The European Union has granted €2,66 million for ‘Creating and enhancing trustworthy, responsible and equitable partnerships in international research’ (TRUST). The aim of the three-year project is to counteract the practice of ‘ethics dumping’ or the application of double standards in research, by building international governance structures with new exciting network opportunities between Europe, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In an interdisciplinary collaboration between multi-level ethics bodies, policy advisors, civil society organisations, funding organisations, industry and academic scholars, the project will deliver three sets of tools based on participatory engagement covering all continents: (1) a global code of conduct for funders, (2) a fair research contracting on-line tool and (3) a compliance and ethics follow-up tool, which takes limited resources into account.

Thirteen European and international partners are involved in the TRUST project, which will be coordinated by Prof. Doris Schroeder at the Centre for Professional Ethics of the University of Central Lancashire (UK). The Bio-economy Chair at UCT, the University of Witwatersrand, and the South African San Institute (SASI) constitute the three South African partners. The rest of the consortium consists of the Partners for Health and Development in Africa (Kenya), the Forum for Ethics Review Committees in India (India), SIGNOSIS (Belgium), the Council on Health Research for Development Association (Switzerland), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (France), the ‘Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale’, (France), the ‘Action Contre La Faim’ (France), the Global Values Alliance (Switzerland) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (the Netherlands).

The project kicks off with a meeting in Paris in October 2015.