When I read about MERETI program, I got a feeling that it could be a turning point in my life. I knew it would be an intensive course. However, as long as my passion about research ethics will be fulfilled, I accepted the challenge – I submitted by application to the program. I knew that participating in such a program would help my activities as being a member of the research ethics committee at my faculty of medicine at Suez Canal University in Egypt. When I received the letter of acceptance, I think it was one of the happiest moments in my life.
Five days ago, I started the summer training, which is being held in Egypt this summer after 12 summers at the University of Maryland. Despite the short time, I have already gained much experience regarding research ethics, research methodology, writing skills, as well teaching skills. One of the most attractive benefits of the training is the face-to-face work. I like the debates arising during our discussion, listening to my peers, and sharing different opinions and experiences with them.
Moreover, as I am somewhat shy to express my ideas, the amazing atmosphere of accepting each other’s ideas has helped me a lot. The MERETI trainers help us through our debates in a flexible and easygoing way. It is really a good experience, and I’m now more than willing to be a part of the research ethics world.
One of our field work is writing about a research project. The MERETI trainers give us the opportunity to choose whatever topic we desire. As I’m interested in issues regarding students, I integrated both my areas of interest: research ethics and students. Therefore, I chose a research project that aims at implementing an undergraduate research ethics course that depends on the needs of the students. Undergraduate students are promising researchers; however, they need some help regarding ethical issues in research. The MERETI trainers and my peers helped me with their ideas and comments and I will consider these throughout my project.
Enriching the area of research ethics in Egypt is a big challenge. We as researchers and student advisors have a duty to do that; I hope to be part of this journey.
Enas Ameen, lecturer of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Egypt.