Certificate in Implementation Science

Implementation science is the scientific study of methods to promote the use of research findings in real-world practice settings to improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes. Through a combination of virtual didactics, experiential learning, and mentorship, the Penn Implementation Science Certificate Program will equip the next generation of implementation scientists with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct rigorous, contextualized, and meaningful implementation research.

Ideal for scholars interested in developing competencies in implementation science for application to future research endeavors, including researchers seeking NIH K award or equivalent funding. The certificate is also expected to be of interest to implementation practitioners, including people engaged in improvement science.

By the end of the certificate, it is anticipated students will be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamentals of IS, including common frameworks, theories, and models 
  2. Communicate research methods and findings in plain language to diverse audiences  
  3. Interpret how issues of context, justice, and equity influence study design considerations 
  4. Distinguish between multilevel factors which affect implementation at multiple ecological levels (individual, organizational, community, and policy) 
  5. Select appropriate frameworks and models, outcomes, and strategies, and research methods for new implementation research 
  6. Defend importance of inter-disciplinary teams and community partnerships in IS research  
  7. Design rigorous mixed methods IS research which minimizes validity threats  

Based on elective credits, students may also be able to author research proposals which are competitive for grant funding.

  • For more information, check out a link to our webinar overview!
  • Click here if you are interested in becoming a Mentor.
  • Click here to contact our Program Coordinator.

The Summer Application is open until April 1st 2024.

The Fall Application is open until July 5th 2024. 

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Personal Statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Writing Sample
  • Minimum 1 letter of recommendation

The Certificate in Implementation Science requires successful completion of 4 course units (CU).

Core Requirements (3CU)   CU
IMP 6000 Foundations in Implementation Science
*Can substitute HPR 6110: Summer Implementation Science Institute (0.5)
*Can substitute HPR 6200: Implementation Science in Health and Healthcare (1.0)


IMP 6100 Ethics and Equity in Implementation Science 1.0
IMP 6200 Mixed Methods in Implementation Science 1.0
Required Capstone (0.5 CU)
select 1 
IMP 6300 Project Development in Implementation Sciences 0.5
IMP 6400 Practicum in Implementation Science 0.5
Elective Requirement
(0.5-1.0 CU)
HPR 6210 Advanced Topics in Implementation Science 0.5

Or choose from our list of approved electives (see below)

IMP 6000 - Foundations in Implementation Science

The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to the Foundations in Implementation Science (i.e., terminology, conceptual models and frameworks, study design). Participants will develop an in-depth understanding of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of implementation science, preparing them to describe the positionality of their research within the broader field. Relevant theories and frameworks will be addressed in the context of multiple disciplines, such as healthcare, social work, education, and criminal justice. Significant group work will prepare participants to evaluate the appropriate usage of frameworks, theories, and models in the design and execution of IS research.

* There are two alternate completion pathways for IMP 6000; participants may take the summer 4-day virtual Implementation Science Institute for 0.5 CU and complete an additional 0.5 CU elective, OR participants may enroll in HPR 6200: Implementation Science in Health and Healthcare.

*HPR 6200 - Implementation Science in Health and Healthcare

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with the tools to design and execute rigorous implementation science research. The Institute will give an introduction to the foundations of implementation science (i.e., terminology, conceptual models and frameworks, study design). Students will also receive an overview of advanced topics including implementation strategies and sustainability. The course directors will cover tips for grant writing and skills development, and time will be spent writing specific aims for implementation science grants. We will also explicitly describe how principles of implementation science can be applied to practical implementation efforts.

*HPR 6110 - Implementation Science Institute

Participants may take this 4-day Implementation Science Institute for 0.5 CU and complete an independent study for an additional 0.5 CU.

IMP 6100 - Ethics and Equity in Implementation Science

Implementation science introduces a host of issues related to the ethics and equity in care delivery and the conduct of research. We will use case examples from ongoing trials to demonstrate and work through these concepts, including (1) pragmatic tradeoffs (e.g., acceptability and effectiveness) in study design and execution; (2) sustainability and health system integration as up-front considerations; (3) unintended consequences with implications for health equity; and (4) consent in implementation research, considering organizational power and hierarchical relationships. We will highlight future directions for empirical work at the intersection of bioethics and implementation science. We will encourage students to work through these issues in their own research.

Prerequisite: IMP 6000 or Penn Implementation Science Institute or HPR 6200

IMP 6200 - Mixed Methods in Implementation Science

The focus of this course is applying and integrating mixed methods in implementation research/science, with a particular emphasis on incorporating qualitative and mixed methods to design and evaluate implementation trials equitably and sustainably. This course will provide an overview of different ways in which mixed methods can be used across implementation and dissemination research using readings, lectures, case studies, and group discussions. Trainees will gain basic skills in collecting and analyzing qualitative and mixed methods data, ways in which mixed methods can be integrated into different study designs (e.g., pragmatic trials) and innovative approaches such as rapid ethnography and configurational comparative methods. The course will also cover philosophical and theoretical foundations and tensions in the field.

