Project Portfolio

The NIRN Project Portfolio below outlines the range of NIRN activities and projects taking place now and in recent years.

Current Projects

State Implementation and Scaling-Up of Evidence-Based Practices (SISEP) Center
Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education
Funding Period: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2022
Award Amount: $5,500,000
Principal Investigators: Caryn Ward, Dale Cusumano 
Effective implementation capacity is essential to improving education. The SISEP Center supports education systems in creating implementation capacity for evidence‐based practices benefiting students with disabilities. Project funding is by the Office of Special Education Programs.
 
Collective Impact Evaluation
Funding Agency: The Duke Endowment
Funding Period: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2018
Award Amount: $118,982
Principal Investigators: Allison Metz, Noreen Yazejian, Kirsten Kainz
The purpose of this project is to serve as the overall implementation evaluation lead for an expected 10-year initiative, taking primary responsibility for designing and conducting a comprehensive implementation evaluation, while also coordinating and aggregating the evaluative activities and results of several partner organizations to ensure that data and findings are synthesized and packaged to support learning and continuous improvement. During the initial six months, we will work closely with the funders and implementing partners as they finalize theories of change and develop detailed plans for the initiative. In conjunction with other evaluation partners, we will develop a comprehensive plan for the 10-year evaluation.
 
National Implementation Research Network Support to NC Community Care Networks
Funding Agency: Community Care of North Carolina
Funding Period: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2018
Award Amount: $100,000
Principal Investigator: Laura Louison
The National Implementation Research Network will partner with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) to build the capacity of CCNC to effectively use Active Implementation Frameworks through coaching an Implementation Team and related Design and Leadership Teams. With support from NIRN, the Implementation Team will define and operationalize the roles, core components, and activities of CCNC’s support model for clients, regional networks, and medical practices. The Implementation Team will also assess and identify infrastructure and supports for implementation.
 
Steps to Success and New Jersey Blueprint to Support Evidence Use in Child Welfare
Funding Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Funding Period: 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2018
Award Amount: $300,000
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
The scope of work includes developing the implementation learning strategy for the EBPG, conducting implementation team meetings with Results Count and Two-Generation initiatives, drafting the Steps to Success Playbook, developing an action plan for the New Jersey Blueprint to support the use of evidence in child welfare, assessing project performance, and initiating planning for an implementation science convening.
 
District Capacity Assessment Technical Validation
Funding Agency: University of Oregon
Funding Period: 02/01/2018 – 08/30/2018
Award Amount: $27,923
Principal Investigators: Caryn Ward, Margaret Burchinal
The purpose of this project is to establish the psychometric properties of the District Capacity Assessment (DCA; Ward, St. Martin, Horner, Duda, Ingram-West, Tedesco, Putnam, Buenrostro, & Chaparro, 2015). Specifically, the internal structure and test-retest reliability of the DCA will be developed and a professional paper will be published summarizing the results.
 
Partnership with Casey Family Programs and Colorado Department of Human Services to Develop a Predictive Analytics Practice Model to Reduce Children's Reentry into Foster Care
Funding Agency: Casey Family Programs
Funding Period: 04/01/2017 – 12/31/2017; 01/01/2018 – 12/31/2018
Award Amount: $75,000; $75,000
Principal Investigators: Allison Metz, Leah Bartley, Dale Cusumano
The Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Welfare (DCW) has partnered with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s National Implementation Resource Network (NIRN), Casey Family Programs, and Eckerd to develop and pilot a predictive analytics plus coaching practice model to address reentry of children/youth to foster care. The desired outcome of these efforts is to reduce the number of children/youth requiring subsequent child welfare involvement and/or reentry into foster care. NIRN will support this effort through the following tasks: 1) virtually support the ongoing development of the Exploration and Implementation Teams; 2) support the identification of core components for the practice model for sustainable permanency; 3) continue a limited diagnostic phase, support the development of an implementation plan; 4) participate in meeting; and 5) provide documentation.
 
NIRN Implementation Research: Wake County Public Schools
Funding Agency: Wake County Public School System
Funding Period: 03/01/2016 – 06/30/2018
Award Amount: $59,273
Principal Investigator: Caryn Ward
The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is providing technical assistance to Wake County Public School System (North Carolina) in conducting their Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) implementation evaluation. The TA consists of providing training and coaching on the Drivers Best Practices Assessment and the Observational Tool for Instructional Supports and Systems (OTISS).
 
