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Research-based bioethics graduate education at U of T

The Collaborative Specialization in Bioethics (CSB) is an interdisciplinary research specialization. It is designed for graduate students who are interested in including a bioethics component to their graduate scholarship and research and who have been admitted to or are currently enrolled in a collaborating graduate degree program at the University of Toronto. The specialization has been running since 1994 and has grown to 12 collaborating graduate units across U of T in the health sciences, humanities, social sciences, and law. The research-stream graduate specialization (at both the master’s and doctoral levels) aims to strengthen your capacity for interdisciplinary bioethics research.

Academic aims of the specialization in bioethics

The CSB prepares you for specialization in bioethics, with an emphasis on innovative research drawing from themes in the humanities, law, social sciences, natural and health sciences. It offers an enriched interdisciplinary learning experience in bioethics, outside of your home unit’s graduate degree.

Other aims of the specialization include:

  • Developing and enriching educational and research opportunities in bioethics for students within the disciplines represented by the collaborating graduate units
  • Providing experience in multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and interprofessional education and research
  • Providing students interested in bioethics with a common learning experience and a network of mentors and peers
  • Preparing students who will specialize in bioethics with an emphasis on innovative interdisciplinary research and scholarship in bioethics

The ultimate goal is for you to be able to contribute original research by applying the methods of empirical, legal and/or philosophical scholarship to bioethical issues related to health and the delivery of health care, to the practices of health care professions, to the conduct of health research, or to the development of health policy.

In the past our CSB students have produced research on the following topics:

  • competing conceptions of social justice in the context of ‎public health emergencies
  • moral distress among hospital discharge planners in Ontario
  • case study of district health planning in Ethiopia examining procedural justice through a health systems perspective
  • end of life care decision-making in a neonatal intensive care setting
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous conceptions of health and healing in northern Canada
  • gestational surrogacy among gay men in Canada
  • Buddhism and end-of-life care
  • public health as social justice
  • humanitarian ethics and the Nigerian lead-poisoning outbreak
  • understanding the moral nature of intrapartum nursing
Is the CSB right for me?

The CSB is intended for graduate students enrolled at the University of Toronto who are pursuing a research degree and who are seeking to contribute original scholarship in bioethics in their chosen field of study. You must be enrolled in one of the collaborating graduate units listed below in order to participate in the CSB at the master's and/or doctoral levels.

Interdisciplinary participating graduate units

We currently collaborate with 12 graduate units to prepare you to specialize in bioethics with an emphasis on innovative interdisciplinary research and scholarship in bioethics. Please check with your home unit if you’re interested in applying to the CSB to see if this is a good fit for you and your primary studies.

Dalla Lana School of Public Health – MPH, MSc, PhD
Department of Philosophy – MA, PhD
Department for the Study of Religion – MA, PhD
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work – PhD
Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education – MSc, PhD
Faculty of Law – LLM, SJD
Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences – MSc, PhD
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation – MHSc, MSc, PhD
Institute of Medical Science – MSc, PhD
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing – MN, PhD
Rehabilitation Sciences Institute – MSc, PhD
Women & Gender Studies Institute – PhD

Added value of specializing in bioethics with the JCB

We have found over years that our CSB students value having an intellectual community of bioethics colleagues, and we help to provide a focal point for engagement among faculty and students across U of T and its affiliated health institutions. Many of our CSB students have presented their bioethics research in our weekly JCB Bioethics Seminar Series. Students have also engaged in JCB-based research projects and initiatives, most recently related to pandemic preparedness, patient care transitions, and medical assistance in dying. These common learning activities are an invaluable experience for our CSB students. We have also received very positive feedback from our students about their outstanding thesis supervisors and the quality of mentorship they are receiving from them.

I have questions!

If you have questions about the specialization in bioethics, please email the CSB administrative assistant, Terry Yuen at jcb.education@utoronto.ca, and he’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

Deadline to Apply to the CSB

Applications are due by June 17th, 2024

Questions? Email us!

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