Writing implementation research grant proposals: Ten key ingredients

Enola K. Proctor, Byron J. Powell, Ana A. Baumann, Ashley M. Hamilton, Ryan L. Santens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background: All investigators seeking funding to conduct implementation research face the challenges of preparing a high-quality proposal and demonstrating their capacity to conduct the proposed study. Applicants need to demonstrate the progressive nature of their research agenda and their ability to build cumulatively upon the literature and their own preliminary studies. Because implementation science is an emerging field involving complex and multilevel processes, many investigators may not feel equipped to write competitive proposals, and this concern is pronounced among early stage implementation researchers.Discussion: This article addresses the challenges of preparing grant applications that succeed in the emerging field of dissemination and implementation. We summarize ten ingredients that are important in implementation research grants. For each, we provide examples of how preliminary data, background literature, and narrative detail in the application can strengthen the application.Summary: Every investigator struggles with the challenge of fitting into a page-limited application the research background, methodological detail, and information that can convey the project's feasibility and likelihood of success. While no application can include a high level of detail about every ingredient, addressing the ten ingredients summarized in this article can help assure reviewers of the significance, feasibility, and impact of the proposed research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 2012


  • Grant writing
  • Implementation research
  • Preliminary studies


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