ARESA Bioethics Leadership Program


The Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and the Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, United States have been awarded a D43 capacity development grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a leadership program in Bioethics in Southern Africa from 2017-2022. 

Successful applicants will be awarded partial scholarships to obtain a PhD (Clinical & Research Ethics).

Admission Requirements
  • have an MBChB degree or a basic degree in health sciences.
  • have a Masters degree in Bioethics or cognate discipline at NQF level 9
  • have qualitative research experience
  • be able to assume or resume leadership roles on their return to their institutions/countries
  • be able to train younger less experienced REC members at their institutions

Prospective applicants must

  1. submit a letter of application including a brief summary of the trainee’s reasons for seeking entry to the programme including the following:
    • Description of experience and interests compatible with the programme
    • Description of research ethics activities, such as teaching or membership on a Research Ethics Committee
    • Anticipated ways in which the applicant intends to use the skills and expertise gained by this doctoral course;
  2. submit a written statement that they completed the application, including the letter of application, on their own and without the assistance of others.
  3. submit a letter of support from their home institution demonstrating that their institution permits them to follow the ARESA Leadership Program
  4. explain why the bioethics capacity building of the applicant is important to the home institution
  5. be computer literate, fluent in spoken and written English and have internet access at the home institution
  6. submit a formal University of Stellenbosch Application Form;
  7. submit a Curriculum Vitae;
  8. submit official transcripts of all academic work at a post-secondary level, signed by a notary or institutional official.
  9. submit two letters of recommendation certifying applicant’s academic qualifications and suitability for the program;
  10. submit a name of a qualified person who would be willing to serve as the home institution mentor (if such a person can now be identified), together with a letter from the proposed mentor confirming a willingness to act as mentor for the applicant’s research (if no such individual can now be identified, other arrangements will be made upon admission); and
  11. submit a letter from applicant’s Dean or line manager certifying that the applicant will be granted leave to attend all course activities without interruption or distraction, for preparation of course work, for completion of the research at his/her home institution, and a commitment by the institution to assist to develop the applicant’s career in bioethics and research ethics.  Applicants who live and work in the Cape Town area must, in particular, obtain a firm commitment from their Dean or line manager that the applicant will have no responsibilities or duties that interfere with or require absence from attendance or preparation during the training sessions at the Tygerberg Campus, Stellenbosch University.
  12. submit a declaration that the applicant is not registered for another degree.


  • members of research ethics committees and regulatory agencies, as well as academics
  • mature midcareer professionals who have research ethics/bioethics experience.

We will select 1 candidate from South Africa and 2 candidates from other Southern African countries

The 3 applicants that will be initially selected will receive scholarships to cover the following:

  1. Tuition & training fees for Year 1 of the PhD program.
  2. A subsistence allowance per academic visit   
  3. For candidates living outside the greater Cape Town metropolitan area:
    1. Accommodation during the academic visits to Cape Town
    2. Travel expenses (at the equivalent of economy return air fare) from their home institutions to Cape Town for attendance of academic sessions