WHO Head-Quater in Geneva, Switzerland.  Copyright : WHO/Pierre Virot

On 21 July 2014, the Monash Bioethics Centre was officially designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, with Michael Selgelid as Director.  This makes it one of 6 such centres worldwide—and part of a Global Network of such centres, with partners at University of Toronto, Columbia University, University of Miami, University of Zurich, and National University of Singapore.

Our work plan with WHO will primarily focus on:

  • Bioethics Education, Awareness-Rasing, and Capacity Building
  • Ethics and Infectious Disease Control
  • Research Ethics
  • Collaboration with the Global Network of Collaborating Centres for Bioethics

More information about WHO Collaborating Centres…

More information about  the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics…

More details on the Monash-WHO collaborative work plan…

Read the story in Monash News

Read our coverage in The Australian


Summary of SBS, World News Radio, interview with Michael Selgelid  on 26 August 2014:

“The Monash Bioethics Centre is set to play a key role in how the world responds to infectious diseases like the ebola outbreak in west Africa as it looks to support the World Health Organisation in awareness raising in ethics and health, and devising policies for infectious diseases. Professor Michael Selgelid, Director of the new centre says that he has been involved in meetings recently about the ebola public health emergency in west Africa and whether it is acceptable to use experimental, untested medications against ebola. He says that it was decided in this extreme scenario that it is ethically acceptable to attempt experimental medications providing they seemed promising and proper, informed consent was given. Selgelid explains the logic behind who is given treatment priority for infectious diseases.”

Terms of Reference

  1. To collaborate in research projects under WHO leadership in the field of bioethics, public health
    ethics, and research ethics.
  2. To assist WHO in developing materials for educational purposes in bioethics, public health ethics,
    and research ethics.
  3. To collaborate with WHO and academic institutions, in particular in the Western Pacific Region, for
    training activities in bioethics, public health ethics, and research ethics for both researchers and
    ethics review committee members.
  4. To participate in WHO consultations and the preparation and review of relevant documents on
    emerging issues in bioethics, public health ethics and research ethics.
  5. To contribute to networking with other collaborative centers, institutional partners and experts.


  • Capacity-building: workshops, conferences,and short courses
  • Ethical issues associated with infectious disease (e.g., pandemic influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, vaccination, surveillance)
  • Research ethics (e.g., dual-use research, translational research, implementation research etc.)
  • Global Network of WHO CCs for Bioethics