Implementation research for digital technologies and tuberculosis

Implementation research for digital technologies and tuberculosis

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Module 1 Generic proposal template

Implementation research proposal template

  • Research team: Name SURNAME1 Name SURNAME2, Name SURNAME3, add names as required
  • Affiliations: 1 Organization, Department: City, Country
    2 Organization, Department: City, Country
    3 Organization, Department: City, Country
    add affiliations as required
  • Version:
  • Date:
  • Rationale and literature review
  • Problem statement
  • Research objective
  • Research questions
  • Study design
  • Research outcomes
  • Study population
  • Setting
  • Participants
  • Sampling and recruitment
  • Intervention/ Implementation strategy
  • Data collection
  • Data management and analysis
  • Quality assurance
  • Ethics
  • Research team and governance
  • Project plan
  • Budget
  • Risk assessment
  • Monitoring plan
  • Dissemination plan
  • Informed consent form
  • Data collection tools
  • CVs of key study staff
  • Reference list
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GANTT chart template

GANTT chart
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Example job descriptions for key research team staff

Principal investigator (PI)

The PI assumes overall responsibility for all research activities and is a nominated person on the protocol and in any ethics committee applications.

Roles and responsibilities:
  • oversees the development of the research protocol and ethical clearance;
  • liaises with partners and stakeholders outside the survey team, such as local research institutions, other government departments and possibly the funding agency;
  • secures and reports on funding for the survey, ensuring that funds are managed according to requirements;
  • takes lead role in identifying and appointing other key research staff such as survey coordinator, data manager or data analysts;
  • maintains and ensures the quality of the study's conduct and writes final study reports or papers, ensuring that it is disseminated to the key stakeholders identified during the stakeholder analysis; and
  • takes a lead role in the dissemination of results with stakeholders (health and non-health).
Key tasks:
  • ensures that study implementation and analysis are conducted according to the protocol and the analysis plan;
  • discusses problems encountered during the survey, and proposes and decides on solutions in collaboration with the broader research team;
  • endorses the survey results; and
  • provides support to research team and stakeholders in translating study results into policy/programmatic recommendations and outcomes.
  • preferably at least five years of managerial experience in the field of public health;
  • strong managerial skills, including an ability to delegate;
  • familiar with TB management, and ideally the implementation of digital health technologies; and
  • knowledge of implementation research.

The day-to-day management of the study is the responsibility of the research coordinator who may be a ministry of health staff member, associated with the national institute for health (or related entity), a university faculty member or someone from an external organization such as an independent research institute. The research coordinator should report to the PI. The main work of the research coordinator is managing the implementation of the study. If possible, this person should be actively involved in the design of the study and protocol development. The research coordinator supervises the work of the data collectors or other field staff. This requires close collaboration between the research coordinator and data collectors, either via direct supervision or regular reports from the staff.

Roles and responsibilities:
  • oversees the day-to-day management of the study;
  • assists the PI in the design of the study;
  • prepares any training or research materials;
  • prepares any standard operating procedures for quality management;
  • trains data collectors on use of research instruments, data collection procedures, quality management processes, etc.;
  • supervises data collection through site visits or through periodic reports; and
  • monitors operational implementation of the study.
Key tasks:
  • coordinates overall implementation of study;
  • plans field implementation and required training, including preparation of training materials;
  • oversees the writing of standard operating procedures if required;
  • ensures quality assurance processes are implemented according to the protocol;
  • supervises implementation of study or intervention;
  • plans and coordinates monitoring visits among data collectors/ research assistants and other partners involved in study implementation;
  • supervises distribution of budget funds and accountable for the same (if delegated by the PI);
  • oversees or leads analysis of the results;
  • organizes the writing of activity reports and the final report;
  • plans detailed study budget; periodically reports to funders on fund utilization (as per contract);
  • provides any required logistic support for the research team;
  • liaises with the principal investigator on a regular basis; and
  • provides the principal investigator with updates.
  • preferably at least three years of research experience in the field of public health;
  • strong managerial and coordination skills;
  • knowledge of implementation research; and
  • experience with implementation and /or evaluation of digital health technologies.

The data manager is responsible for managing data collected by interviewers. This person should have some expertise in data management for public health research, and prior experience in managing datasets would be highly beneficial. Depending on the tools used for data collection, the manager should also be familiar with online data collection systems, including being able to troubleshoot and rectify any data collection problems. Depending on the composition of the survey team, the data manager will usually report to the PI.

Roles and responsibilities:
  • coordinates data management activities for the study, such as receiving, cleaning, and storing data;
  • responsible for the validation of manual data entry (if using paper-based research tools) ;
  • ensures adequate data storage and back up;
  • develops/manages data entry software;
  • contributes to results analysis (led by data analyst); and
  • regularly liaises with the survey coordinator; and immediately reports problems in data management.
  • proven experience in leading and motivating teams;
  • proven and extensive experience with managing data for public health research, including quality control for datasets;
  • experience in analysing data to provide summary statistics; and
  • experience in troubleshooting data collection problems including the identification of systematic entry and ad hoc errors.

The data analyst is responsible for data cleaning and analysis throughout the study and also periodic data cleaning in coordination with the data manager. The data analyst can be an existing member of the research team, or someone external to the team (for example, from the ministry of health or an external organization) and does not need to work full time on the study. Local universities or research institutes can often be good places to identify a data analyst. Data analysis may be undertaken by the PI or the data manager if he/she is a health economist, economist or statistician with experience in such surveys. Therefore, a dedicated person for this function is optional. However, if this person is not included in the research team, the roles and responsibilities need to be absorbed by another member of the team, for instance by the PI.

Roles and responsibilities:
  • undertakes regular data analysis throughout the survey to monitor data quality; and
  • undertakes data analysis at the completion of the survey and shares it with the research team.
  • experience and or qualifications in health economics, statistics or similar (depending on the scope of the research);
  • experience in cleaning and analysing data (specific to study type – e.g. qualitative or quantitative); and
  • knowledge of online data collection tools (if applicable).

Budget template

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Risk mitigation template

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