INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

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Imagine you are a researcher from a low- or middle-income country who wants to undertake research that would help your country make better decisions about healthcare provision in the nation. However, your country has limited resources.

You know that the solution is ‘evidence-informed decision making’ but you also know that you and your colleagues have very limited capacity in this field. Is this situation familiar to you? Or, is it YOU?

HITAP international internship program might just be what you are looking for.

 

HITAP international internship program

Learn from an expert!

The Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) plays a vital advisory role in Thailand in providing rigorous scientific evidence through health technology assessments (HTA) for healthcare decision making to achieve Universal Health Coverage. HITAP provides evidence from a broad range of research activities, i.e.  economic evaluation and modeling studies, rapid and systematic reviews of literature, feasibility studies, ex-post and ex-ante studies, as well as system-wide studies. The organization also functions as a Secretariat to the health economics working group for the National List of Essential Medicines, which oversees the HTA process from topic nomination and prioritization, results appraisal to generating evidence for price negotiations with industry players.

HITAP is continuously growing and it established its International units (HIU) to provide intensive technical and institutional support primarily to countries in Asia with nascent and emerging HTA systems. The unit works closely with local partners to conduct collaborative research; build HTA capacity of researchers in trainings, conferences, and study visits; provide guidance on establishing an HTA agency (looking at governance, committee protocols, and HTA processes); formulate HTA tools (e.g. economic evaluation guidelines, EQ-5D-5L datasets, threshold studies); as well as support the linking of HTA studies to policy. This year HITAP will be providing international internship opportunities funded by Thai Research Fund which is also known as the Senior Research Scholarship (SRS).

This internship program will fund THREE researchers from low-middle income countries (LMICs) to pursue their own proposed topic for HTA research, under an HITAP supervisor for a maximum duration of 9 months. It will be a tailor-made program based on the needs of the applicants. HITAP and HIU’s work for conducting and incorporating HTA for use in policy making both nationally and internationally will be used for mentorship in this program.

The areas can be under health economics, economic modeling, literature review, feasibility, health system and policy research or one proposed by the applicant!

Researchers at all levels are encouraged to apply!

 

“The theory is tough, the science is hard, the economics difficult, and the statistics advanced. The unavoidable trade-offs are often agonizing, much is uncertain, reputations are at stake, and getting things wrong costs lives.” – Anthony J. Culyer in A Star in the East: A Short History of HITAP, 2016

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Eligibility Criteria

The candidate must:                                                                                 

  1. Be a Non-Thai candidate

  2. Have a University degree, preferably in health science, social and economic development

  3. Be employed as full-time staff, of one of public health authorities, preferably from LMICs.

  4. Commit to return to their employer, after completing the internship program

Funding Support

The scholarship will support the following:                                                                                  

  1. Round-trip economy tickets to Thailand from their home country

  2. Accommodation during internship period

  3. Applicants may seek co-payment from home organization or other sources of funding for living expenses in Thailand for the duration of stay.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

At the time of application:

1. Completed application form containing

a. Statement of purpose (500 to 800 words).

b. References from 1 or 2 people in their organization, previous workplace or schools.

2. Most updated CV

If shortlisted:

1. Employer release form.

2. Academic certificates for all graduate and post-graduate degrees.

3. Proof of language competency, if available (Example English language test scores) will be an added benefit.

APPLICATION PROCESS
  1. The applicants need to submit their completed application form along with their CV (Curriculum Vitae) via email to internship@hitap.net

  2. The application closes on 15th August ’17.

SHORTLISTING PROCESS
  1. Assessment of application form and CV.

  2. Only shortlisted applicants will be informed about the interview round, on or before 15th September 2017.

  3. If shortlisted, we will ask you to take part in an interview; this may be in person, by telephone, or by videoconference.

ON RECEIVING AN OFFER
  1. Based on your application form and research interests, we will match you with an expert based in HITAP.

  2. This will then be followed by your interaction with your supervisor, to help you prepare better for your internship period.

  3. During this process, our staff will be available to help you with your logistical requirements such as accommodation, transport, and other details to help you prepare for your stay at HITAP.

SHORT NOTE ON HITAP AND HIU

Short note on HITAP

The Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) Established in 2007 to assist in the evidence-informed policymaking of the UHC scheme. Although many people contributed to the making of HITAP, the most important players were a quartet of remarkable people: Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert, Dr. Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Dr. Yot Teerawattananon and Dr. Sripen Tantivess.

