Developing Dissemination and Implementation Capacity within a CTSA: A Toolkit

*Free registration is required to use the toolkits provided within HIPxChange. This information is required by our funders and is used to determine the impact of the materials posted on the website.


The NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program exists to help turn research from the lab, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public at large. The field of dissemination and implementation (D&I) has essentially the same goal. Building the D&I capacity of CTSA grantees can substantially further a CTSA’s mission.

The University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW) has been a NIH CTSA grantee (or hub) since 2007, with three consecutive awards. The UW hub, called the Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ICTR), is one of 61 CTSA grantees nationwide. Within ICTR, the Community-Academic Partnerships program (ICTR-CAP) supports statewide multi-disciplinary, community-partnered research to solve problems in translating knowledge into improvements in clinical practice, community health programs, and health policy with the goal of improving human health and reducing health disparities. ICTR-CAP is organized as a federation of programs mobilized to support its mission. At present the ICTR-CAP federation includes 39 programs and centers across UW-Madison and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, with about half of the federation partners receiving ICTR-CAP funds.

To prepare for the CTSA grant renewal application in 2011, ICTR-CAP engaged federation program leaders in a strategic planning activity to identify barriers to the dissemination and implementation of UW research. This activity revealed a gap in resources to support D&I, reducing the overall impact of research supported by the CTSA. The specific gaps identified during this process and the strategies to address them are described in this paper: Quanbeck A, Mahoney J, Kies, K, Judge K, Smith M. Building D&I capacity within a CTSA: a toolkit, The Journal of Clinical and Translational Research, forthcoming in 2020. In response to the identified needs, ICTR-CAP launched two separate cores in 2013, one focused on supporting D&I research, the other on supporting D&I activities. Because the work of the two cores was so closely related, they later merged into one that is now called the D&I Launchpad. Current D&I Launchpad services include education and training (e.g., the annual D&I short course); community outreach; research consulting; assistance in developing dissemination products and plans; and implementation support. More on D&I Launchpad resources here:

This toolkit describes several UW CTSA initiatives to support dissemination and implementation research and activities in recent years (2013-2019). We hope the practical information offered might be useful to other CTSA programs interested in developing D&I resources within their own institution.

Who should use this toolkit?

This toolkit should be used by CTSA program leaders seeking to build D&I capacity within their CTSAs.

What does the toolkit contain?

The toolkit describes resources and activities developed to build D&I capacity at UW’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. It includes attachments that might serve as models, examples, or templates to adapt. All documents are in PDF format.

How should these tools be used?

The plans, models, and descriptions in the toolkit are intended as practical aids. They’re meant to be used or not, and to be modified or used as is, in whatever way best serves the goals of the capacity-building effort being undertaken.

Development of this toolkit

The Developing Dissemination and Implementation Capacity Within a CTSA Toolkit was created by researchers and clinicians (Principal Investigator: Andrew Quanbeck, PhD) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine & Public Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Toolkit development was supported in part by Clinical and Translational Science Award 1UL1TR002373-01 from NCATS. Dr. Quanbeck is supported by grants from NIDA (1R01DA047279-01, 1K01DA039336) and NIAAA (1R01AA024150-01A1). Dr. Quanbeck is an investigator with the Implementation Research Institute (IRI), at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. He is also supported through an award from the National Institute of Mental Health (5R25MH08091607) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). The funders had no role in preparing this toolkit.

Please send questions, comments and suggestions to


Quanbeck A, Mahoney J, Kies K, Judge K, Smith M. Building capacity for dissemination and implementation to maximize research impact in a CTSA: the University of Wisconsin storyJ Clin and Translational Sci. 2020; 1-25.

Toolkit Citation

Quanbeck A, Mahoney J, Kies, K, Judge K, Smith M. Developing Dissemination and Implementation Capacity Within a CTSA: A Toolkit. University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine and Public Health – Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Health Innovation Program, Dissemination and Implementation Launchpad. Madison, WI; 2019. Available at:


About the Authors

Jane Mahoney, MD is a Professor in the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology. She is Director of the Community-Academic Aging Research Network and also of the Dissemination and Implementation Launchpad within University of Wisconsin’s NIH-CTSA funded Institute of Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Mahoney has conducted a prospective cohort study on risk factors for falls after hospital discharge and two randomized trials of multifactorial interventions to reduce falls. She has conducted dissemination and implementation research on the Stepping On Falls Prevention Program, resulting in its spread across 23 states and most counties in Wisconsin.

Kim Kies, PhD, MPH, MA is a Scientist at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Dissemination and Implementation Launchpad. Dr. Kies’s research examines the influence of strategies for shifting perspectives of researchers and implementers to allow for broadening their thinking and skills for designing and implementing interventions.

Kate Judge, MSSW is a Research Program Coordinator for the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH). In this role, Kate helps faculty navigate department and campus resources to develop, implement or disseminate their scholarly work. With a special emphasis on junior CHS-track faculty, Kate provides individual consultations in support of research and scholarship activities, better integrating the DFMCH missions of clinical care, education and research.

Dr. Maureen Smith, MD, PhD, MPH is a Professor in the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Departments of Population Health Sciences and Family Medicine & Community Health and Director of UW Health Innovation Program as well as Director of the Community Academic Partnerships core of the NIH-CTSA funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Smith's research program examines the effectiveness of our health care system for aging and chronically ill persons.

Mondira Saha-Muldowney is the Department Administrator in the College of Engineering.