Privacy by Design, a globally accepted framework for personal data management and privacy protection, advances the view that privacy cannot be assured solely by compliance with regulatory frameworks but must become an organisation’s default mode of operation. We are proposing a similar template for the research ethics review process. The Research Ethics by Design framework involves research ethics committees engaging researchers during the design phase of the proposal so that ethical considerations may be directly embedded in the science as opposed to being viewed as addendums after the fact. This collaborative research design proposal results in the establishment of a culture of ethical research rather than research with ethical oversight. Both researchers and research ethics committees come to view the review process as one in which individual protection and collective benefit co-exist in a doubly-enabling positive-sum manner.