Health Research Methodology (HRM) Program History

The Health Research Methodology (HRM) program recently celebrated 40 years of excellence and innovation in the training of clinical epidemiologists and health systems researchers.

We began in 1972 as the Design Measurement and Evaluation (DME) program in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CE&B) now HEI. In 1997, the DME Program was renamed the Health Research Methodology (HRM) Program. An innovative, interdisciplinary PhD program was established shortly after to provide opportunities for students wishing to pursue advanced graduate training beyond an MSc degree.

In 2012, 163 CE&B full-time, joint, associate and part-time faculty members support the teaching and mentorship of more than 68 PhD and 121 MSc students. Our faculty span the full range of clinical and health systems disciplines. Their research accomplishments are recognized globally and emphasize collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork.

The year 2007 marked more important changes for the program. Fields of specialization in clinical epidemiology, biostatisticshealth services researchpopulation and public health and health technology assessment have been established to complement the original HRM classic training. At the same time, graduate expansion initiatives by the Government of Ontario have enabled us to increase the size of our program and provide more opportunities for qualified applicants to enroll in our MSc and PhD programs. Other new initiatives are on the horizon including e-HRM distance learning.

Hallmarks of the HRM program include:

  • An interdisciplinary educational model that draws on faculty members from numerous departments and disciplines in the faculties of Health Sciences, Science and Social Sciences (clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics, health policy analysis, health services research, geography, psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science).
  • A broad and diverse student body. HRM students have a broad spectrum of academic backgrounds at entry that includes medicine, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, social work, economics, math/stats, political science, sociology, geography and psychology.
  • Emphasis on experiential learning through active participation and apprenticeship in interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Opportunity to train with world-renowned health researchers who lead major studies based in numerous sites in Canada, North America and beyond. Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences cut across departmental lines and thus draw interested and skilled faculty from a broad range of disciplines.
  • Small classes where approximately 10 students work with an expert faculty member using small group, problem-based learning strategies complemented by guest lectures and large group presentations.
  • A focus on research methodology that promotes the integration of health relevant disciplinary perspectives to create innovative evaluative strategies and frameworks.

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