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Based in Bangkok, Bioethics & Engagement has field-based teams operating in Mae Sot and Chiangrai on the Thai-Myanmar border, in Udon Thani, Thailand, from LOMWRU in Vientiane, Lao PDR and, in Cambodia, at a TACT-CV study site in Siem Pang and at COMRU in Siem Reap.

Py_team_img_6604 © MORU 2019. Photo by Nicky Almasy
Head of Bioethics & Engagement Phaik Yeong Cheah (right) with team members and locals at a Cambodian river crossing.

Set up in 2015, and headed by Assoc Prof Phaik Yeong Cheah, the Department of Bioethics & Engagement:

  • Works to ensure that any MORU Tropical Health Network research ethically involves medical research subjects, and meaningfully engages communities, particularly vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, migrants, and other disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups.
  • Organises and promotes community and public engagement with science and research.

The Bioethics & Engagement Department aims to conduct research to generate evidence to determine how to:

  • Ethically involve children, pregnant women, migrants, refugees and other under-served groups in medical research;
  • Meaningfully engage communities in research, so the research will be responsive, ethical and ultimately improve lives.

We also organise and promote community and public engagement with science and research by:

  • Involving our host research communities so that they can provide meaningful feedback, challenge researchers, and contribute to setting the research agenda;
  • Organising public outreach events such as science café-style talks to make science and research more accessible to the public.

The Department has an active postgraduate student programme. Bioethics & Engagement Head Assoc Prof Phaik Yeong Cheah currently supervises three DPhil or PhD students, with former Public Engagement Officer Bipin Adhikari having completed a University of Oxford DPhil in Dec 2018. If you’re interested in doing a postgraduate degree with us, have a look at the MORU Students page. Then, contact Assoc Prof Phaik Yeong Cheah or one of our other principal investigators for a potential supervisor or Prof Stuart Blacksell, Post-Graduate Student Coordinator.

The Department also makes a major curriculum development and teaching contribution to the ethics module of the University of Oxford’s MSc In International Health & Tropical Medicine (IHTM).