Implementation science in the time of Covid-19

This year's conference theme is 'Supporting the pandemic response? Implementation science in the time of Covid-19'. 

Under this theme, we will showcase implementation research that has directly informed the Covid-19 pandemic response as well as work that is more broadly relevant – for example, research that is supporting long-term changes in practice or public health policy.

We aim to be self-critical of the science – asking not only how implementation science has helped the pandemic response, but also how it may have done more or what it may have done differently. What lessons can we take from this in developing the field in the future?

Read this editorial published in Implementation Science, which explores some of these issues.  

A multidisciplinary conference to improve health and care

Now in its fourth year, the 2021 conference will bring together online researchers, policymakers, clinicians, practitioners and service users from around the world. 

Together we will share the best ways to implement evidence-based health and social care research within services and systems to improve health and care outcomes. 

Smooth online delivery, great mix of science and practice, great global representation

A delegate from 2020

Leading experts confirmed as plenary speakers

We have five leading international implementation science and public health experts confirmed as plenary speakers, all of whom have been involved in the Covid-19 pandemic response. They are:  

Barbara Gray, CEO Urban Dandelion CIC, Health Inequalities Advisor to Lewisham Mayor and Council. Barbara is the founder and CEO of Urban Dandelion CIC, a social enterprise specialising in community and neighbourhood regeneration. She is also the health inequalities advisor to the Mayor and Council of Lewisham, where she advises on addressing inequalities in population health in the south-east London borough.

In her plenary lecture, Implementation fidelity: Loyalty to process implementation or loyalty to patient wellbeing, health equity and race? Barbara will examine whether loyalty to implementation fidelity comes at the expense of diverse communities and groups within our society.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh

Professor Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health sciences, University of Oxford. Trish is an internationally recognised academic in primary health care, who trained as a GP. Early in the pandemic, Trish played a leading role in arguing for the precautionary wearing of face masks, when this was not yet public health policy in the UK (read more about Trish's Covid research).  

In her plenary lecture, Crisis? What crisis? Implementation science research in a global pandemic, Trish will examine how uncertainty, urgency and threat (Boin et al) have shaped and constrained the response of implementation science to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Susan Michie

Professor Susan Michie, professor of health psychology, and director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL. Susan is a member of the UK's Covid-19 Behavioural Science Advisory Group and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours, a sub-group of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). She also sits on the Independent SAGE committee, and frequently contributes to national media. 

In her plenary lecture, Susan will discuss: Implementing evidence into policy and practice: was there a gap in the science informing the UK’s Covid-19 response?, drawing on her experience on both SAGE and Independent SAGE. 

Rohina Joshi

Associate professor Rohina Joshi, a Scientia fellow in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney holds an honorary appointment at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Rohina is a public health physician who works on developing low-cost healthcare models for chronic disease management in resource-limited settings. Read about Rohina’s research

In her plenary lecture, Rohina will explore the Delivery of primary health services in low- and middle-income countries during Covid-19, drawing on examples from India, Mexico and South Africa.

Habib Naqvi

Dr Habib Naqvi is director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, which leads work nationally on identifying and tackling ethnic health inequalities. Habib joined the NHS in 2001, managing large public health research programmes in the south-west of England. 

In his plenary lecture, Habib will discuss The impact of race and ethnicity on people’s health: learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The conference programme 

The virtual conference will feature plenary lectures from leading international researchers. It will also include oral and poster presentations organised under specialist themes, roundtable discussions, question and answer sessions, and online networking.

**View the programme here**   

The conference is organised to accommodate different time zones. In addition, all plenary lectures and poster presentations are available to watch for 60 days after the conference.  

You can also read about last year's conference:

Submit your abstract 

We will share high-quality, original research from around the world at the conference.

Please send us your abstracts for research that relates to this year's conference theme, as well as research more broadly related to implementation science applied to health and social care.

Download the abstract submission form and guidance here

The deadline for oral-poster submissions has been extended: Monday 31 May 2021, 12pm GMT.

Please note: the deadline for oral presentations has now passed.  

If your abstract is accepted, it will be published in the journal Implementation Science.

Conference fees

Full fees are: £165

Discounts available for NHS staff / UK-IS members / ARC staff / charity and NGO staff / service users, students, and those from low- and middle-income countries. Full information.   

Register here for the conference

This year, we are also holding the Implementation Science Masterclass online in June and July. 

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please email arcshortcourses@kcl.ac.uk

For the latest updates on the conference, follow ARC South London on Twitter #ImpSci21

I was impressed by the speakers and quality of the talks, multitude of resources, posters, and the organisation of the conference

A delegate from 2020

Well organised given the complexity with online and times zones. Team very supportive. Speakers great quality! Great engagement during the sessions too. Will definitely attend even if we are still via Zoom in 2021!

A delegate from 2020

Conference organisers and supporters 

The conference is being organised by the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London. It is supported by NIHR ARC South London, the UK Implementation Society, King's Health Partners, and BMC, the publishers of Implementation Science

Frontiers in Health Services - Call for submissions for research topic - 'Supporting the pandemic response? Implementation science in the time of Covid-19'

This call is open to papers presented at the Implementation Science Research Conference, as well as submissions from individuals who did not attend the conference, but are undertaking research relevant to the Research Topic. Building upon the conference theme, the Research Topic aims to showcase implementation research that has directly informed the Covid-19 pandemic response globally. The Research Topic further aims to include research and evaluation work that is more broadly relevant – for example, research that is supporting long-term changes in clinical practice or public health policy that the pandemic has sparked. Read more about submission details.

The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2022.