Professor of medicine, epidemiology & biostatistics, and philosophy, Western University

Charles Weijer is the leading expert on the ethics of randomized controlled trials. Publications on the duty of care in clinical research, the ethical analysis of study benefits and harms, and empowering communities in research have been broadly influential.

From 2008 to 2013 Charles co-led a collaboration that produced the first international ethics guidelines for cluster randomized trials. From 2014 to 2018 he collaborated with Dr. Adrian M. Owen on a project exploring the ethics of functional neuroimaging after severe brain injury. Charles’ current work explores ethical issues in pragmatic randomized controlled trials that evaluate health interventions in real-world conditions to better inform patients, health providers and health systems managers. This project, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2017–2021), brings together a research team comprising philosophers, biostatisticians and trialists from five countries. Charles led the writing team for the World Health Organization guidance on “Ethical Considerations for Health Policy and Systems Research,” published in 2019. In 2020, he served as an advisor to the World Health Organization's Working Group on Human Challenge Studies and COVID-19.

Charles held the Canada Research Chair in Bioethics from 2005 to 2019. In 2008, Charles worked with philanthropist Dr. Joseph Rotman to found the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, which is dedicated to fostering collaboration between the humanities and the sciences and served as the Institute’s first director. In 2014, he received Western’s Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research, and, in 2016, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada.


  • –present
    Professor of philosophy, medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics, Western University


  • 1997 
    McGill University, PhD/ Bioethics


Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada