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We conduct independent ethics research and we deliver ethical guidance for a range of scientific and clinical studies in the Oxford Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. We also work with a variety of international institutions and researchers. Our core research interests involve young people, mental health and neuroscience innovations in a global context.

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Our location within the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience is a key strength of our team, allowing us to develop work that is integrated with world-leading, cutting edge research and clinical development in psychiatry and neuroscience. We also maintain an important independence, grounded in a cross-appointment to the Oxford Uehiro Centre in Philosophy and a close relationship with the Oxford Ethox Centre in the Nuffield Department of Population Health. From October 2017, these collaborations form part of the new Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (Principal Investigators: I. Singh, M. Parker, J. Savulescu, M. Harrison).

The range and scale of ethics and societal foresight needs in psychiatry and neuroscience are extensive and exciting. We work with colleagues across Oxford and beyond who have relevant ethics and social science expertise for specific projects, and we build collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams that represent a genuine, critically engaged and reflexive integration of science, ethics and society.

Our multidisciplinary projects inform each other, such that researchers on our team have an opportunity to build knowledge and to exchange expertise across the range of projects and disciplines.

This integrative and responsive, yet critically reflexive perspective informs the development of a teaching and ethics advising programme in Psy-Ethics, building on current strengths across Oxford (for example, in the Oxford Ethox Centre and in the Department of Philosophy) and the Oxford NHS Trust. In collaboration with Oxford colleagues we are leading the work on Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in the newly awarded Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), dedicated to mental health and dementia. 

We have recently been awarded funding from the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute to launch the Oxford Global Initiative in Neuropsychiatric GenEthics (NeuroGenE). Over the next year, NeuroGenE will build up personnel in Oxford and will engage bioethics expertise across regions of scientific interest for the Stanley Center internationally, including China, Japan, Australia and Finland. 


June 2018

Dr. Gabriela Pavarini, Jessica Lorimer, Arianna Manzini and Prof. Ilina Singh received a Public Engagement award at OxTalent 2018 for Can your phone be your therapist? Young people’s ethical perspectives on Chatbot Therapy. OxTalent congratulated the team for ‘an excellent example of co-production between scientists and young people [and] for the true partnership at the centre of this project, which showcased brilliantly how research is enhanced by including its ‘subjects’ in the process.’ 

work with us

Postdoctoral Researcher - Mental Health Ethics

Grade 7: £32,236 - £39,609 with a discretionary range to £43,267 p.a.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Mental Health Ethics within the Oxford Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and the NEUROSEC team in the Oxford Department of Psychiatry. You will be co-located at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, Big Data Institute, Old Road Campus; and the Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford. You will provide intellectual leadership on a project to develop innovative empirical bioethics research and engagement tools for young people in the context of early intervention and prevention in mental health. You will also develop and lead new collaborative projects in data ethics/AI/digital innovations in the context of mental health and neuroscience. In addition to colleagues in WEH, you will work closely with colleagues in Professor Singh’s Wellcome Trust study: Becoming Good: Early Intervention and Moral Development in Child Psychiatry. You will also contribute to and develop new initiatives in big data ethics and digital/AI applications in mental health research and innovation. Your work will involve working closely with WEH and BeGOOD colleagues, Oxford Public Engagement programmes, and external technology partners.

Closing date: 30 November 2018


Our team

Selected publications


EU-AIMS Autism Research

In this video EU-AIMS scientists answer questions from the autism community about EU-AIMS research. Most of the questions were raised by autistic adults, or parents of individuals with autism. The film was produced by the EU-AIMS Ethics Advisory Group.

Related research themes