Implementation science in cancer prevention and control: A decade of grant funding by the National Cancer Institute and future directions

Gila Neta*, Michael A. Sanchez, David A. Chambers, Siobhan M. Phillips, Bryan Leyva, Laurie Cynkin, Margaret M. Farrell, Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts, Cynthia Vinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has supported implementation science for over a decade. We explore the application of implementation science across the cancer control continuum, including prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship. Methods: We reviewed funding trends of implementation science grants funded by the NCI between 2000 and 2012. We assessed study characteristics including cancer topic, position on the T2-T4 translational continuum, intended use of frameworks, study design, settings, methods, and replication and cost considerations. Results: We identified 67 NCI grant awards having an implementation science focus. R01 was the most common mechanism, and the total number of all awards increased from four in 2003 to 15 in 2012. Prevention grants were most frequent (49.3%) and cancer treatment least common (4.5%). Diffusion of Innovations and Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) were the most widely reported frameworks, but it is unclear how implementation science models informed planned study measures. Most grants (69%) included mixed methods, and half reported replication and cost considerations (49.3%). Conclusions: Implementation science in cancer research is active and diverse but could be enhanced by greater focus on measures development, assessment of how conceptual frameworks and their constructs lead to improved dissemination and implementation outcomes, and harmonization of measures that are valid, reliable, and practical across multiple settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Grants
  • Implementation science
  • Review
  • Study characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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