Research Committee

Research Committee

In May 2013 the IME Board of Trustees agreed that an IME Research Committee should be formed with a view to nurturing the medical ethics research community within the UK. The founding members of the committee were: Carwyn Rhys Hooper (Chair), Anna Smajdor, Zoe Fritz and Bryan Vernon.

The first meeting of the new committee took place in January 2014. It was agreed at this meeting that the committee should develop a database of UK-based 'ethics experts' and should advertise academic 'events' (e.g. conferences) on the IME website. It was also agreed that the committee should organise an annual conference to enable academics, clinicians and students to present the results of their research activities in analytical and empirical medical ethics.

The inaugural conference ('The Cutting Edge in Biomedical Ethics Research') took place in London in September 2014. Around 90 delegates attended the conference. Many delegates were undergraduate healthcare students and postgraduate bioethics students. Academics and clinicians from across the UK also came to present their work.

Following the 2014 conference Lucy Frith, Merryn Ekberg, Silvia Camporesi and Emma Nottingham joined the committee. These new members helped the original members organise the second IME research conference ('Sharpening The Cutting Edge of Bioethics in the UK'). This conference took place in Newcastle in June 2015 and followed immediately after the UK Clinical Ethics Network annual conference. Once again around 90 delegates attended the research conference and the balance of students, clinicians and academics remained stable.

Following the second conference the IME Research Committee decided to work closely with the Postgraduate Bioethics Committee. This is the student committee that organises the annual Postgraduate Bioethics Conference. The Postgraduate Bioethics Committee is not a part of the IME, but the 10th Postgraduate Bioethics Conference (which took place in Manchester in September 2015) was financially supported by the IME.

The third IME Research Conferencetook place in Edinburgh on 18th June 2016 immediately after the IAB 2016 Conference. We welcomed around 90 delegates from all five continents for a very successful and productive day during which students, academics and clinicians presented their work. In July 2016, Richard Huxtable, Felicity Boardman, Tom Douglas and Nathan Emmerich joined to strengthen the work of the committee even further.

For more information about past and future conferences please click on the 'Events' page of this website. Further information about the 'Journal of Medical Ethics' and 'Medical Humanities' the journals co-owned by the IME and the BMJ is also available here.

Current Members are:

Dr Silvia Camporesi

Dr Merryn Ekberg

Dr Lucy Frith(Deputy Chair)

Dr Zoe Fritz

Dr Carwyn Rhys Hooper(Chair)

Emma Nottingham

Dr Anna Smajdor

Rev Bryan Vernon

Prof Richard Huxtable

Felicity Boardman

Dr Tom Douglas

Dr Nathan Emmerich



Funding for Research-Led Events: Call for Proposals

The Research Committee of the Institute of Medical Ethics offers funding for research-led events. We invite proposals that fall within the scope of the IME’s mission to support UK scholarly activities in the field of medical ethics, broadly understood. We welcome proposals for events that focus on one or more of the full range of disciplines that contribute to scholarship in this area, including, but not limited to: philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, education and the medical humanities. Proposals may be organised around a substantive matter or ethical concern, or they may take the issue of method/ ology, including questions around multi- or inter- disciplinary research, as their central focus. Applications may be made for individual events or for a series of workshops or seminars.


The Research Committee has up to £10,000 to offer, and applications may be made for anything up to that limit. However, rather than offer all the funding available to a single proposal, it is likely that we will prefer to fund two or more applications. We hope to make 3-5 awards. Whilst relevance, innovation and academic merit will be the primary factor in decisions to award funding to proposed events, the following criteria will be looked upon favourably:

1.Whether as members of the audience or as full participants, the inclusion of:

a.Medical and healthcare professionals.

b.Students of medicine or the healthcare professions, particularly those who have or are intercalating in medical ethics or related programmes.

c.Those involved with policy-making, where appropriate.

d.Postgraduate students and early career academics whose work falls within the field of medical and healthcare ethics.

e.Those who are or may be affected by the issues being discussed, including patients or service users.

2.Applications that seek matched funding and / or financial support (e.g. sponsorship) from institutions, other funding bodies and organisations.*

3.Plans to build on the event, such as conducting further research (including making applications for funding), or proposing a panel for larger conferences, such as the annual conference organised by the IME’s Research Committee, or the ESPMH for example.

4.A plan for publications, or the development of publications.


Those who are interested in making an application should consult the rules for this scheme for more details on what is required.


* Alternatively, applications for this funding may seek to augment events that are already taking place. In such cases the ‘added value’ that will be provided by the additional funding must be made clear. This could include the addition of a UK delegation to the programme of an event in Europe. In such a case the purpose and contribution of this addition should be made clear..


Note: Events specifically aimed at, or led by, postgraduate students will not be funded via this call. Those interested in events aimed at or led by postgraduates should contact the IME’s Postgraduate Committee.


Funding Rules

Application Form