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PAST EVENT: Challenges in Research Ethics Assessment

Experiences from Africa and Europe

The Embassy of Good Science organised a symposium in collaboration with EUREC, BERC-Luso, AfriEthique, and LiberHetica. The event took place on May 25th, 2021.
The symposium facilitated the sharing of experiences and perspectives on research ethics assessment challenges between African and European experts. The symposium was organized into four sessions in which experts presented on challenges and solutions related to the theme of their session, with a panel discussion following the speaker presentations.
The videos for each session are available on The Embassy's youtube channel, in the following playlist:


Profile image of Prof. Guy Widdershoven
Prof. Guy WiddershovenPrincipal Investigator of The Embassy of Good Science, The Netherlands

Session 1: Ethical education and teaching

Profile image of Jocelyne Neto de Vasconcelos
Jocelyne Neto de VasconcelosHead of the National Health Research Centre of Angola (INIS), Angola
Profile image of Prof. Mariëtte van den Hoven
Prof. Mariëtte van den HovenProfessor of Medical Philosophy and Ethics at the Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands
Profile image of Telma Chicuamba
Telma ChicuambaHead of Clinical Trials Division, Department of the Evaluation of Medicines, Vaccines, Biologicals and Health Products, Mozambique
Profile image of Vânia Castro
Vânia CastroInspection, Licensing and Pharmacovigilance Services in the Pharmaceutical Department of the Ministry of Health, Sao Tome and Principe
Profile image of Panagiotis Kavouras
Panagiotis KavourasSenior researcher at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece


  • Jocelyne Neto de Vasconcelos: A biomedical education project, goals and methods. Available here.
  • Mariëtte van den Hoven: Research ethics & education: Developments & challenges in NL here.
  • Panagiotis Kavouras: Under the shadow of the Acropolis: Teaching research ethics to engineers. Available here.

Session 2: Independence of research ethics committees

Profile image of Prof. Dr. Elmar Doppelfeld
Prof. Dr. Elmar DoppelfeldChairman of the European Network of Research Ethics Committees, Germany
Profile image of Dr. Victor Francisco Gomes
Dr. Victor Francisco GomesMember of the National Ethics Committee for Health, National Institute of Public Health, Guinea-Bissau
Profile image of Ester Delgado Oliveira
Ester Delgado OliveiraTechnician of the Pharmaceutical Regulation Directorate of the Independent Health Regulatory Authority, Cape Verde
Profile image of Basutli Ramontshonyana
Basutli RamontshonyanaResearch officer at the University of Botswana, Botswana
Profile image of Prof. Dr. Eugenijus Gefenas
Prof. Dr. Eugenijus GefenasProfessor and Director of the Department of Medical History and Ethics at the Medical Faculty of Vilnius University, Lituania


  • Elmar Doppelfeld: Independence of Research Ethics Committees. Available here.
  • Ester Delgado Oliveira & Victor Francisco Gomes: BCG Vaccination: One project, two decisions. Available here.
  • Basutli Ramontshonyana: Independence of Research Ethics Committees: A case study of UB RECs. Available here.
  • Eugenijus Gefenas: Impact of the new EU clinical trial regulation on RECs. Available here.

Session 3: Research ethics challenges during public health emergencies

Profile image of Prof. Maria Patrão Neves
Prof. Maria Patrão NevesProfessor of Ethics and member of the World Emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Ethics, Portugal
Profile image of Prof. Dr. Maria Alexandra Ribeiro
Prof. Dr. Maria Alexandra RibeiroPresident of the National Ethics Committee for Clinical Research and board member of EUREC, Portugal
Profile image of Francis Masiye
Francis MasiyeIRB/REC Administrator in the Directorate of Research, Postgraduate Studies and Outreach at the Malawi University of Science and Technology, Malawi
Profile image of Samba Cor Sarr
Samba Cor SarrHead of the Research Division at the DPRS and secretary of the national ethics committee, Senegal
Profile image of Prof. Dominique Sprumont
Prof. Dominique SprumontProfessor of Health Law, President of the REC of the Canton of Vaud, Co-founder and deputy director of the Institute of Health Law, TRREE Coordinator, Member of CIOMS executive committee, Switzerland
Profile image of Carine Kades
Carine Kades Administrative Manager of CeRMI-FCRM and Secretary of the Institutional Ethics Committee, The Republic of Congo


  • Maria Patrão Neves & Maria Alexandra Ribeiro: Challenges & practices of RECs in Public Health Emergencies. Available here.
  • Dominique Sprumont : The challenges of handling the ethical review of COVID-related applications. Available here.
  • Samba Cor Sarr: Research ethics challenges during public health emergencies. Available here.
  • Francis Masiye: Experiences of RECs in Malawi in Reviewing Research Protocols during COVID-19. Available here.

Session 4: Practical, logistic and other challenges

Profile image of Prof. Dr. Dirk Lanzerath
Prof. Dr. Dirk LanzerathSecretary General of The European Network of Research Ethics Committees and Managing Director of the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences, Germany
Profile image of Jemee Tegli
Jemee TegliCoordinator at the University of Liberia - Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (UL-PIRE) IRB and coordinator of LiberHetica, Liberia
Profile image of Prof. Dr. David Townend
Prof. Dr. David TownendProfessor of Health and Life Sciences Jurisprudence at Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Profile image of Prof. Dr. Koiné Maxime Drabo
Prof. Dr. Koiné Maxime DraboSenior researcher in Public Health, ational Ethics Committee of Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso


Profile image of Gloria Mason Ross
Gloria Mason RossDirector, National Research Ethics Board/PREVAIL/WAC, President, West African Network of Ethics Committees, Liberia


1. Ethical education and teaching: Jemee Tegli

2. Independence of RECs: Dirk Lanzerath

3. Research ethics challenges during public health emergencies: Gloria Mason

4. Practical and logistical issues: Rien Janssens

Organizing Team

1. Shalini Harinarain (Virje Universiteit, Amsterdam)

2. Natalie Evans (AmsterdamUMC)

3. Rien Janssens (AmsterdamUMC)

4. Dario Scaramuzzi (Revolution Worldwide)