Wendy Lipworth


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a medically-trained bioethicist and health social scientist. My approach to research might be referred to as “translational bioethics” in that it is deliberately oriented towards finding pragmatic solutions to morally complex and controversial real-world problems. My work aims to assist decision-makers in all spheres of practice (clinicians, researchers, policymakers, industry and educators) to manage uncertainty and moral complexity and to act in the face of disagreement
My research sits at the intersection of bioethics and professional ethics, with a particular focus on the ethics of biomedical research, innovation and translation.

My work draws on a variety of methods—both empirical (qualitative and quantitative) and theoretical. It is also interdisciplinary and synthesises insights from ethics, law, sociology, policy, economics, epidemiology and other disciplines and involves engagement with all stakeholders to elicit the full range of perspectives and ensure legitimacy.

I have received over $5 million in research funding from the NHMRC, ARC and Medical Research Future Fund. 
My current research projects are:
  • MRFF Stem Cell Therapies Mission (APP2007623)
  • Title: Improving decisions about access to stem cell interventions
  • Chief Investigators: Lipworth W, Stewart C, Munsie M, Kerridge I, Lysaght T, Hooker C, Petersen A, Tanner C, Gyngell C, Rudge C
  • Amount awarded: $799,543
  • Medical Research Future Fund Genomics Health Futures Mission
  • Title: Ethical governance for clinical and genomic data
  • Chief Investigators: Newson A, et al.
  • Amount awarded: $5 million
  • NHMRC Ideas Grant (APP1181401)
  • Addressing commercial influences on assisted reproductive technology
  • Chief Investigators: Lipworth W, Kerridge I, Ledger W, Norman R, Newson A, Stewart C, Karpin I, Mills C, Waldby C, Mayes C
  • Amount awarded: $789,576.70

I am passionate about finding innovative ways to translate research into tools that help clinicians, researchers and policymakers to think about ethical issues. Of particular note, I have developed an online decision tool that helps people understand how to identify conflicts of interest (COIs), appraise them and generate justifiable management plans. 



For full-text access to my publications prior to November 2021, please see https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/discover?query=lipworth&submit=

Full-text versions of subsequent articles are included in the publications section below. 


I teach applied ethics units of study in the Department of Philosophy.

Research student supervision

I am currently co-supervising two postgraduate research students:

  • Ms Miriam Wiersma: PhD on doctors' motivations to engage in clinical innovation
  • Dr Sarah Heynemann: Phd on the ethics of ethics of novel oncology trial designs

I have co-supervised to completion four PhD students, one MPhil student and one Honours Student.

I have supervised to completion 4 PhD students and 1 Honours student (First Class Honours) as co-primary supervisor and two PhD and one MPhil student as auxiliary supervisor. 

Mentorship: I have formally mentored 5 early career researchers through University mentoring schemes and mentored 8 students from other disciplines (medicine, law and public health) through ethics research projects. 

Research training: Since 2018 I have been a Senior Associate of Praxis Australia, a not-for-profit research training organisation.


Research engagement

  • Member, Royal Australasian College of Physicians Ethics Committee (2021-)
  • Committee Member, Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law (2014-)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2012-)
  • Advisory Board Member, Bioethics Open Research (2022-)
  • Steering Committee member, Australian Ethical Health Alliance (AEHA) representing Praxis Australia (2019-)
  • Steering Committee member, Brain Cancer Australia (2014-)




Education/Academic qualification

Bioethics, PhD, University of Sydney

Award Date: 10 Jun 2009

Bioethics, Master of Science (MSc), University of Sydney

Award Date: 4 Nov 2005

Medicine, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), The University of New South Wales

Award Date: 31 Dec 1999

Medical Science, Bachelor of Science (Medicine) Hons I, The University of New South Wales

Award Date: 31 Dec 1994

External positions

Affiliate, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

1 Nov 2021 → …

Senior Associate, Praxis Australia

1 Jan 2018 → …


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