Ethical Challenges in Short-Term Global Health Training

Bryce decides to review his original research proposal.

CASE 9: Selecting a Research Project

Vignette 3: Bryce has learned that choosing an appropriate research question requires a collaborative partnership with the local community. In fact, this collaboration will help ensure the research is responsive to local needs, attentive to particular risks and benefits unique in that community, and is scientifically valid. He also realizes that his personal career goals should not supersede the needs of the local community.

While preparing to start his modified research project interviewing members of the community, he reviews his original research protocol that was approved by his Institutional Review Board and the local ethics committee. It no longer fits with the new project.

Bryce wonders whether his new research project requires review by an Institutional Review Board or local ethics committee. Which of the following do you think is correct? Choose the best answer. Then, click over each response to learn more.

Bryce should contact his advisor at home, his home IRB, and local colleagues to help determine whether IRB approval is needed.
This is correct because Bryce’s research project has changed from his originally approved project. When changes to the proposed project occur, he should contact his IRB as well as a local ethics committee or IRB if one exists before commencing research. In this case, Bryce might need to submit an entirely new protocol.
These are interviews; interview research does not require IRB approval.
This may or may not be true. It depends on the information being obtained and whether it can be linked to individual persons. Again, Bryce should contact his home advisor, his home IRB, a local IRB if one exists, and local colleagues to clarify this before commencing with the project. Choose a different answer.
Bryce does not need to contact his home IRB. Because the changes occurred while he was in a different country, only that country’s IRB or ethics committee matters.
This is incorrect. Because Bryce is a trainee of his home institution, conducting research as part of his role at that institution, he should still contact his home IRB about the project as well as the local ethics committee or IRB. Choose a different answer.
© Stanford University Center for Global Health and the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Project funding provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF)