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Professor Heather Draper

Job Title
Professor (Teaching Focussed)
WMS - Health Sciences
024761 50347
Research Interests

Bioethics and in particular ethics in relation to tissue and organ transplantation and organ replacement therapies, social robotics, military medical ethics, public health ethics, research ethics and human reproduction and parenting.

Member of Social Science and Systems in Health.
For more information on my research please visit our webpage.


Heather Draper joined the University of Warwick in 2017, taking up the newly established Chair of Bioethics in Warwick Medical School. Heather studied Theology before completing her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Manchester but chose to develop her bioethics career within medical schools rather than remaining in Philosophy. Her research therefore strives to bridge the distinctive research cultures of medicine and applied philosophy. As a bioethicist researcher she engaged in inter- and multi- disciplinary research, including working with health technology developers. Since the early 2000s she has introduced methods from social science into her research, using a methodology called 'empirical ethics'. Her research has been funded by UKRI, NIHR and the EU. She has worked on transplantation/donation ethics, pandemics, clinical ethics, military medical ethics, care robotics, assisted reproduction and parenting ethics. She has nearly 200 publications - a full list of which can be found on her Google scholar page (link below). Heather has a committed and enthusiastic educator. She is a member of the WMS MBChB Value Law and Ethics (VLE) team (currently VLE lead for Phases 2 & 3) and also organises and delivers clinical ethics training. She has worked part-time since Feb 2022 and decided to concentrate on teaching rather than research in August 2023 when it became clear the demand for ethics teaching in WMS was permanently going to outstrip available ethics teaching capacity. Heather has served on several national policy bodies (UK Donation Ethics Committee, Human Genetics Commission (co opted), Unrelated Live Transplantation Regulatory Authority) as well as being active in clinical and research ethics locally. She is a member of the Defence Medical Service Ethics Committee. Heather is also a member NHS BT's Deceased Donor Family Tissue Advisory Group, on the Advisory Board of the NGO 'International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China'. Full publication list can be found on Google Scholar (

Title Funder Award start Award end
Guidance for medical school staff evaluating biomedical ethics research outputs for the Research Excellence Framework Institute of Medical Ethics 01 Jun 2023 31 Dec 2024
UKRI - COVID: When pandemic and everyday ethics collide: supporting ethical decision-making in maternity care and paediatrics during the Covid-19 pandemic AHRC 13 Jul 2021 12 Jul 2022
Donor-funded clinical research: what are the potential ethical obstacles at the level of UK RECs and are these surmountable? - Phase 2 project (linked to 64408) Research England 01 Jun 2020 31 Mar 2021
Novation Agreement for Advanced Regenerative and Restorative Therapies to Combat Corneal Blindness (Arrest Blindness) European Commission 07 Jan 2017 06 Jul 2020
CIFAR: 2 day Conference: Preparing for the ethical and societal implications of AI disruption in healthcare work and professional practice Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) 01 May 2019 30 Jun 2020
Donor-funded clinical research: what are the potential ethical obstacles at the level of UK RECs and are these surmountable? Research England 01 Jan 2020 31 May 2020
BOUND - Novation Agreement National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 08 Jan 2017 07 Apr 2020
NIHR Fellowship awarded to Univ of Birmingham. Collaboration Agreement for Heather Draper involvement: NEUROlogical Prognosis After Cardiac arrest in Kids: Derivation, validation and impact assessment of a clinical prediction model ('The NEURO-PACK study') National Institute for Health Research (DoH) 01 Mar 2018 28 Feb 2019
A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing: A Transdisciplinary Exploration of Online Trust and Empathy ESRC 01 Jan 2017 31 Dec 2017
Military healthcare professionals experiences of ethical challenges whilst on Ebola humanitarian deployment (Sierra Leone) ESRC 19 Jan 2017 18 Jun 2017

Heather Draper: Empirical Bioethics

Lucy Frith and Heather Draper 'Publishing research in empirical ethics: quality, disciplines and expertise' in Empirical Bioethics: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives. Ives, Jonathan and Dunn, Michael and Cribb, Alan, (eds.). Published 2017.