Background: Despite a clear call for greater input from health technology assessment (HTA) in the areas of clinical practice and policy making, there are currently very few formal training programs. The objectives of our Consortium were to (i) develop a master's level program in HTA, (ii) test its content with a group of Canadian and European students, and (iii) evaluate the Program's strengths and weaknesses.
Objectives: This study presents the results of our evaluation of the first edition of the Master's Program (2001–2003).
Methods: The evaluation relied on (i) a self-administered student questionnaire for each course (n = 142), (ii) interviews with students (n = 10), and (iii) interviews with internship supervisors (n = 5).
Results: A vast majority of students were satisfied with the course content and particularly appreciated the exercises and materials presented in an intensive format. However, they needed more systematic feedback from faculty members and recommended increasing the methodology content. The six key characteristics of the program are (i) flexible format adapted to the needs of skilled professionals, (ii) continuous interaction between HTA users and producers, (iii) international academic and professional collaboration, (iv) partnership with HTA agencies, (v) global approach to evidence-based methods and practices, and (vi) multidisciplinary approach.
Conclusions: Despite the numerous organizational barriers inherent to creating an international program and several areas for improvement in the Program itself, the Ulysses Project was successful in attaining its objectives. Because there is a growing need for human resources with special training in HTA, further efforts need to be devoted to strengthening the international research capacity in HTA.