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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.


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 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. 


Dementia, autonomy & conscientious objection

Presenter: Dr Saïk de La Motte de Broöns de Vauvert
Friday 8th December 2017, Department of Psychiatry, 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm 

work with us 

We are not recruiting at this time, but we are always interested to hear from potential collaborators and students looking for research experience. Email us.  

Our team

Selected publications

Mental Health Apps

Would you trust a chatbot therapist?

Can a chatbot provide a replacement for face-to-face mental health therapy? If you told a chatbot about your problems, how would it provide a solution?

Watch Prof. Ilina Singh and NEUROSEC's Young People's Advisory Group on Tomorrow's World.


Over the past couple of years, there seems to have been a pushback in society on ‘experts’, whether it’s politicians saying that people have had enough of experts, or a rejection of scientific consensus on issues such as climate change, vaccination, or evidence-based decision-making. See what Prof. Ilina Singh has to say and take part in the Wellcome Trust's #expertdebate.

The VOICES Project

NEUROSEC's current work follows on from a Wellcome Trust university award for Voices on Identity, Childhood, Ethics & Stimulants: Children join the debate. VOICES publications and videos have had impacts on clinical training and communication in the UK and around the world. This film uses our actual interviews with children to present some of the most important discoveries of the VOICES study.

Related research themes