Centre for Cancer Biomarkers
CCBIOs forskerskole

CCBIO903 – Cancer research: Ethical, economic and social aspects (2024)

CCBIO903 Cancer research: Ethical, economic and social aspects fokuserer på etiske, økonomiske og samfunnsmessige aspekt ved kreft og kreftforsking og har som mål å gje deltakarane verktøy til å gjennomføre systematiske refleksjonar av eigen og andres forsking, og metodar til å vurdere kostnad/nytte av helsetiltak og behandlingsformer.

Doctor balancing on a stethoscope, like on a wire, high up in the sky.


(Tekst på engelsk siden det er undervisningsspråket.)

Reflecting on the challenges, limits and dilemmas of everyday research 

Researchers and clinicians in the field of cancer research and care face important uncertainties and dilemmas in the lab, regarding for instance the prioritisation of research questions or the choice of models. The uncertainties and complexity of the cancer biology make these choices difficult, and therefore involve not only scientific considerations, but also ethical and economic ones, that bear impacts on the treatment type and availability for cancer patients. 

Such knowledge is not only important on a personal level as a researcher, but also in funding proposals to be able to clarify any ethical issues related to the implementation of projects, and be better equipped to provide an explanation of how such issues will be dealt with.

The PhD course CCBIO903 aims to give the opportunity to PhD candidates within cancer research to discuss these uncertainties and dilemmas, and to anchor their research in its broader context. The course will focus on difficult questions such as:

  • What is considered as a 'good biomarker', and according to who?
  • How can we navigate risks, uncertainties and even ignorance, in processes of research design and clinical decision-making processes?
  • In an era of big data, what are the promises and limits of using real-world data in Health Technology Assessments?
  • How can we enrich the discussions of cancer as a biologically-measured disease, with cancer as an illness, an experience owned by the patient?
  • And finally, what does it do to our practices of producing knowledge, caring for patients, and prioritising cancer, to be guided by a vision of precision oncology?

PhD candidates will be invited to reflect upon the ethical, economic and social aspects of their own research, in interaction with scholars and other students as well as in an essay. This course gives the participants the opportunity to discuss these questions in an open and participatory way. Exam: individually supervised home essays, reflecting upon own research.

When - who - where - what

Dates: Course week 1: April 8-12, 2024, and course week 2: June 3-6, 2024.

Registration:  Deadline is February 1, 2024. Registration for any vacant places after that will be considered. If you are already enrolled at the University of Bergen (UiB), you register through Studentweb. If you are not enrolled at the UiB and live in one of the Nordic countries, and need the ECTS, you register through Søknadsweb, where you simultaneously apply for UiB guest student status (also deadline Feb. 1). 

Program: will be available at a later point.

April 8, 9, 11, 12: Room B306, Sentralblokka 3rd floor, Haukeland University Hospital
April 10: Room D302, Sentralblokka 3rd floor, Haukeland University Hospital
June 3, 4, 5, 6: Auditorium B302, Sentralblokka 3rd floor, Haukeland University Hospital

Responsible: Roger Strand and Anne Blanchard are adademic responsible for the course. Jiyeon Kang will be bringing in the perspectives from health economics. Administrative coordinator is Kjetil Utvik Harkestad.

ECTS: The course provides 5 ECTS and is open to PhD candidates at the University of Bergen and elsewhere, also in the other Nordic countries. Other researchers as well as students at the Medical Student Research Programme at the UiB are also welcome. Masters degree or equivalent education level is required, with the exception of students on the Medical Student Research Program. 

Capacity: 20 participants. Members of the CCBIO Research School have priority in the selection process.

More info: See more information about the course here.