Jensen, T. M., Metz, A. J., Disbennett, M. E., & Farley, A. B. (2023). Developing a practice-driven research agenda in implementation science: Perspectives from experienced implementation support practitioners. Implementation Research and Practice, 4. https://doi.org/10.1177/26334895231199063
In the field of implementation science, increasing attention is being placed on the “ironic gap” or “secondary” research-to-practice gap. This gap reflects a general lag or disconnect between implementation research and implementation practice, often stemming from knowledge generated by implementation research not being accessible to or applied by professionals who support implementation efforts in various service-delivery systems. Several explanations for the research-to-practice gap in implementation science have been offered in recent years; the authors highlight one notable challenge that may be exacerbating the research-to-practice gap in this field, namely that implementation research often remains disconnected from the lived experiences of implementation support practitioners. In this paper, the authors demonstrate the promise of developing a practice-drive research agenda in implementation science, with specific research question ideas offered by highly experienced implementation support practitioners. The paper concludes by expressing enthusiasm for future efforts to bring implementation research and implementation practice together more closely, empirically foreground practice-driven implementation research questions, translate and disseminate existing implementation research findings more widely, and build the capacity of implementation support practitioners to fully engage with the implementation science literature.