Training Materials

PowerPoint Presentations:

Listed below are the titles and descriptions of several presentations used in our environmental and community ethics research training courses.  They are available for your viewing and conditional use, by request. If you are interested in downloading an electronic copy of one the presentations below, please complete and submit our Materials Request Form.


Bioethical Principles for Research Ethics: The Protection of Individual Human Subjects.  These slides provide an overview of the concepts of the common morality, the nature of rights, and moral virtues. In depth, the four principles related to protecting human subjects in research are described and examples are provided: beneficence, nonmaleficence, respect for autonomy, and justice. The history of human subjects protections is also mentioned, including the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, the need for informed consent and the creation of Institutional Review Boards, and the Belmont Report (44 slides).


Community-Based Research and Environmental Justice Interventions: CBPR Best Practices and Intercultural Designs (Presentation of the Northeast Ethics Education Partnership- NEEP). Part one of this presentation covers: what is community-based research? Why is it valuable? What are the ethical benefits? The CBPR process and related benefits of partnerships and collaboration are examined, as well as the importance of community review boards (Slides 1-33).The second part provides best CBPR practices with case studies in environmental justice communities (Slides 34-77).


Cultural Competence and Community Studies: Concepts and Practices for Cultural Competence.  These slides provide a review of cultural competence theory; of defining cultural competence, skills that relate to being a cultural competent researcher, considerations to take when working with diverse communities, issues with intercultural language and communication, and the concepts of humility and critical consciousness (29 slides)


Research Ethics for Community-Based and Culturally-Appropriate Research in Natural Resource Management. These slides review community-based approaches for natural resource management with an emphasis on beneficence, respect for communities and justice embedded in the research methods. Additionally, culturally-appropriate methods found in natural resource management are also included. (45 slides)


Discourse: Forms and Uses. These slides introduce the topic of discourse: a word used to describe communication including the use of spoken, written, signed language, visual and oral media.  Discourse is usually linked to issues of defining power and political conditions in nation-states; particularly postmodern or postcolonial claims of oppressed groups.  The idea of overcoming power imbalances in discourse practices is explored, as well as alternative discourse needs and forms (13 slides).


Informed Consent Theory. This presentation covers the analytical components of informed consent, termed “the elements of consent”, including: autonomy, disclosure, voluntariness, competence, and intentionality.  Next, the idea of undue influences on research participants is explored, such as persuasion, coercion, and manipulation, especially related to vulnerable populations (exploitation) (34 slides).  (The dissemination of this presentation must be approved by Oxford University as well as NEEP).


 Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Human Subjects Protections. These slides summarize key aspects of Institutional Review Board requirements for students/researchers. The Belmont Report is the guiding document on ethical research and human subjects protections, including the concepts of beneficence, respect for persons, justice, and informed consent. Next, we discuss the definition of “research” according to the IRB, the process of IRB review, and considerations related to student research (29 slides).


IRB Challenges in Community-Based Participatory Research on Humans Exposure to Environmental Toxicants.   Adequately protecting human subjects in research goes deeper and broader than the formal IRB processes for protection. These slides discuss the variety of ethical issues related to human subjects research, including informed consent, community right-to-know and report-back of study results to research participants, and the use of community advisory boards. Several case studies are examined, specifically focusing on biomonitoring and household exposure studies and environmental justice issues.  The role of IRBs, including related challenges, is also discussed (Slides 51).


Power and Privilege Issues with Culturally-Diverse Communities in Research: New Challenges of Partnership and Collaborative Research. This presentation explores the importance of developing truly participatory research designs and having a high level of cultural knowledge and sensitivity.  This is in contrast to bringing in preconceived notions, one-sided planning, or ascribing to outside expert solutions that do not fit or benefit the community (9 slides).


Privacy and Confidentiality: Issues in Research. This slide show is a presentation which emphasizes the importance of maintaining confidentiality in research and protecting research participants’ privacy and information. Privacy issues, both in the public health field and in qualitative research, are explored, as well as the various ways that confidentiality may be breached. Suggestions for preventing disclosure, like ‘data cleaning’ are drawn from current literature. A review of the risks to third parties’ privacy is also included (35 slides).


Research Ethics Protections for Place-Based Communities and Cultural Groups.These  slides provide information on both international guidelines and applied ethics articles for enhancing group protections in research, for place-based communities and cultural groups. A review of case studies from community-based participatory research (CBPR) with innovative research designs/methods and dissemination practices to enhance intercultural engagement and cultural sensitivity are also provided (75 slides). 

NEEP Partnership Ethics: This slide show reviews the elements of partnership for community-based studies. Community-based theory, elements of partnership, mutual obligations in partnership and evaluation are discussed. Case study examples  of a partnership in environmental justice and breast cancer risks from Richmond, CA and Cape Cod, MA are highlighted (47 slides).

