The devastating toll of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa necessitates considerations of new approaches to research into new prevention technologies and treatments for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Research must be planned and delivered in consultation with civil society from the epicentre to prevent mistrust and misunderstanding.

Ethical considerations include development of local research and regulatory capacity; negotiating the standard of prevention packages for research participants, including healthcare workers; and strengthening health systems in developing countries to ensure effective response to future EVD outbreaks in the region. Also, strategic consultation with local communities is an ethical imperative for EVD research, particularly where there is potential for differential access to prevention and care packages between trial staff and local hospital staff.