Implementing Implementation Research: Teaching Implementation Research to HIV Researchers

Sheree R. Schwartz*, J. D. Smith, Christopher Hoffmann, Bhakti Hansoti, Sharmistha Mishra, Arianna Rubin Means, Vivian Go, Kenneth Sherr, Denis Nash, Patrick Sullivan, Stefan Baral

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Given the growth in HIV-related implementation research, there is a need to expand the workforce and rigor through implementation science (IS) training and mentorship. Our objective is to review IS training opportunities for HIV-focused researchers and describe the approach and lessons learned from a recent HIV-related implementation research training initiative. Recent Findings: IS training opportunities range from degree programs to short- and longer-term professional development institutes and community-focused institutional trainings. Until recently, there have not been extensive dedicated opportunities for implementation research training for HIV-focused investigators. To meet this gap, an inter-Center for AIDS Research IS Fellowship for early-stage investigators was launched in 2019, building on lessons learned from dissemination and implementation training programs. Key components of the HIV-focused IS fellowship include didactic training, mentorship, grant-writing, and development of HIV-IS collaborative networks. Fellows to-date were two-thirds junior faculty and one-third post-doctoral fellows, the majority (69%) with prior public health training. Perceived value of the program was high, with a median rating of 9 [IQR 8–9] on a 10-point scale. Overall, 22/27 (81%) Fellows from the first cohort submitted IS-related grants within 12 months of Fellowship completion, and by 1 year 13 grants had been funded among 10 investigators, 37% overall among Fellows. Mentors identified framing of IS questions as the top-ranked training priority for HIV-investigators. Summary: Increasing knowledge of the utility of IS may support more grants focused on optimal implementation of HIV treatment and prevention strategies. Experiences from mentors and trainees engaged in an IS-focused fellowship for HIV investigators demonstrate the demand and value of a dedicated training program and reinforce the importance of mentorship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-197
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Early-stage investigators
  • HIV
  • Implementation science
  • Mentorship
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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