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Implementation science: If it's not knowledge translation, and not change management, what is it?

The Institute of Health Economics is pleased to present a breakfast keynote presentation for policy leaders, healthcare providers, managers, and researchers involved in the planning and implementation of health innovation, with renowned speaker Dr. Carl May, Professor of Medical Sociology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The breakfast keynote presentation will be followed with a two-day workshop led by Dr. May and Dr. Tracy Finch, Professor of Healthcare & Implementation Science at Northumbria University, titled Igniting innovation and thinking through implementation with Normalization Process Theory (NPT). Participants are asked to register for the keynote presentation and two-day workshop individually.

Presentation Details

Date: September 3, 2019
Time: 8:30 am - 9:00 am (networking breakfast); 9:00 am - 10:30 am (keynote presentation)
Venue: Peter Lougheed Hall, City Room, 11011 Saskatchewan Drive
Location: Edmonton AB


Keynote presentation registration link:

Registration is required to attend this event, as seating for this event is limited. Register today!

Please note: This event is sold out! If you wish to attend, kindly register to be on our waitlist; we will notify you if a spot becomes available


Recent years have seen an enormous growth in interest in implementation science as a field. Implementation scientists, masters and doctoral programs in implementation science, and implementation research centres have proliferated. The rapidity of this change has been startling, and it has accelerated in the past five years. The important claim of implementation science is that the combination of relevant theory and rigorous research methods will lead to improvements in our capacity to engineer two kinds of improvement in health, healthcare practice, and healthcare systems:

  1. The effective translation of high qualitive evidence into practice through the application of behaviour change techniques that are focused on individuals and populations.
  2. The effective transformation of healthcare practices and systems through the application of practice implementation models that are focused on collectives and systems.

These involve very different ways of seeing the world. The first draws on something that Canada has always been very famous for—research on knowledge translation and mobilization—but is anchored in psychological theories of individual behaviour. The second draws on a wider range of theories and investigative techniques that are concerned with change, but are anchored in a long history of research on the dynamics of collective action, the diffusion of innovations, and the behaviour of complex social networks and groups.

In this talk, Dr. Carl May will do four things. First, Dr. May will explore the implications of these two approaches for implementation practice in the real world. Second, he will consider their implications for understanding the complicated and difficult tasks involved in engineering the successful implementation of innovations in the delivery and organization of health care. Third, he will reflect on experiences of implementation processes in Australia, the UK, and the US as examples of the interaction between science and real-world practices. Finally, he will offer a brief introduction to a simple model of implementation processes that incorporates both individual behaviours and collective action.

Want to register for the two-day session as well? Click here:

For more information or questions, please contact hprice@ihe.ca.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Carl May
Professor, Medical Sociology
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Carl May profile pictureCarl May is Professor of Medical Sociology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has previously held chairs at the Universities of Newcastle and Southampton in the UK and is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Primary Care at Melbourne University, Australia. He is a former NIHR Senior Investigator and has been a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2006.

Carl works closely with clinical researchers, and his work has focused on developing a richer understanding of the development and implementation of innovative healthcare technologies and other complex healthcare interventions. His work in this field includes leading the project to develop Normalization Process Theory (NPT). NPT helps us to understand the factors that promote and inhibit the effective adoption, implementation, and integration of new technologies and new ways of working in healthcare. Carl’s theoretical work has informed more than 200 published protocols, empirical studies and systematic reviews.