Introduction to Knowledge Translation & Implementation Science




The course will introduce the field of knowledge translation (KT) and implementation science. With an increased demand for evidence-based health practices, researchers and practitioners have become aware of the complexities involved in optimizing the uptake of knowledge from research and transferring research findings into practice and policy. To do this effectively requires tailor made approaches well aligned to the complexities of health systems and their wider environments. This increased emphasis has also led to explorations of approaches that are likely to work and the evolution of the KT and implementation science field. It is important for researchers and practitioners alike to develop understanding and insight into KT and implementation science so they can incorporate these in their work, and contribute towards enhancing the quality and effectiveness of their health systems.

The course will delineate the main features of KT and implementation science and provide students with the opportunity to develop insight into the wider environment that has shaped this field. The course consists of core components where the main KT and implementation science concepts are defined; it discusses the history of the field and the different foci that have shaped the evolution of the field; it presents perspectives, theories and frameworks used in KT and implementation science; and it introduces the main research approaches and methodological challenges for the practice of KT and implementation science.

These introductory components will provide a basic foundation for the students to start to explore a few topics in more detail, including the social network perspective of KT and implementation science; the sustainability of the interventions; the need and challenges for de-implementation; the complexity science approaches to implementation science; implementation science in global health; and different approaches to scaling the health interventions.

The course will provide a general overview of KT and implementation science so in future courses students can start to build their capacity to incorporate KT and implementation components in their research. The course will be taught by the two course directors, other IHPME faculty and other leading scholars in this field. Emphasis will be placed on active student participation to deepen students understanding of the field.


At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts of the KT and implementation science field and explain what factors and conditions have shaped its evolution.

  • Outline the main theories and frameworks used in KT and implementation science and be able to critically apply them.

  • Describe main challenges for KT and implementation science and compare and contrast approaches that have been used to address them.