implementation research & consulting in nutrition

key Implementation research outputs to date

IRCN builds on several years of action-orientated research experience and advocacy. Current work emphasizes on integrating good nutritional care into health systems with pioneering work funded through competitive awards as well as a range of consulting engagements in the UK and internationally.


To seek implementation strategies for the embedding of good nutrition practices into health systems across sectors through action-orientated research and solution-focused consulting.


Research & Innovation at the interfaces between Nutrition and: (1) Medical/Healthcare Education; (2) Health Services and Patient Safety; (3) Public Health Improvement 

Consulting in Education and Training Strategies for Clinical and Public Health Nutrition

Implementation, Monitoring and Impact Evaluation of Nutrition Interventions and Surveillance

Advocacy for

Inter-Sectorial Policy Impact in Nutrition

Current work

  1. Open Data Strategy Partnership with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Initiative supported by G-7 and United Nations partners - 2017/18

  2. The Canadian More-2-Eat Project led by the University of Waterloo - Currently in Phase-II over 2018/19

  3. Nutrition Education Policy for Healthcare Practice (NEPHELP) - Originally supported by the MNI 2017-19 Award and now supported further by the AIM Foundation over 2019

  4. Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Surveys of Medical Students and Junior Doctors - 2017/18

  5. Implementation Research to Optimise Management of Specific Food Allergies by Health Professionals without Nutrition Training - 2017-19

  6. Development of Electronic Dietary Self-Awareness Tools for the South Asian Population - Active over 2018/19

Below are featured case studies from implementation research led by Dr Lauren Ball (Formerly NNEdPro Global Innovation Lead) and Celia Laur (NNEdPro Global Innovation Lead), in close partnership with Prof Sumantra Ray and the NNEdPro Group.

IRCN Case Study 1: Global Research Priorities Project

Over 2016 NNEdPro conducted a project to identify the global priorities in medical nutrition education and related research. The project came about due to the recognition that doctors have an important role in supporting individuals to have healthy, adequate dietary behaviours. However, there is considerable variability in the quantity, quality and approach to medical nutrition education worldwide and ongoing debate about the ideal way to provide nutrition education to medical students and graduates. NNEdPro aimed to identify the research priorities for medical nutrition education worldwide. A 5-step stakeholder engagement process was undertaken using guidelines for identifying research priorities. Ten stakeholder organisations provided input, including medical students, medical educators, medical practitioners, nutrition organisations and patient representatives. Each stakeholder organisation was asked to provide up to three research questions deemed as a priority. Research questions were critically appraised by the project team for answerability, sustainability, effectiveness, potential for translation and potential to impact on disease burden. A blinded scoring system was used to rank the appraised questions, with higher scores indicating higher priority. The highest scoring questions focused on (i) the confidence of medical students and doctors in providing nutrition care to patients, (ii) the essential nutrition skills doctors should acquire, (iii) the effectiveness of doctors at influencing dietary behaviours and (iv) medical students’ attitudes towards the importance of nutrition. These priorities have been utilised to ensure that future research projects are directly aligned align with the needs of end-users.

IRCN Case Study 2: Applications from Canada and Australia

A major initiative under our Implementation Research activities will involve application of findings from the ongoing Canadian More-2-Eat multicentre study in secondary care (on which NNEdPro is a co-applicant) and former collaborative work in Australia through the Nutricare study in primary care (with NNEdPro as a co-applicant). Both studies use complex interventions and implementation science to rigorously characterise key touchpoints for incorporation of nutritional interventions and services across both primary and secondary care settings. Findings from these current studies can play a key role in informing the next steps for UK as well as other international stakeholders.

ConsultInG Services

Further Informat-ion

Through our consulting services and action-orientated research, we design and conduct education and implementation programmes for individuals or organisations. For example, if a medical or healthcare education provider wishes to incorporate nutrition in their curriculum, we provide direction on the course content as well as strategies for delivery and evaluation of impact. On the other hand, if on organisation wishes to strengthen nutrition related knowledge and skills within their operations, we can drive implementation and change management in this area.

We provide consulting services for implementation research in nutrition. If you are interested, please contact us for a preliminary assessment of your needs.



2016 Finalist & Runner-Up: BMJ Education Team of the Year Awards

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2015 Complete Nutrition Outstanding Achievement Award

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