Implementation Science Mini-Course

This self-directed, online mini-course provides a brief introduction to the field of implementation science through short video lectures, readings and case studies.

These introductory materials provide high-level insight into what implementation science is and briefly introduce a few frameworks commonly used in the field. These frameworks and additional topics are covered in depth through the UCSF Implementation Science Training Program, which offers in-person and online training in implementation science, with an emphasis on applied instruction for researchers as well as practitioners. 


Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS
Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH
Courtney Lyles, PhD

Course Lectures and Readings

Foundational Work for Implementation Science: Building the Case for Evidence Translation

Our goal for this session will be to understand what implementation science is and the types of problems it seeks to address.


By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • Define implementation science
  • Decide and justify whether a health care intervention has sufficient evidence to be translated/disseminated into practice, policy, or public health
  • Identify strategies and activities for engaging key stakeholders in the translation/dissemination of your evidence

Lecture Videos

Introduction to Implementation Science: Defining implementation science, Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS (11:33)  View slides (PDF 900KB)

Introduction to Implementation Science: Making the case for translation, Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS (8:08)  View slides (PDF 800KB)


Institute of Medicine, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century

  • Skim both the Executive Summary pp. 1-21 and Chapter 1 "The Quality Gap" pp. 22-38.
  • Assigned chapters highlight the Institute of Medicine definitions of health care quality.  

Handley MA et al. Strategies for implementing implementation science: a methodological overview 

  • Describes fundamental principles of implementation science and offers a series of “how to” steps for conducting implementation science research.

Bauer MS et al. An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist

  • An overview of the development of implementation science as a discipline and its key principles and methods.

Application of an Implementation Science Framework to Guide Intervention Design

Our goal for this session will be to understand how models/frameworks can be used to design an implementation strategy.


By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  • Define key steps involved in designing effective implementation strategies
  • Apply a planning model/framework to facilitate the design of an individual-level implementation strategy

Lecture Videos

Overview of Implementation Frameworks and Theories, Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS (8:59) View slides (PDF 500KB)

A Brief Introduction to the COM-B Model, Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH (8:15)  View slides (PDF 2MB)


Michie S et al. The behaviour change wheel: A new method for characterizing and designing behaviour change interventions 

  • This article describes the development and steps of the behavior change wheel framework for developing implementation strategies.

Handley MA et al. Applying the COM-B model to creation of the STAR MAMA program

  • This article provides a step-by-step example of applying COM-B/Behavior Change Wheel Framework to the design of an implementation strategy for the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Nilsen P. Making sense of theories, models, and frameworks

  • Please skim this paper for an overview of other theories and frameworks in this space.
  • This paper provides an overview of various theoretical approaches used in implementation research, from classic theories to implementation-specific frameworks, to evaluation.

Case Studies: Applying concepts to your own work

Please see the case studies that summarize the following issues related to evidence-practice gaps and stakeholder engagement in real-world practice.

Case Study 1: Functional Status (PDF 15KB)

Case Study 2: Cardiac Rehabilitation (PDF 15KB)

Case Study 3: Occupational Therapy for People with Dementia (PDF 15KB)

Derived from Box 1 in: Handley MA, Gorukanti A, Cattamanchi A. Strategies for implementing implementation science: a methodological overviewEmerg Med J. 2016 Sep;33(9):660-4. 

  1. Describe the evidence to be translated and its relation to a health problem.
  • What evidence (health-related behavior, test, procedure, treatment, intervention, program) will be translated?
  • Justify the evidence is ready to be translated (including in the local context).
  • What health problem will translation of the evidence improve? Justify selection of this health problem as a priority in the setting you plan to work.
  1. Identify stakeholder communities and conduct outreach to work with them (if not completed in step 1).
  • List key communities/stakeholders involved in translating your evidence
  • Consider vested interests of key communities/ stakeholders