Submitted by Cheryl Macpherson, BSEC Past President
Professor, SGU; Senior Research Fellow, WINDREF
The Caribbean Research Ethics Education Initiative (CREEi) is back! Many CREEi alumni have become BSEC members and are advancing research ethics in their own institutions and countries through teaching, research, or policy work. Funding for CREEi was renewed in February 2020 (Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health Award # R25TW009731) and is being held at the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) in Grenada under the leadership of BSEC’s Past President, Professor Cheryl Macpherson.
CREEi remains a partnership of 3 institutions: Universidad de Autonoma in Mexico (UAQ) led by Dr Hilda Romero, Clarkson University in the USA (CU) led by Dr Paul Cummins, and WINDREF/St George’s University (SGU) in Grenada. Sean Philpott-Jones who developed and led CREEi’s first iteration left CU but remains involved as a new member of our Advisory Board. We are grateful to Sean for his important regional contribution and ongoing support, and to the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health for Award # R25TW009731 which provides full scholarships to CREEi fellows.
CREEi 2020-2024 retains some original Advisory Board members and adds, in addition to Sean, Sergio Litewka at the University of Miami and its online research ethics CITI program. Faculty include BSEC’s founder and past president Derrick Aarons, Bob Hall, Jose Salvadore Arellano; CREEi alumni Sharmella Roopchand-Martin, Bernardo Garcia, Eduardo Farias Trujillo, and Maria Concepcion Mendez Gomez Humaran.
Like its predecessor, CREEi 2020-2024 aims to impart and strengthen expertise in research ethics and bioethics across the region and to equip its graduates to function as researchers, educators, policy advocates, or academics. The responsible conduct of research (RCR) remains a core value. CREEi will now offer only a two year masters degree in bioethics and research ethics (not the previous one-year certificate), with full scholarships from the NIH-FIC. The first cohort of CREEi fellows will now be able to receive masters degrees from Clarkson University (CU) upon successful completion of the two year program. A process to transition the degree granting to SGU and UAQ will be designed and implemented for the second and/or third cohorts.
A unique feature of the new CREEi is that fellows in each cohort will include those from both English and Spanish speaking countries in order to deepen cross-cultural understandings, insights, and partnerships across the region. They do not have to be bilingual as the program will have English and Spanish translations. Also new, is the opportunity to design, conduct, and prepare a manuscript for submission to a mainstream journal over one year. Fellows are required to produce either a research paper on research ethics to submit for publication or a capstone paper reflecting a one-year education or policy project. It retains its original structure of online courses bookended by intensive onsite courses.
CREEi aims to attract those involved in research ethics committees?/IRBs or in health-related professions including medicine, pharmacy, public health, information technology, academia, law, and others.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and be citizens of countries in the Caribbean Basin classified by the World Bank in 2020 as low- or middle-income (those eligible are listed in the Call for Applications). They must demonstrate strong interest and professional goals relevant to research ethics or bioethics, and be positioned to integrate their CREEi education into their employment or career.
The Call for Applications and the Application Form can be downloaded from the BSEC website