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The role of money in health research has been debated in bioethics for many years, particularly with regard to resource-poor settings and populations. Much of the debate has focused on two key stakeholders in the research enterprise: research ethics committees and research participants. Research ethics committees, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, often do not enjoy robust support from the institutions with which they are affiliated, leaving them little option but to support themselves (at least in part) by requesting payment from researchers for ethical review.