National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning
Funding Agency: Zero to Three
Funding Period: 09/30/2015 – 09/29/2020
Award Amount: $9,662,884
Principal Investigators: Allison Metz, Noreen Yazejian, Pamela Winton
NIRN and the FPG Child Development Institute (FPG) are partnering with Zero to Three (ZTT) to support the Office of Head Start’s National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCDTL). The implementation science work focuses on four major activities: 1) building implementation science capacity; 2) designing and supporting a performance evaluation; 3) providing cross-sector partnership and leadership with activities conducted by the National Center; and 4) providing content area expertise.
 
Capacity Building and Evaluation to Support the Implementation of Healthy Places North Carolina
Funding Agency: Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
Funding Period: 10/01/2014 – 12/31/2018
Award Amount: $275,000
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust seeks to create the conditions for initial, sustainable, and dramatic improvements in health in selected counties in North Carolina through the Healthy Places North Carolina (HPNC) initiative. NIRN will support the implementation of HPNC in Years 1 and 2 through six major tasks: 1) facilitate PO Learning Collaborative and provide competency-based coaching; 2) evolve and refine the HPNC PO practice profile; 3) assess and support development of core implementation supports across the HPNC initiative; 4) contribute to product development and dissemination activities; 5) contribute to developing an initiative-wide capacity building strategy with Regional Support Organizations and Strategic Partners; and 6) participate in overall HPNC learning and initiative development.
 
 
NIRN Projects through UNC School of Public Health
National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center
Funding Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Funding Period: 2013–2016; 2016–2021
Award Amount: $1,740,000 annually
Principal Investigator: Dorothy Cilenti
The National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center builds maternal and child heath workforce capacity to advance health transformation broadly in three core areas: systems integration, evidence-based decision making and implementation, and change management/adaptive leadership. The center also engages graduate and undergraduate students who are considering careers in public health/MCH.
 
Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs
Funding Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Funding Period: 2018-2023
Award Amount: $700,000 annually
Principal Investigator: Dorothy Cilenti
Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs provides technical assistance to public health professionals supporting the Title V Maternal and Child Health block grant program to help them sharpen their skills to identify, develop, and improve Evidence-based/informed Strategies Measures to advance national performance measures among their populations and to address questions of how to choose, implement, and evaluate programs based on evidence more broadly.
 
Improving Community Outcomes for Maternal and Child Health – The Maternal and Child Health Initiative
Funding Agency: NC Division of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health
Funding Period: 2016-2020
Award Amount: $2,500,000 annually
Principal Investigator: Dorothy Cilenti
The Maternal and Child Health Initiative was established to provide a competitive grants process among local health departments to provide funding to achieve improved birth outcomes, reduced infant mortality and improved health among children aged 0-5. Five sites across North Carolina (14 counties total) are funded to implement select evidence based public health strategies through collaborative partnerships. In the first year of the second two-year cycle, the program was designed and launched with input from NIRN through the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center.
 
KidsReadyNC
Funding Agencies: North Carolina State University Institute for Emerging Issues, The Belk Foundation, and The Duke Endowment
Funding Period: 2018-2019
Principal Investigator: North Carolina State University Institute for Emerging Issues
KidsReadyNC is an 18-month initiative to help four lower resourced NC communities strengthen the capacity of their local early childhood development systems. Each community is focused on a specific NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (“Pathways”) measure of success (e.g. social emotional well-being). Participating communities are contributing funds and local resources while also receiving tools, technical assistance and access to a peer learning network, all designed to boost capacity and improve early childhood outcomes. NIRN is working with a core team to design a responsive package of technical assistance. NIRN staff are leading on two package components, 1) Applied use of Results based Accountability to build out collaborative strategies to address prioritized goals; and 2) Active Implementation capacity building and support to enhance the long-term impact and viability of the prioritized strategies. 
 
