Training in Implementation Science

The UCSF-CTSI program in Implementation Science (ImS) offers training programs and consultation services focused on translating research results into more effective interventions and improved population health.

What is Implementation Science?

Health care providers and the public are increasingly aware that promising research results do not easily translate into improved health. The science of implementation and dissemination is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that aims to improve the relevance and uptake of research-based knowledge in real-world settings. A guiding principle is that knowledge and materials produced by health research should actually lead to improved individual, community and population health by:

1. reaching the people for whom they are intended;
2. being adapted to local circumstances; and
3. being implemented effectively, safely, equitably, and in a timely and patient-centered manner.

Implementation scientists draw on a range of theories and methods to determine which factors promote or impede the adoption, adaptation, and maintenance of specific health-related interventions by individuals, health providers, insurers, policy makers, and communities. Direct engagement with the institutions and communities where health interventions are introduced is a key element of implementation science research.

Implementation Science In ACTION

Henry Lee, MD, a 2010 Implementation Science Certificate Program graduate, is a neonatologist working with the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative on quality improvement activities affecting most neonatal intensive care units in California.

This program is innovative not only in course content, but in bringing together faculty and students from many disciplines who have an interest in translating evidence into practice.
Henry Lee, MD; Implementation Science Certificate Program graduate

Currently, Dr. Lee is applying many of the principles from the Implementation Science program in a collaborative project to improve delivery room care, with a focus on premature infants. The multi-dimensional intervention includes implementation strategies to promote clinical practice guidelines, as well as communication strategies such as pre- and de-briefing around episodes of newborn resuscitation. More than 50 hospitals are participating in this project, with some engaging in individual hospital-centered quality improvement projects, while a group of 23 hospitals are participating in a more intensive group project with monthly group meetings and close tracking and data comparison. Dr. Lee’s team is interested in whether there are differences in the group versus individual approaches.


  • Improving the skills of researchers and health professionals in the design and implementation of interventions that are effective and tailored to diverse settings and populations.
  • Enabling researchers and health professionals to design and implement more comprehensive evaluations of interventions.
  • Promoting funding proposals that 1) make a compelling argument for translational research; 2) include theory and research results in the design of interventions; and 3) incorporate multidisciplinary expertise and appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative methods.


  • Master's Program in Clinical Research, Implementation Science Track
  • Consultation services for researchers and others interested in IDS-related projects. Topics include study design, behavior change interventions, implementation, evaluation, dissemination, qualitative and mixed methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration.


  • Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Division Public Health & Preventive Medicine
  • Institute for Health Policy Studies
  • Division of General Internal Medicine (Parnassus, San Francisco General Hospital)
  • Center for AIDS Prevention Studies
  • Center for Health and Community
  • Center for Vulnerable Populations
  • Department of Family & Community Medicine
  • Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Institute for Health and Aging
  • Institute for Global Health Sciences
  • Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations