Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics

What is the Fellowship in Clinical Ethics?

The Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics at Indiana University Health sponsors a nine-month, part time fellowship aimed at training health care professionals in clinical ethics, including ethics consultation and ethics research. Graduates become capable members of the ethics community, serve as a resource for their colleagues facing ethical challenges in patient care, and have the potential to become leaders in the field of medical ethics.

The target audience for the fellowship includes physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers.  Other members of the community (e.g. attorneys or members of administrative staffs) may also apply.  It is highly recommended that applicants have a background in a clinical setting.

The Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics will grant certificates of completion to fellows successfully completing the nine-month fellowship.  Fellows will be evaluated on participation in seminars and meetings, performance in ethics consultation under supervision, and completion of a scholarly project.

What will you do in the Fellowship in Clinical Ethics?

The fellowship requires one dedicated day per week (Wednesdays) for the academic year (late August – late May) plus additional time for ethics consultation, completion of reading assignments and the scholarly project.  The core activities of the fellowship include:


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  • A core curriculum focused on key areas of clinical ethics, consisting of assigned reading and weekly seminar discussions with Fairbanks Center staff and noted content experts to occur over the nine-month fellowship
  • Attending the Fairbanks Lecture Series in Clinical Ethics focused on central concepts and practical topics in clinical ethics
  • Optional participation as observers in monthly IU Health Ethics Committee meetings


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  • Fellows will participate in the IU Health Ethics Consultation Sub-Committee activities, including attendance at the sub-committee’s twice-monthly meetings.
  • Fellows will be on-call for 1 month with a supervising faculty member.


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  • Fellows will complete a scholarly project, an independent ethics research, educational, or quality improvement project. Examples of this might include research projects, hospital policy development, projects aimed at improving ethical aspects of staff relations, etc.
  • Project milestones are given to assist in successful completion which range from idea formulation session, to work in progresses, and graduated deadlines for other tasks related to the project.
  • Each fellow will be assigned a mentor from the FCME faculty who will provide guidance for their project.

Fellowship in Clinical Ethics Application Process

Application to the fellowship is competitive. The online application process includes your CV or resume, brief narrative essays, a letter of support from the applicant’s immediate supervisor with permission of time protection during the course of the fellowship, one letter of recommendation from an individual other than the supervisor, and interviews with Fairbanks Center faculty.

Applications for the 2022-2023 Ethics Fellowship are closed.
For questions or to receive updates about Ethics Fellowship information please email fcme@iuhealth.org.