About us

The Institute for Ethics & Society (IES) is a national research institute of The University of Notre Dame Australia that was founded in 2009 and is based on the Sydney campus. The IES aims to foster ethical awareness in professional and social life. Informed by the resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition, we do this by pursuing excellence in research, public engagement and ethics education.


The IES is interested in exploring the connections between good lives and a good society. Our research aims at better understanding how cultivating the virtues can strengthen civil society and support human flourishing. We’re also committed to engaging with key issues in bioethics and with the significant role that religion plays in questions of ethics and society.

Our cross-disciplinary research team includes moral philosophers, bioethicists, medical researchers and social scientists. We work with a wide range of partners outside the University, especially in the healthcare and education sectors.

The IES has three Research Focus Areas:

Learn more about IES research

Public Engagement

The IES is committed to promoting a rigorous and open conversation about the variety of ethical issues facing today’s society. We do this by hosting major events and public engagement projects such as annual public lectures, podcast, QndA and Scholarship at the Cathedral, and through our researchers regularly contributing to national and international media outlets.

In our public engagement, we have a special interest in the questions at the intersection of faith, civic virtue and public life. We’re passionate about helping to cultivate the virtues needed to agree – and disagree – well in our increasingly pluralistic societies.

Learn more about IES public engagement

Ethics Education

The IES provides leadership in ethics education across The University of Notre Dame Australia, as well as delivering professional ethics training and consultancy to groups outside the University.

We serve the University by supporting and informing the teaching of ethics in partnership with the Schools. IES researchers regularly deliver guest lectures and provide curriculum consultancy, working alongside other Notre Dame faculty to foster the ethical development of students.

The IES also provides Professional Ethics Training Packages for industry. We have a track-record of successful and diverse engagements. In recent years the IES has worked with government, commercial businesses, not-for-profits, schools and healthcare providers.

Learn more about IES ethics education