Supporting Research in Pain Management for Veterans and Military Service Members
Supporting Research in Pain Management for Veterans and Military Service Members

Guidance for Study Design & Proposals

A selection of publications, tools, and recommendations for developing strong proposals and adaptive studies​


Writing implementation research grant proposals: Ten key ingredients

Enola K Proctor, Byron J Powell, Ana A Baumann, Ashley M Hamilton and Ryan L Santens
Implementation Science
October 12, 2012

Acknowledging the challenges and nuances of crafting stand-out study proposals that address implementation, the Proctor, et al., recommend important elements for research scientists to include in their grant applications. The authors identify 10 key ingredients that make an application stronger and convey the significance and impact of the proposed study to reviewers.

Analysis of “learn-as-you-go” (LAGO) studies

Daniel Nevo, Judith J. Lok, Donna Spiegelman
The Annals of Statistics
2021, Vol. 49, No. 2, 793–819

What are ways that investigators can plan for study design changes as data accumulates? The authors present Learn-As-you-GO (LAGO) for an adaptive method to apply in stages during a study, and compare against other adaptive designs for trials such as Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) design and Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST). Methods are illustrated through the Better Birth Study.

Full Citation

Daniel Nevo. Judith J. Lok. Donna Spiegelman. “Analysis of “learn-as-you-go” (LAGO) studies.” Ann. Statist. 49 (2) 793 – 819, April 2021.

Effectiveness-implementation Hybrid Designs: Combining Elements of Clinical Effectiveness and Implementation Research to Enhance Public Health Impact

Geoffrey M. Curran, PhD, Mark Bauer, MD, Brian Mittman, PhD, Jeffrey M. Pyne, MD, and Cheryl Stetler, PhD
Med Care
March 2012

The authors examine how hybrid study designs can address the gaps in the translation of health care research to health care practice and health care promotion. The study proposed three approaches and assessed their potential for further consideration in speeding the transition and translation from research studies to health care practices and education.

Increasing the impact of randomized controlled trials: an example of a hybrid effectiveness-implementation design in psychotherapy research

Adrienne L. Johnson, Anthony H. Ecker, Terri L. Fletcher, Natalie Hundt, Michael R. Kauth, Lindsey A. Martin, Geoffrey M. Curran, Jeffrey A. Cully
Translational Behavioral Medicine
November 26, 2018

Randomized Controlled Trials (RTC) have been the go-to for clinical studies; however, the long delays from research to dissemination to health care practice bring about considerations for implementations in study design.  The authors conclude that expanding ‘traditional RCTs through collaborative stakeholder contributions and stakeholder/consumer-informed implementation approaches is critical to improve adoption post project.”

Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks

Per Nilsen
Implementation Science
April 21, 2015

Nilsen proposes five categories to guide the selection of theoretical approaches to implementation research and practice.  This taxonomy aims to help implementation researchers 1) translate research into practice, 2) conceptualize and understand the influences on implementation outcomes, and 3) evaluate frameworks for implementation.  Differentiating among and within the aims, models and frameworks is essential for selecting appropriate approaches


Maximizing Diversity: Lessons from Implementation Trials

The intent of this presentation is to highlight lessons from implementation trials that can be applied to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in future trials. There is a focus on stakeholder engagement early and often as well as a reminder to define what diversity means for your particular implementation trial.

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Northwestern University's Dissemination and Implementation Program

Northwestern’s Center for Community Health (CCH) and the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology formed the Dissemination and Implementation Program to provide education, training and consultation to academic and community stakeholders on best practices for translating evidence-based services and programs into clinical and community practice.