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National Cancer Institute

Research Tools

The tools below are intended to primarily help researchers better understand, plan for and conduct rigorous dissemination and implementation studies, organized by theories, frameworks, and models; measures; strategies; research methods and study designs; and additional resources (i.e., websites and books). We will continue to update these sections as additional tools become available.

Theories, Frameworks, and Models

Dissemination and Implementation Models in Health Research and Practice.exit disclaimer To assist in the appropriate selection and use of relevant theories, frameworks and models, the NCI supported a team of researchers in the development of an interactive website, Dissemination and Implementation Models in Health Research and Practice (D&I Models). The D&I Models website was designed to help researchers and practitioners select the theory, framework, or model that best fits their research question or practice problem, adapt it to the study or practice context, integrate it into the research or practice process, and find existing measurement instruments for its constructs. The D&I Models website includes 61 different theories, frameworks, and models and is based on a review article noted below by Tabak, Khoong, Chambers and Brownson (2012; free full text available here).

Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).exit disclaimer The CFIR is a comprehensive framework to promote consistent use of constructs, terminology and definitions (Damschroder, 2014). It includes five domains and 39 constructs (Damschroder et al., 2009). The CFIR was developed by implementation researchers affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (VA QUERI). The interactive CFIR website was created for individuals considering using the CFIR to evaluate an implementation or design an implementation study.  

The following articles—written in collaboration between academic researchers and NCI investigators—are helpful summaries of theories, frameworks and models in D&I science.


Grid-Enabled Measures Database Dissemination and Implementation exit disclaimer (GEM-D&I). GEM is a web-based collaborative tool containing behavioral, social science, and other relevant scientific measures. The goal of GEM is to support and encourage a community of users to drive consensus on best measures and share the resulting data from use of those measures. GEM enables users to add constructs or measures to the database; contribute and update existing information about constructs and measures; rate and comment on measures; access and share harmonized data; and search for and download measures. Launched in 2012, the goal of the GEM D&I workspace is to build consensus in the dissemination and implementation research and practice community around high-priority process and outcome measures for use in studies. Currently, the GEM D&I workspace includes over 125 measures of various D&I-related constructs (e.g., acceptability, adoption, fidelity, implementation, organizational culture, leadership, sustainability, etc.).

The following select articles describe common measures and outcomes in implementation science:


In April 2016, the Advanced Topics in Implementation Science Webinar Series hosted a presentation, ‘Identifying, Specifying, and Applying Implementation Strategies’ by Dr. Byron Powell. The archived webinar is available here.

The following select articles provide conceptualizations, definitions and examples of implementation strategies:

Research Methods and Study Designs

The articles below are select examples of methods and designs used in implementation research:

Additional Resources

  • Select Websites. These websites may be helpful to researchers when planning for and conducting implementation studies:
    • Implementation Science Exchange, exit disclaimer NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Implementation Science Exchange is a free, online source for those interested in resources to help design, acquire funding for, execute and disseminate Implementation Science research projects. We find (or create) resources, tools, websites, guides, toolkits and sample grant applications to help support researchers in the field of Implementation Science, particularly those new to research or new to the field itself.
    • Society for Implementation Research Collaboration exit disclaimer (SIRC). The goal of Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC) is to facilitate communication and collaboration among implementation research teams, researchers and community providers. SIRC’s goal is successful models of EBPI implementation, but efficient but rigorous methodologies to evaluate the process and outcomes of further implementation innovation.
  • Select Books. These books may be helpful to researchers when planning for and conducting implementation studies.
    • University of Colorado Denver: Colorado Research and Implementation Science Program (CRISP) eBooks. exit disclaimer Accessed 5 May 2016.
    • Evaluating Improvement and Implementation for Health (2014). John Ovretveit.
    • Knowledge Translation in Health Care (2013). Edited by Sharon E. Straus, Jacqueline Tetroe, and Ian D. Graham.
    • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (2012). Edited by Ross C. Brownson, Graham A. Colditz, and Enola K. Proctor.
    • Translation and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice (2012). Lawrence A. Palinkas and Haluk Soydan.