicants who submit an application to attend by the deadline. We are seeking broad geographical representation, a mix of disciplinary expertise including researchers, clinicians, healthcare workers, bioethicists, policy-makers, health system functionaries, lawyers, and a combination of people who are early in their careers and leaders in their fields.

To submit an application to attend, please email the following information in Microsoft Word or PDF format, in English, to gfbr[at]wellcome.ac.uk by Monday 29 June 2015.

  • A short letter of intent not exceeding one page, outlining: Why you would like to participate in the GFBR meeting; And what you can contribute to the meeting. Please note we are looking for people who have an interest in or experience of working on emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments.
  • Name, institution and contact information
  • Short CV (1-2 pages)
  • Contact information and email addresses of two references
  • Whether you require funding to cover travel and accommodation costs, or you are self-funding.
  • Please note that funding will be prioritised for applicants from low- and middle-income countries. Applicants from other countries are welcome to apply if they can self-fund their attendance.

Successful applicants from low-and middle-income countries who require full funding will receive an award to cover: return travel to the meeting (economy airfare and standard ground transportation costs); and accommodation (2 or 3 nights maximum, including meals). Participants will be expected to meet all other costs.

The GFBR Planning Committee will select successful candidates. The selection committee will consider the following factors:

  • Country of origin. We would like to ensure a representative distribution of participants from different regions;
  • Background/current area of expertise. We would like to seek representation from many different disciplines relating to the theme of the meeting;
  • Experience of ethical issues related to emerging epidemic infections and experimental medical treatments;
  • Reasons for attending the meeting. We hope to attract participants who will be able to actively contribute to the meeting.

Applicants will be informed of the decision by the planning committee by 24 July 2015.

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