16 Dec 2020

Dr Hossai Gul from Macquarie University, Australia, won the best oral presentation for her work on 'Combining implementation research with implementation practice to translate evidence-based interventions into routine care within complex adaptive systems.’ Watch the winning presentation

1. What were you expecting from a virtual conference and why did you attend?

I honestly had no expectations on what a virtual conference would be like back in July; was glad it wasn’t cancelled all together as I had travel plans to attend in person for the entire implementation week! The UK Imp Sci conference has emerged as a leading global implementation science event and I had heard such great things from my supervisor Dr Steph Best who attended the 2019 conference.

Dr Hossai Gul

2, Can you give us a brief overview of the research that you presented (eg what was the research problem, how did you address it and what was the result)?

I presented a framework called SPAIR (Systems-informed Participatory Action Implementation Research) which is the amalgamation of different approaches to inquiry such as systems science, participatory action research, and implementation science. SPAIR is the methodological anchoring of my PhD work. The aim of my work is not only to understand the problem but to solve it, in real time, so there is impact on the services and systems involved. SPAIR has been helpful in anchoring my pragmatic, action-oriented research.


3. How did you find the poster viewing and oral presentations? Which posters/oral presentations did you find the interesting and why?

The oral presentations were excellent quality and the engagement via Zoom was surprisingly high! The poster presentations were so much fun via Zoom and I had some great 1-on-1 discussions with presenters, the format of popping into their Zoom room worked great! John Øvretveit’s talk on response to COVID was one of my favourites, as well as Julia Moore’s on imp sci capability building – both such great examples of different ways implementation science can be so relevant to practice and policy.

4.  How was the experience of presenting your research?

I think I was first in my session and had 60+ implementation researchers and practitioners log in from around the globe to listen and ask so many questions which was such a treat! It was so great to nerd out with other Imp Sci geeks!

5. Which of the sessions (Meet the experts, panel discussions, plenaries etc) did you enjoy most and why? 

Implementation science conferences focused on healthcare are rare, so to have every session be so relevant and showcase different areas and ways implementation science is used in healthcare was brilliant. I was engaged and giddy until the last session despite it being 3am in Sydney. Panel discussions amongst experts were a delight!

6. What were the positives / negatives of the virtual conference format in comparison with a physical conference? Would you go to another event like this?

Main positive of a virtual conference is the accessibility - I think given the circumstances in my personal life I would not have been able to travel to the UK in July, but virtually it worked extremely well. I suppose because all attendees were also virtual. The negative is that lack of personal connection. I had been waiting to meet a few imp sci friends in real life and spend time with their teams, so those other satellite opportunities around physical conferences that are diminished when it is completely virtual ones. And of course, who doesn’t miss the actual travel component and seeing different cultures and places, and food!

7. What were the highlights for you? Do you have any key takeaway learning?

I particularly loved this year’s theme - maximising relevance for practice and policy. There has been so much great work done in implementation research and the different frameworks and tools available for implementation researchers. There is a big gap on the practice side. Most of the clinical and management teams I work with have very high regard for implementation science but find it very challenging to navigate all the research stuff to find tools and knowledge accessible to them that can be applied practically to their situation. It was great to see practitioners alongside researchers in this year’s conference and the explicit focus on expanding the types of implementation research we conduct so we can increase relevance to practice and policy, especially now that healthcare budgets will be tight globally for the next few years.

Twitter: @HossaiGul