NIRN Projects through UNC School of Medicine
Perinatal Neonatal Outreach Coordinator
Center for Maternal and Infant Health, UNC Medical School
Funding Agency: NC State Division of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health
Funding Period: February 2018 – June 2020
Award Amount: $600,000
Principal Investigator: Kathryn Menard
The North Carolina Division of Public Health Women’s Branch is partnering with the Center for Maternal and Infant Health to improve the health of women and infants through the outcomes of this project in perinatal region IV. The project is charged with closing two perinatal gaps for North Carolina: the ability to assess current risk-appropriate care being provided within regional systems in North Carolina and to improve consumer access to long active reversible contraceptives.
 
NIRN Projects through UNC School of Pharmacy
Enhancing Performance in Primary Care Medical Practice through Implementation of Comprehensive Medication Management
Funding Agency: American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and ACCP Research Institute
Funding Period: 2015-2018
Award Amount: $2,400,000
Principal Investigators: Mary Roth McClurg, Todd Sorensen
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy partnered to demonstrate the value-added role of the clinical pharmacist as an integral member of the health care team in optimizing medication use and improving patient care.
 

Completed Projects

State Implementation and Scaling-Up of Evidence-Based Practices (SISEP) Center
Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education
Funding Period: 01/01/2013 – 12/31/2017
Award Amount: $5,498,805
Principal Investigators: Dean Fixsen, Barbara Sims
Effective implementation capacity is essential to improving education. The SISEP Center supports education systems in creating implementation capacity for evidence‐based practices benefiting students with disabilities. In this grant cycle, the SISEP Center focused on defining, establishing, and beginning to evaluate foundations for this work within a handful of select states. Project funding was by the Office of Special Education Programs.
 
Collaboration Between NCSI and SISEP Centers
Funding Agency: WestEd
Funding Period: 10/01/2016 – 09/30/2017
Award Amount: $83,000
Principal Investigator: Kathleen Ryan Jackson
Consistent with the commitment of OSEP to a focus on Implementation Science in the process of the State Systemic Improvement Plan, the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI; at WestEd) and the State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center (SISEP; at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) collaborated to build the Implementation Science fluency of an internal NCSI Implementation Team for use in support of SEA Implementation Teams, and to track and evaluate SEA implementation capacity through the use of the State Capacity Assessment.
 
National Implementation Science Research Network's Active Implementation Model
Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Justice
Funding Period: 09/15/2016 – 09/14/2017
Award Amount: $116,547
Principal Investigator: Dean Fixsen
National Institute of Corrections (NIC) staff were trained broadly on the fundamentals of implementation science (i.e., implementation teams, stages, drivers, and improvement cycles). At the same time, NIC worked to inform NIRN of best practices in the field of corrections, as well as the common barriers to successful implementation in the field of corrections.
 
SISEP-NCDPI-OEL
Funding Agency: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Funding Period: 02/14/2014 – 12/31/2014; 06/23/2015 – 06/30/2017
Award Amount: $50,000; $130,000
Principal Investigator: Barbara Sims
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) Office of Early Learning (OEL) was required to develop and implement a kindergarten through third grade formative assessment, including a kindergarten entry assessment process. NIRN provided expertise to assist the OEL with the planning, development, and implementation processes.
 
New Jersey Department of Children and Families Evidence Based Practices
Funding Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Funding Period: 05/01/2016 – 04/30/2017
Award Amount: $239,820
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) overarching goal is to increase access and appropriate utilization of trauma informed evidence-based programming for the purpose of improving outcomes for children and families. DCF is committed to integrating evidence-based practices into their service array and recognizes the important role they can play in improving outcomes for children and families and supporting the systems improvement goals outlined in DCF’s Strategic Plan. The Department leveraged this funding opportunity to gain technical assistance and support from NIRN to develop a blueprint for how DCF and their provider partners will approach successful integration of evidence-based practices into the service array.
 
Active Implementation Frameworks to Support Effective Implementation of Family Success Centers
Funding Agency: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Funding Period: 03/01/2016 – 02/28/2017
Award Amount: $250,269
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
NIRN worked to support quality implementation of Family Success Centers (FSCs) in New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, using the Active Implementation approach. The Active Implementation approach involves four major goals: 1) define and operationalize the roles, functions, and core activities of the FSC practitioners; 2) assist the FSCs in refining their way of work as they engage with families through usability testing processes; 3) assess and identify the infrastructure and supports needed to ensure high quality implementation of defined FSC functions; and 4) build the initial capacity of DCF, Rutgers University, and FSC staff to effectively use Active Implementation Frameworks as they assist FSCs in consistent and effective implementation of practices.  This project addressed the first two goals of Active Implementation.
 
