In a park in Tehran, a nurse draws blood from a man as part of a rapid hepatitis C antibody testing. Hepatitis C screening is a part of the ENHANCE project. ENHANCE is a collaborative research study between The Kirby Institute in Australia and the Digestive Diseases Research Institute in Iran. ENHANCE is a first of its kind project in Iran, exploring strategies to increase hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment among marginalised populations.

Research Ethics

FACE provides guidance on research ethics to the Task Force for Global Health and its programs to ensure all research projects are compliant with federal regulations and to ensure we uphold the highest standard of ethical research and practice.


The Challenge

While many Task Force projects are conducted for the express purpose of improving public health practice and do not rise to the level of ‘human subjects research’ (HSR), those that do must comply with specific federal regulations. Additionally, most projects at TFGH involve human participants and, regardless of whether or not they meet the definition for research (45 CFR 46.102), we work to ensure measures are in place to protect the privacy and safety of participants in our programs.

Our Approach

We are advised by our Research Ethics Advisory Committee, which boasts extensive knowledge and deep experience in global health ethics, university ethics review, biomedical research ethics, and public health research.

In consultation with the Task Force for Global Health’s Office of the President, FACE developed a Research Ethics Initiative that accomplishes the following:

  • Provides an independent, systematic approach for reviewing projects that involve research methods

  • Tracks research activities across the organization

  • Provides policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal regulations

  • Ensures staff engaged in research have appropriate ethics trainings

  • Provides ethics support and consultation


Consultation and Support

In addition to providing an independent review process for TFGH projects, we also offer thought partnership on difficult ethical questions or concerns that often arise in global health research and practice, such as the equitable distribution of medicines and compensation for vaccination.

We have also developed guidance and tools to help Task Force programs apply ethical thinking to day-to-day practice, and language to help programs communicate about ethics and set clear and shared expectations with partners.

FACE program staff are also available for external consultation to provide support related to research ethics and public health practice, broadly.

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