Skip navigation.

National Cancer Institute, Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
About Us Our Catalog Summer Curriculum Colloquia Series Apply Online CPFP Home DCP Home NCI Home

Previous Page | Next Page

2008 Application Catalog

Program Description

Ethics of Prevention and Public Health

Closely linked to medical ethics and to bioethics, public health ethics has unique concerns that require scholarly research. Cancer prevention, connecting biomedical and social research with practical applications, is an ideal laboratory for ethical reflection.

In July 2002, the CPFP established specialty training in the ethics of prevention and public health. The CPFP has for years provided a multidisciplinary training environment for postdoctoral biomedical and social scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals. Training in the ethics of prevention and public health represents a new initiative within this well-established and highly regarded program. In addition to its unique features, the structure of this training is identical to that of the parent program, including eligibility, stipend, benefits, application procedures, and evaluations.

Background and Rationale. Public health ethics and the ethics of prevention are increasingly important concerns to scientists, health professionals, the public, and policymakers alike. Although linked to medical ethics and to bioethics, public health ethics has unique concerns that require careful consideration and scholarly research efforts.

Many excellent postdoctoral training programs in bioethics and medical ethics exist in the United States, but few focus primarily upon public health ethics. To our knowledge, no current program provides an opportunity to study ethical issues in cancer prevention research and in their application to public health and clinical preventive practice. Developing specialty training in the ethics of cancer prevention at the NCI is an important priority, filling a national need.

Brief Program Description. The program provides:

  • Master’s degree in public health (M.P.H.) at any one-year, accredited, university program
  • NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention
  • Mentored research opportunities at the NCI, the NIH Department of Clinical Bioethics, the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, or at local universities (including, but not limited to, Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Johns Hopkins University)
  • Brief field experiences in public health ethics or the ethics of prevention at academic and other public and private institutions
  • Additional coursework in bioethics, ethics, and philosophy, as needed
  • Professional development and leadership training

Research Opportunities. General categories of research topics include:

  • Autonomy and the common (public) good
  • Concepts and methods of moral decision making
  • Concepts of cause and prevention
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Equipoise and the conduct of prevention trials
  • Ethics of primary prevention and screening
  • Genetic markers and the ethics of early detection
  • IRBs and informed consent
  • Issues of justice and health disparities
  • Moral reasoning and ethical theory
  • Professional ethics
  • Research integrity and scientific misconduct
  • Scientific evidence and the ethics of intervention
  • The interface between science and society
  • Uncertainty and scientific inference

Specific research opportunities will be defined by the interests of individual fellows and those of available research preceptors.

Previous Page | Next Page




A Service of the National Cancer Institute
Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health