North Carolina Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Support
Funding Agency: North Carolina Division of Child Development
Funding Period: 01/01/2014 – 12/31/2015; 01/01/2016 – 12/31/2016
Award Amount: $2,281,902; $828,238
Funding Agency: Office of the North Carolina Governor
Funding Period: 05/01/ 2012 – 12/31/2013
Award Amount: $1,728,847
Principal Investigators: Kristen Guillory, Allison Metz
FPG provided support and expertise to successfully implement the North Carolina Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant. North Carolina's RTT-ELC grant was a federally funded initiative jointly administered by the US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The grant included 18 projects designed to ensure that children with high needs have access to effective and high quality early learning and development programs. FPG helped support the overall management of the grant, provided leadership on the Early Childhood Integrated Data System project and on the Transformation Zone activities and expertise about implementation science, as well as other content expertise as needed.
 
Partnership in Using Implementation Science to Improve Implementation of Evidence-Based Home Visiting in Montana
Funding Agency: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Funding Period: 07/01/2014 – 09/30/2016
Award Amount: $300,000
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) partnered with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to integrate principles and frameworks of implementation science into their ongoing technical assistance, strategic support, and evaluation and monitoring of 23 local communities implementing evidence-based home visiting (EBHV) models with state and federal funds.
 
Project to Provide Implementation Support for Permanency Innovations Initiative Grantees
Funding Agency: JBS International Inc.
Funding Period: 09/30/2013 – 09/29/2016
Award Amount: $350,008
Principal Investigator: Renée Boothroyd
NIRN supported the Permanency Innovations Initiative project by providing training and technical assistance based in implementation science and practice to refine, problem-solve, and strengthen the use of innovations to improve the safety and permanency outcomes of children and families.
 
Co-Creating the Conditions to Sustain the Use of Research Evidence in Public Child Welfare
Funding Agency: William T. Grant Foundation
Funding Period: 09/01/2015 - 08/31/2016
Award Amount: $25,000
Principal Investigator: Allison Metz
This short-term study addressed two research questions: 1) What processes contribute to leveraging relationships among evidence-based program developers, private service providers, and the public child welfare agency to support the use of research evidence?  2) How can relationships among evidence-based program developers, private service providers, and the public agency help to establish the conditions necessary for optimizing and sustaining the use of research evidence after initial implementation supports diminish?  The study utilized secondary data analysis strategies for qualitative data collected in NYC’s public child welfare system to examine key aspects of the “interactive model” for using research evidence.
 
Implementation Evaluation of the Triple P System in Two North Carolina Counties
Funding Agency: Duke Endowment
Funding Period: 01/01/2014 – 01/31/2016
Award Amount: $257,387
Principal Investigator: William Aldridge, II
This project supported evaluation activities related to ongoing implementation of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program system of interventions in two North Carolina counties. Triple P is an evidence-based, community-wide parenting and family support system to promote the social, emotional, health, and behavioral wellbeing of children.
 
Building Implementation Capacity to Promote and Support Evidence-Based Home Visitation in Washington
Funding Agency: Thrive by Five Washington
Funding Periods: 02/01/2013 – 04/30/2013; 04/01/2013 – 06/30/2014; 07/01/2014 – 06/30/2015
Award Amounts: $95,198; $195,027; $159,300
Principal Investigators: Sandra Naoom, Allison Metz
The National Implementation Research Network supported Thrive by Five Washington in the development of their Implementation HUB for Evidence-Based Home Visitation.
 
Provincial System Support Program Expert Consultation
Funding Agency: Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Funding Period: 04/01/2013 – 03/31/2015
Award Amount: $88,202
Principal Investigator: Michelle Duda
The purpose of the CAMH's Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) is to create and build the implementation capacity of regional and local Implementation Teams. Using Active Implementation frameworks, NIRN supported CAMH to develop the infrastructure for sustaining and scaling interventions in children’s mental health and addiction sectors across the Province.