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IU, Kenyan School Renew Partnership

Indiana University and Moi University in Kenya have renewed an international bioethics program for five years after receiving a $1.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The effort includes parallel master’s degree programs and student exchanges.

An international bioethics program at Indiana University and Moi University in Kenya has been renewed for five years with a $1.25 million grant from the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health to the IU Center for Bioethics.

The Indiana University-Moi University Academic Research Ethics Partnership (IU-Moi AREP) is an education, training and curriculum development initiative that builds on the longstanding partnership between IU and the medical school at Moi University, located in Eldoret, Kenya.

The partnership has developed parallel master’s degree programs in international research ethics at Moi and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, where the Center for Bioethics and the IU School of Medicine are located. Currently 20 students are enrolled in the programs, 17 of them at Moi. One of the key innovations in the program involves students travelling to the other university for up to six weeks to gain practical experience with ethical issues in another country.

“International health research continues to pose critical ethics questions and so we’re pleased to be able to continue the work of building joint capacity to anticipate and address these issues, whether in Kenya or the US,” said Eric M. Meslin, Ph.D., director of the IU Center for Bioethics and program director of the IU-Moi Academic Research Ethics Partnership.

In addition to the master’s degree programs, the IU-Moi AREP has trained more than 200 students, faculty and administrators at Moi and IU in both intensive three-day workshops, “Teaching Skills in International Research Ethics,” and specialized short courses.

Consistent with the program’s partnership philosophy the workshops and short courses are offered by faculty from both universities, and held on a rotational basis in Eldoret and Indianapolis.

“We’re delighted with our success so far, but we now plan to broaden the program’s impact by working closely with our colleagues at AMPATH to add a research emphasis to our activity,” said Dr. Meslin, referring to the Kenyan-US medical collaboration led by the IU School of Medicine.

Program leaders also will be working to develop philanthropic support, particularly to provide resources to enable students in Eldoret to travel to Indianapolis and vice versa, Meslin said.

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