Research Integrity: Problems of Scientific Misconduct.  These slides explore the concepts of scientific misconduct which can jeopardize the integrity of research, including conflict of interest, plagarism, results suppression, falsification/fabrication, avoiding controversial research, unethical behavior, research harassment, and questionable research practices. Environmental case studies and examples of each are presented. The ideas of co-authorship, research misconduct among graduate students, and consequences of misconduct are also explored (51 slides).


Working with the Community as Unit of Identity.  These slides review the definition and characteristics of what makes a community and who community representatives may be in various contexts. It also discusses the idea of community capacity, and how to both build and evaluate it (15 slides). 

Informed Consent with Cultural Considerations: A review of the literature on informed consent with tribal, diverse cultural groups and community-based groups; adressing issues of balancing individual consent with group consent, culturally-appropriateness with patriarchal consent, tribal review board consent and community parntership consent.


Environmental Justice. The history of the environmental justice movement and the events that promoted a nationwide response to environmental racism with low-income people of color communities are reviewed. A set of environmental justice frames for understanding and solving problems of environmental justice are provided; such as civil rights, procedural justice, capitalistic production/political economy, community-based activities and the need for antiracist and postmodern ethical approaches.


Native American Human Rights History. In an effort to provide a history of cultural/ racial groups and Native nations and their human rights struggles in United States, a short history of the harms suffered by Native American nations by white settlers and United States government is provided, tracing their original status as sovereign nations in United States to their current status as federally-recognized tribes under the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Black-American Human Rights History: A short history of Black American human rights history from the Civil War to the present is reviewed. The years of “separate but equal”  to the 1960s Civil Rights Act recount the struggles for equality of opportunity for employment, voting, education and housing, The contributions of Black leaders to American concepts of equality and universal human rights are also discussed. 


Ethical Theories as Guidance to Research/Intervention Approaches in Environmental Studies

These slide presentations were developed from two Brown University grant projects: Ethical Awareness in International Collaborations and the Northeast Ethics Education Partnership

Communitarian Ethics. In these slides, we introduce communitarian ethics, forms of community-based moral decision-making. We review the tensions between (liberal) individualism and communitarianism;  including the criticisms of liberalism, a discussion of communitarian ethics and claims,  and the critiques of communitarianism.  Communitarianism recognizes the need to agree on group values and consensus decision-making as part of the effort to maintain social order while ensuring that these group forces do not suppress all autonomous expressions (17 slides).

Deontology and Distributive Justice. Deontology is concerned with choices that are morally required, forbidden, or permitted. In these slides, we review the various concepts that fall under deotonological ethical theory, such as obedience to duty, opposing utilitarianism, and the good vs. the right. Kantian ethics are also explored, as well as J. Rawl’s Theory of Justice (32 slides).

The Ethics of Care. In this presentation, the ethics of care is reviewed, reflecting on the work of Carol Gilligan’s “A Different Voice” from feminist ethics. The relationship between ethics of care and normative ethics is explored: the morality based on universal and common principals of morality vs. relational ethics; such as understanding, empathy, emotion, co-feeling, and moral autonomy (24 slides).

Liberal Individualism: Ethical Philosophies of John Locke, JS Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Civil Rights. This theory-based presentation covers concepts such as classical liberalism; John Locke’s ideology on personal property rights; JS Mill’s individual liberty; and Kant’s notions of autonomy, free will, good will, moral reason, moral duty, and the categorical vs. hypothetical imperative. In the last section, the achievement of the African-Americans equal rights amendment is included  (48 slides).

Postmodern Ethics: Approaches to New Moral Forms and Practices. These slides introduce postmodern ethics and their relevance to current research with theories that discuss emergent ethics, working with cultural difference and allowing for a multiplicity of voices and forms in a research practice. Levinas’s “Ethics of the Other” offers a new moral approach to research with diverse groups (14 slides).

Utilitarianism and Consequentialism. This theory-based presentation covers the basics of classical utilitarianism, as well as related concepts and variations such as Bentham and Mill’s utilitarianism. Utility as pleasure and pain, justice, rationalism, public utility, and utility as a social end are discussed. The second half of the presentation explores consequentialism and the various types of consequential approaches, including welfare, indirect, direct, global, motive, and scalar consequentialism (51 slides).

Virtue Ethics: Aristotle, Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, MacIntyre. This slide show provides an overview of “virtue ethics” from the lens of Aristotle and other philosophers listed in the title of this presentation. The ideas of excellence, right reason, intellectual and moral virtues, virtues as allegory, discernment, compassion, and self-awareness are discussed (27 slides).