At the end of the course, trainees will be able to:

  1. Design and plan a mixed methods implementation research project.
  2. Identify different forms of mixed methods analysis and how to integrate into study designs.
  3. Critically evaluate the use of methodological paradigms and theoretical models to ensure alignment with implementation targets and strategies.
  4. Identify different ways mixed methods can incorporated across the implementation process from contextual inquiry to implementation trials to policy change. 


  • IMP 6000 or Penn Implementation Science Institute or HPR 6200
  • Prior coursework or training in qualitative research is strongly suggested. Training or experience in public health, epidemiology, quality improvement or health care organization leadership is preferred. 

IMP 6300 - Project Development in Implementation Science

This course offers an opportunity for trainees to apply competencies acquired through the certificate program to address questions related to implementation research and practice. Students will meet weekly as a group to receive guidance and hands-on experience in developing individual proposals in their topical area of interest. At the conclusion of the course, students will have workshopped a proposal suitable for submission, so preference for enrollment will be given to trainees who plan to submit grants within the next year.


IMP 6000, or Penn Implementation Science Institute HPR 6110, or HPR 6200; as well as at least 1 other required certificate course (IMP 6100 or IMP 6200).

IMP 6400 - Practicum in Implementation Science

This course offers an opportunity for trainees to apply competencies in implementation research and practice. Through mentorship from course directors, trainees will receive guidance as they execute individual projects. 

Prerequisite: IMP 6000, or Penn Implementation Science Institute HPR 6110, or HPR 6200; as well as at least 1 other required certificate course (IMP 6100 or IMP 6200).

HPR 6210 - Advanced Topics in Implementation Science in Health

This seminar course offers an opportunity for students to advance their understanding of the thorniest methodological challenges in implementation science. Broadly, topics include study design, study execution, and tensions in the field. The intention will be for attendees to directly apply their learnings to their ongoing or proposed implementation research.

Prerequisite: IMP 6000 or Penn Implementation Science Institute or HPR 6200 

The requirement for elective coursework can be satisfied by the courses listed below:


EPID 5500: Clinical Economics and Decision Making (1 CU)

EPID 5340: Qualitative Methods in the Study of Health, Disease and Medical Systems (1 CU)

EPID 5600: Issues in Research Protocol Development (0.25 CU)

EPID 5840: Health Disparities Research (1 CU)

EPID 7140: Grant Writing (0.5 CU)

HPR 5010: Economics of Health Care Delivery (1 CU)

HPR 5030: Qualitative Methods in Health Research (1 CU)

HPR 5500: Clinical Economics and Clinical Decision Making (1 CU)

HPR 6000: Health Services Research and Innovation Science (1 CU)

HPR 6250: Pragmatic Clinical Trials in Health Care (0.5 CU)

HPR 7140: Grant Writing/Review (0.5 CU)

MTR 6020: Proposal Development (1 CU)

MTR 6040: Scientific and Ethical Conduct (1 CU)

MTR 6230: Writing an NIH Grant (1 CU)

PUBH 5390: Designing Interventions to Promote Health and Reduce Health Disparities (1 CU)

PUBH 5880: Advanced Leadership Skills in Community Health (1 CU)

PUBH 6080: Behavioral Economics and Health (1 CU)

or any instructor approved electives 

Tuition & Fees 

Costs listed below reflect the 2023-2024 academic year. 


0.5 CU

1 CU




Online Services Fee



Technology Fee






  • Tuition rates for the current academic year can be found here.

Tuition Benefits

Depending on your employment status, you may be eligible for tuition benefits. See below.

The University of Pennsylvania

CHOP Staff

Penn Medicine Staff

You can view our Tuition Benefits Tip Sheet here.

Billing Schedule

  • You can find the billing schedule here
  • Penn supports a variety of methods for you to pay your bill each month. Please click here to review payment methods

Questions about your bill? Contact Student Registration and Financial Services.

Any questions regarding tuition should be sent to Penn Student Financial Services.

Student Financial Services Office email: sfamail@pbox.upenn.edu

Phone:  215-898-1988

Fax: 215-573-5428


Executive Director

Meghan Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP, FCCM David E. Longnecker Associate Professor, Anesthesiology and Critical Care; Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine; Executive Director, PISCE

Program Coordinator

Kathryn O'Boyle

Program Faculty

Emily Becker-Haimes, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Amanda Bettencourt, PhD, APRN, CCRN-K, ACCNS-P Assistant Professor, Family and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; Director, Acute Care Implementation Science, PISCE

Christopher Bonafide, MD, MSCE Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine; Director, Pediatric Implementation Research, PISCE

Danielle Cullen, MD, MPH, MSHP Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Rebecca Hamm, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Katharine Rendle, PhD, MSW, MPH Assistant Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health & Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine; Director, Cancer Implementation Research, PISCE

Sarita Sonalkar, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rebecca Stewart, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Courtney Benjamin Wolk, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine; Director, Mental Health Implementation Research, PISCE

Charlotte Woods-Hill, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care