Research Project: An Assessment of how IRBs, REBs, and RECs Experience and Manage Global Health Research Ethics Challenges








Are you or have you been a member of an IRB, REB, or REC and are you interested in sharing your experiences navigating ethical challenges in reviewing global health proposals?  If so, the Human Engagement Learning Platform (HELP) for Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health needs your help!

The HELP Team invites you to participate in this voluntary, anonymous, 5-10 minute survey to help us build on the findings of a qualitative study among program directors at the Task Force for Global Health (TFGH) in Atlanta, GA. This survey will contain non-identifying questions about your institution, ethical challenges you might face in your IRB/REB/REC reviews, and resources you consult to help you address these challenges.

Results from this survey will be shared with the PRIM&R community and will be used to develop and administer a more comprehensive, large-scale survey of Global IRB/REB/RECs. Ultimately, we hope that the results from this survey can inform the design and delivery of relevant training and learning strategies for HELP, a research agenda, recommended priorities for policy development, and institutional strategies to improve these key aspects of global health programs.

Let’s work together to continue to uphold ethical integrity as the world of global health research continues to grow.

Survey Link

In 2019, the Human Engagement Learning Platform (HELP) for Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, in collaboration with the Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE) at the Task Force for Global Health (TFGH) in Atlanta, GA, undertook a qualitative landscape analysis of global health program directors and senior leadership (CEO and COO) at the TFGH to identify prominent ethical challenges that arise in their programs, and to explore ways that global health leaders experience, engage with, and attempt to resolve these ethical challenges.

Now, we want to build upon the findings by conducting a survey of IRB/REB/REC members, chairs, and administrators about how IRB/REB/RECs might assess the ethical implications of challenges like those discussed by TFGH program directors through the following primary research questions:

  • Do IRB/REB/RECs encounter issues/challenges like those described in the TFGH report?
  • Do IRB/REB/RECs have approaches to, or established perspective on, these issues/challenges?
  • What regulations and/or guidelines are followed?
    1. Do the regulations/guidelines address the problems reported by the TFGH Program Directors?
    2. If not, how do IRB/REB/RECs manage those ethical issues and challenges?

About the Human Engagement Learning Platform (HELP)
We help global health organizations and programs to translate their ethical aspirations into policy and practice through research and scholarship, training and education, and strategic consulting.

Contact Info
If you have any questions or would like to follow-up about this survey, you can contact Michelle Grek at

The Team:

Michelle Grek, Research Coordinator
Michelle completed her MPH in Global Health with a focus on infectious diseases at Emory University and holds a BS in Biology and minor in sociology from California State University, Chico. As Research Analyst and Coordinator, Michelle provides technical, academic, administrative support for the implementation and delivery of the variety of contracts HELP consults on.

Charlotte Patterson, MPH Candidate
Charlotte Patterson is working on her master’s degree in public health at Emory Rollins School of Public Health. She has a focused interest in Global Health ethics, sexual and reproductive health, and population health studies and currently works as Research Assistant for the HELP team.

Forrest Brady, MPH Candidate
Forrest Brady received her BS in Nutrition, then started her career in global health as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda. She is now a current MPH student in Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and serves as Research Assistant to the HELP Team.