Implementation science offers methods to evaluate the translation of genomic medicine research into practice. The extent to which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) human genomics grant portfolio includes implementation science is unknown. This brief report’s objective is to describe recently funded implementation science studies in genomic medicine in the NIH grant portfolio, and identify remaining gaps.
We identified investigator-initiated NIH research grants on implementation science in genomic medicine (funding initiated 2012–2016). A codebook was adapted from the literature, three authors coded grants, and descriptive statistics were calculated for each code.
Forty-two grants fit the inclusion criteria (~1.75% of investigator-initiated genomics grants). The majority of included grants proposed qualitative and/or quantitative methods with cross-sectional study designs, and described clinical settings and primarily white, non-Hispanic study populations. Most grants were in oncology and examined genetic testing for risk assessment. Finally, grants lacked the use of implementation science frameworks, and most examined uptake of genomic medicine and/or assessed patient-centeredness.
We identified large gaps in implementation science studies in genomic medicine in the funded NIH portfolio over the past 5 years. To move the genomics field forward, investigator-initiated research grants should employ rigorous implementation science methods within diverse settings and populations.