HITAP a semi-autonomous research unit under the Thai Ministry of Public Health. The organization appraises a wide range of technologies to inform decision-making and policies in Thailand. The organization conducts HTA focusing on Thai Benefit Package (BP) and the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

For more details please refer : http://www.hitap.net/en/organization/background

 download pdf: http://www.hitap.net/en/documents/164743

 Short note on HIU

In 2013, HITAP established an international unit, drawing on its experiences locally and internationally, to work at the global level with overseas development aids, international organizations, non-profit organizations, and overseas governments to build capacity for health technology assessment. The Unit is currently involved with research projects in countries such as Vietnam, Bhutan, Myanmar, Indonesia, and India amongst others.

For more details please refer: http://www.globalhitap.net/

PAST INTERNS FEEDBACK
In my two past projects with HITAP, I believe that they have truly helped me broaden my knowledge on HTA, not just in theoretical context but in practical experience as well. I was just a junior researcher back then but I do felt the trust and support from the team and I had the chance to perform hands-on work in populating and running the model particularly in the economic evaluation of HPV vaccine. It was a great experience that taught me not just the knowledge and skills but important virtues such as patience, good work ethics and appreciation of culture difference as well. It was real hard work because we had to finish many deliverables in such a short time but looking back, it is indeed one of my greatest achievements as a young researcher. In fact, that project turned into a published journal – my very first publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Working with Dr. Yot and Dr. Naiaya was truly a privilege. Now that I am taking my postgrad on HTA, I always contextualize my learning based on that working experience with HITAP.

Last Feb, I had the chance to visit HITAP again and they even bigger and better. I appreciate that they train young researchers to present in behalf of HITAP which shows how they trust and train their staff very well.

Looking forward to more engagements with HITAP.

Anne Julienne M. Genuino, RPh, Senior Health Program Officer, Pharmaceutical Division – Office for Health Regulations, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PHILIPPINES

 

I have had the unique opportunity to be an international fellow with Thailand’s Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) for the last five months between February and June 2015. While the task of chronicling the invaluable experiences I have gained in this short time is a daunting one, there are certain aspects on my fellowship that I am certain will remain in the forefront of mind for many years to come. When I first came to HITAP, I was immediately struck by the youthfulness and energy of the office. I have since discovered that there is a concerted effort by the organization leaders, especially Dr. Yot Teerawattananon, to invest in and cultivate the next generation of leaders in health technology assessment (HTA). Despite the pressure of all of the responsibility that is given to these staff members, there is a tremendous work ethic that comes from an obvious dedication to improving health care in Thailand and the surrounding region. The more I worked with my colleagues on domestic and international projects, the more I was motivated to push myself to work harder as well. I was quite surprised by the depth at which I was able to get involved with different projects from preparing slides and doing presentations during workshops to contributing to academic reports. Some of the notable things I have worked on include writing an academic paper about Nepal using HTA to inform the development of a pharmaceutical reimbursement list, a literature review of the Quality Outcomes Framework in Thailand and the UK, and a mission report, policy brief, and technical report on the PEN intervention on hypertension and diabetes in Indonesia. I was also able to attend meetings with high-level decision makers in Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal and technical workshops on economic modeling, systematic reviews, and other HTA tools. I was often pushed outside my comfort zone in a way that helped me develop and practice many new skills. In the end, it was very easy for me to get inspired by the work that HITAP is doing and the potential they have to use their experiences and successes with health care in Thailand to help positively shape international policy.

 Even though I could spend a significant amount of time going into detail about all of the interesting projects I had the opportunity to work on, I know ultimately that the most meaningful part of my experience here was my everyday interactions which colleagues and team leaders. Coming to Bangkok from the US for the first time was an overwhelming experience and I would not have managed to adjust as well as I did without the generous help from the people with whom I worked. Although it did take me getting stubbornly lost in the city on a songtaew more than once to actually ask for help, there was never a hesitation on the part of my colleagues to go on personal errands to get me a flu shot or to give me guidance on the technical work I was doing. As I spent more time with them, I even discovered some hidden talents which were on full display as they performed a traditional Thai song and dance during the annual HTAsiaLink conference this past May in Taipei, Taiwan. I will certainly miss this colorful office.

I have always enjoyed working abroad because I deeply believe that interacting with people with vastly different backgrounds is one of the best ways to learn and grow as a person. I have developed some strong professional and personal relationships here which have helped me shape new academic goals and perspectives. This fellowship has been an incredible experience and I sincerely look forward to the opportunity of collaborating with HITAP and seeing my colleagues again in the future. Perhaps, at the very least, I can brush up on my dancing skills and meet them in Singapore for next year’s HTAsiaLink conference!

Devika Singh, International Fellow, HITAP

 

We look forward to your applications!

You may also like to visit: A website that can help you with your health economic research (Click on the image for details)

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