Dr Hossai Gul
Hossai Gul is a transdisciplinary (TD) implementation scientist and practitioner, specialising in leading TD teams to implement evidence-based innovations into practice within complex systems. Hossai has worked within the Australian health and medical sector for over 10 years in health services, biomedical research, and health system and implementation science research. Hossai has a Bachelor of Advanced Science, an Honours by thesis in cancer drug discovery, a Master of Research by thesis in bioinformatic analysis, and a PhD in Implementation Science and Complexity Science. She is currently a Lecturer and the Head of Implementation Lab at TD School, University of Technology Sydney.
The innovation-to-implementation gap remains an elusive wicked challenge across sectors from health, education, social services, and business. Implementation science offers effective tools for guiding change; however, reductionist application of these tools risks the discipline becoming redundant amidst rapidly evolving complex systems. This presentation reports on a transdisciplinary approach to conducting implementation science research.
A sequence of studies were conducted via a mixed method methodology and structured by the process model Implementation Mapping (IM) to guide the development of implementation strategies. Ten tools were used to operationalise each step of IM via a transdisciplinary co-production process.
Transdisciplinary research is distinct from multidisciplinary (the coordinated effort to solve a problem but remaining within disciplinary boundaries) and interdisciplinary (coherent synthesis of knowledge from a variety of disciplines). Implementation science is an interdisciplinary field where knowledge from many disciplines have been integrated into theories, models, and frameworks which focus on various aspects of implementation. However, solving complex implementation challenges cannot be approached by implementation science alone. Implementation is a hyper-connected challenge and requires the input of many disciplines and spheres of individuals and groups outside of research. Transdisciplinary implementation science incorporates the following features: (1) integration of knowledge from many disciplines in a way that transcends and responds to implementation challenges, (2) the research involves participation by actors outside of the research sphere (going beyond consumers) and values their expertise and experience as indispensable for effective implementation, (3) implementation complexity is centralised via a holistic systems lens, (4) the implementation research is action-oriented (practical strategy deployment), future-focused (scale and sustainability), and impact-driven (outputs are secondary).
Transdisciplinary implementation science was a challenge in practice in numerous forms, however, the process was continuously improved via reflexivity by the research team which led to more impactful implementation research and practice.