Dissemination and Implementation Research

Professor: Hunter and Dopp
Units: 1.0
Elective Course (Required for students in the Community-Partnered Policy and Action stream)

Policy has a tremendous potential to improve population well-being when informed by research evidence. Nevertheless, evidence does not often play a large role in policymaking processes.

Dissemination and implementation (D&I) research is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that aims to improve the relevance and uptake of research-based knowledge in real-world settings. A key element of D&I research is direct engagement with the institutions and communities where policies are introduced. Guiding principles are that individual, community and population outcomes are improved when policies are informed by local needs and priorities, adapted to local circumstances, and implemented effectively, safely, and equitably.

This course reviews the theories and frameworks that are commonly used in D&I research and the importance of context at multiple levels in D&I science. It also explores the various study designs, methods, and measures that support D&I science and the challenges that can be encountered across various settings and populations. Finally, it discusses the importance of systems and partnerships in D&I research. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to do the following with respect to D&I science:

  • Conceptualize D&I research questions, strategies, and outcomes.
  • Apply frameworks, models, and theories to the design of D&I research.
  • Identify and discuss key methodological, conceptual, and practical advances from D&I science to date, as well as challenges that remain.
  • Locate D&I literature that can inform policy-relevant topics.
  • Generate policy-relevant materials that can aid in the translation of research evidence in partnership with communities.