Introduction to Implementation Science - Theory and Design

EPI 245 Fall 2018 (2 units)
Course Director: Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine


This course provides a foundation for students to design and evaluate strategies to accelerate the translation of evidence into practice, policy, and public health. This course will provide an introduction to the use of implementation science methods to identify and target barriers and enablers of the sustained uptake of proven health interventions. Concepts and methods covered include community engagement, individual and organizational behavior change theory, intervention design and evaluation frameworks, and study design. In addition to didactic work, scholars are guided through the creation of a protocol aimed towards facilitating uptake of their chosen health intervention. At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and justify health interventions that are ready for translation;
  • Apply a conceptual framework for translating health interventions into practice, policy and public health;
  • Apply theory and evidence to the design of more effective implementation strategies; and
  • Evaluate and analyze implementation strategies using a combination of outcomes and techniques.

A similar course, Epidemiologic Approaches to Implementation Science (EPI 239 Spring Quarter), is also offered. Both courses are worth 2 units and provide a thorough introduction to the problems addressed by implementation science and the research solutions to these problems. Both courses also fulfill one of curricular requirements of the Implementation Science Track of the TICR Master’s Program (i.e., EPI 239 or 245 must be taken) and can be used as springboard for the other courses in implementation science offered by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The differences between the courses rest in their timing and instructional framework. With respect to timing, EPI 239 is offered in Spring Quarter in order to a) give ATCR Certificate Program students a chance to begin to learn about Implementation Science within the constraints of their one-year program; and b) give students in the Master’s Program and PhD Program an opportunity to begin their studies in Implementation Science within their first year. This may benefit some Master’s Program students who wish to begin learning about implementation science before Summer of their first year and get started on an implementation science research projects over Summer. EPI 245 is offered in the Fall Quarter. This may benefit Master’s Program students who wish to use the summer to identify a research question related to implementation science and use EPI245 to refine the question and study design. In terms of curriculum and instructional framework, both courses cover the common behavioral theories that contemporary implementation science uses to identify barriers/facilitators to implementation and to design and evaluate interventions to impact implementation. EPI 239 introduces implementation science through the framework of epidemiologic methods and intercalates the theories of implementation science into this framework. This approach highlights issues of sampling, measurement and analysis taught in the required basic epidemiology and biostatistics courses of the ATCR and Master's Programs. EPI 245 does not require substantial background in epidemiology and spends more time reviewing the common behavioral theories that contemporary implementation science uses and how to apply them to students’ research questions and protocols.

While similar in content, EPI 239 and 245 are sufficiently different in their approaches such that some students might find it valuable to take both courses in order to obtain different perspectives on the fundamental problems and solutions featured in implementation science.


Designing Clinical Research (EPI 202) or prior training in clinical research study design. This course will be most useful for students or health care professionals who are intending to translate some specific healthcare evidence into wider adoption in clinical practice or public health.

Course Director:

Adithya Cattamanchi, MD, MAS
Phone: 415-206-5489

Guest Lecturers:

Kevin Grumbach, MD


Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH


Charles McCulloch, PhD


Janet Myers, PhD


Laura Schmidt, PhD


Weekly course content will be delivered via video lectures, case studies, and readings through the course CLE website. Students will post weekly assignments in online discussion forums, and provide/receive feedback through the online discussion forums and weekly in-person small group discussion sessions facilitated by course faculty.


Required readings will be posted on the course website.


Evaluation of student performance will be based on successful completion of weekly homework assignments and a final project, as well as participation in online discussion forums and in-person small group discussion sessions. To pass the course, learners must:

  • Post weekly assignments in the online discussion forums by the designated due date and time in 8 of 10 weeks;
  • Provide thoughtful feedback via the online discussion forums to at least two others regarding their weekly assignments by the designated due date and time in 8 of 10 weeks;
  • Attend and participate in at least 8 of the 10 in-person weekly small group discussion sessions;
  • Submit a final completed protocol by the designated due date and time at the end of the course; and
  • Submit a thoughtful critique of a peer’s final protocol by the designated due date and time at the end of the course.


This course is sponsored by the Training in Clinical Research (TICR) Program, and space is limited. Preference is given to UCSF-affiliated personnel. We regret that auditing is not permitted.

To apply for this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Please see our fees page for cost information. The deadline for application is September 7, 2018. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.

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