Since the start of the Syrian conflict, SAMS has been engaging with impactful research projects and researchers that are in line with its aims of improving the health and humanitarian situation for Syrians and other vulnerable populations. We have an active research committee that oversees SAMS’ research activities.
The main aims of the research committee are to support high quality, operational research which benefits Syrians and others affected by humanitarian crises and to ensure ethical standards and protection of human subjects is maintained. We are the first point of contact for all research undertaken with SAMS.
Conducting Research with SAMS:
We will consider research proposals on a rolling basis. The Research Committee reviews all submissions and makes decisions after careful consideration. This will take up to 30 days for a thorough consideration of the proposal. Decisions, once reached, are final with no opportunity to appeal. The process is identical for both SAMS members and non-members. We do not have our own IRB (ethics review) and would expect researchers to pursue this (or a waiver) through their institutions.
If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration, please send the following information:
- The name, organizational affiliation, contact information, and CV for all researchers and contributors, clearly stating the main contact
- A comprehensive proposal detailing your research question(s), aims and objectives, methodology, timeline, and a detailed account of how you plan on ensuring your research will remain within the scope of ethical norms
- Any research must be compliant with our Protection of Human Subjects policy
- IRB waiver or IRB approval
- Funding sources
- If the work is published, SAMS must be credited and where appropriate, contributors from SAMS should be included.
- Publications or presentations must be submitted for review before they are sent for consideration to ensure compliance with SAMS’ policies and for review of content. SAMS reserves the right to stop the publication of materials which include data from SAMS projects from being published if there are concerns about quality or content.
Code of Conduct for Research
All research conducted by SAMS or approved by SAMS will only be carried out by vetted researchers or charitable organizations with the following principles in mind:
- Medical confidentiality is respected fully
- Privacy and dignity are fully protected, and communities are not jeopardized
- Promoting health benefits to the wider population: one of the aims of allowing access to research terms or individuals is that the consequent research findings may benefit not just the studied community, but the broader public
- Community benefit sharing: priority will be given to research that benefits the local community or communities enduring similar circumstances
- Commercial use and intellectual property: Researchers shall not seek any intellectual property rights
Participants of medical missions should not expect to conduct research during the time when clinical care is being delivered as part of the mission. Research activities during the mission can cause interruption to mission leaders, other mission participants as well as patients. If attendance on a medical mission is for the purpose of research, this can only be done if a research proposal is submitted for review alongside the medical mission application. Even if the proposal is approved by the Research Committee (same process as above,) it can only go ahead with approval of the mission lead. This must be sought well in advance of the proposed research.
Research Committee Members:
Chair: Dr. Aula Abbara, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College.
Co-chair: Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, Former SAMS President.
If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact SAMS Director of Programs, Dr. Randa Loutfi at [email protected].
SAMS’ Research Activities:
Since the onset of the conflict, SAMS has been engaged in research projects relevant to Syrians inside Syria and those who are refugees. To get an idea of some of the topics explored, please see our previous presentations and publications in this link.