Vanderbilt-Nigeria Research Ethics Training (V-NET)

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) and collaborators Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and Bayero University (BUK) have partnered to establish the Vanderbilt-Nigeria Research Ethics Training Program (V-NET). The program is a comprehensive initiative that encompasses curricular development, didactic coursework, skills development, mentoring, and practicum experiences designed to build capacity for the ethical design, conduct, and oversight of genetic and genomic research in Nigeria.

Hosted training opportunities at Vanderbilt include the annual one-month-long Vanderbilt Institute for Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE) faculty enrichment program at VUMC, which benefits eight Nigerian researchers over five years, and an annual three-week practicum at CBMES for 12 Nigerian Institutional Review Board (IRB) members to strengthen their skills in protocol review and administration.

Additional training at AKTH in Nigeria includes an annual five-day research ethics workshop for IRB and Community Advisory Board members on protecting human subjects in research, ethics of genetic and genomic research, and review of genomic research protocols for more than 150 trainees. 

Expected impacts from the program include the creation of a curricular toolkit on the ethics of genetic and genomic research tailored to Nigerians and other African IRB members and research ethics educators and the coordination of quarterly online research ethics webinars presented by global ethics experts to African researchers.

Through V-NET, a skilled cohort of Nigerian academics, researchers, and healthcare professionals will emerge, providing leadership in the ethical design and review of genetic and genomic studies in Nigeria's rapidly evolving research landscape.