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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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