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Implementation and Innovation Research

Group leads: Tracy Finch and Tim Rapley

The Implementation and Innovation Research (IIR) group is a cross departmental group between Nursing, Midwifery and Health and Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. 

Part of the Care Innovation and Organisation group, IIR is a multi-disciplinary research group focused on undertaking and developing approaches to implementation and improvement research, and knowledge mobilisation. 

The group’s work ranges from initiation, scoping and development of novel ideas for service, therapeutic and care innovations, to feasibility studies, pilot and full trials with embedded process evaluations, as well as the scaling up and scaling out of evidence-based interventions. Some of our work focuses on the sharing of knowledge between different communities to support change and create impact (knowledge mobilsation). We develop theories, tools and methodologies as well as interventions to support implementation and knowledge mobilisation in practice. 

We work with key health and social care stakeholders to develop innovative, individualised, community-based and organisational solutions.

Research here includes:

• Studies that apply concepts, theories, frameworks, and assessment tools from the fields of implementation science and knowledge mobilisation to understand and enhance the embedding of innovations in practice.

• Studies to support theoretical development and translation of theory into tools for academic and non-academic – lay and practitioner - users of research knowledge for implementation work 

We bring together different disciplines, including Health Psychology, Medical Sociology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. 



Mandy Cheetham

Tracy Finch

Sebastian Potthoff

Tim Rapley

Tom Sanders

Jason Scott

Michael Sykes

Peter van der Graaf


Research and Innovation highlights

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria (ARC NENC) - Knowledge Mobilisation & Implementation Science (SKIM) theme

ImpleMentAll: Tailored implementation of internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy and ItFits-toolkit

EQUIPD: An evaluation of quality improvement collaboratives aligned to a national audit to improve the uptake of insulin pumps for people with diabetes. NIHR Health & Social Care Delivery Research

Developing, optimising and implementing a blended digital self-management tReatmEnt for FatigUe in multiplE scLerosis (REFUEL-MS). NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Health Research

Evaluation of the health impacts of Universal Credit: a mixed methods study. NIHR Public Health Research

Co-designing tailored strategies for scaling-up Unisus’ wellbeing services using implementation science approaches. Research England.

Process and impact evaluation of C-WorKS; collaborative research project with NIHR ARC NENC (SKIM) to mobilise knowledge across health system on impacts and responses to COVID-19. NIHR ARC NENC.

Implementation of self-management in stroke in Sweden - the SELMA project. Forte Sweden.

What is 'Equivalence' in Police Custody Healthcare? Economic & Social Research Council.


Postgraduate Research Students

Ruth Muscat. Enhancing knowledge mobilisation skills and training for health librarians: comparative case study analysis in the North East and North Cumbria (NENC)

Leah Bührmann. Co-develop and evaluate implementation tools for knowledge mobilisers in the integrated health and social care system across the North East and North Cumbria.


Prospective postgraduate research students are encouraged to enquire with the relevant member of staff. Find out more about postgraduate studies at Northumbria University.



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