The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has defined translation as the process of turning observations into interventions that are adopted, sustained, and improve health. Translation must attend to research and community systems and context at multiple levels, and to key stakeholders. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) sciences are informed by an understanding of the critical role of people and systems in disseminating, adopting, and sustaining innovations within real-world settings. Thus, the D&I sciences provides a set of principles that can guide the translational work of CTSAs from basic research to public health. In this special communication our cross-domain working group of the CTSA Consortium, comprised of experts in methods and processes, workforce development, evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and D&I sciences, share a vision of how CTSAs can enhance translation across the translational spectrum through the integration of D&I sciences into the critical areas of methods and processes, workforce development, and evaluation. We propose a set of recommendations for NCATS national and local leaders that are intended to move D&I sciences out of a position of unfamiliarity and ancillary value and into the core identity of who CTSAs are, how they think, and what they do, to advance translation and health.
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