Rural Primary Care Health Professions Research Design and Dissemination Studios (DDS)

Read about Rural PREP’s Design and Dissemination Studio approach* in this article in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Why a Design and Dissemination Studio?

Academic research does not always match the needs of the communities it intends to benefit. Research proposals may not be designed with the community’s perspective in mind, and results from completed research may not reach audiences who could benefit or who could influence policy and change practice.

A Design and Dissemination Studio (DDS) is an innovative strategy where communities participate in the design of research and then help interpret and disseminate the results. The DDS process makes research more community-centered, culturally-relevant, and accessible to those who will most benefit from the findings in order to close the gap between research and communities.

What is a Design and Dissemination Studio?

A DDS is a 2.5-hour in-person interactive event at an established professional meeting. Rural PREP works with a partner organization to recruit stakeholder participants. Stakeholders may include students, residents, faculty, health professions education administrators, researchers, clinical health professionals, government professionals, and other healthcare-related professionals. Rural PREP’s DDS helps to expand the scholarly community of practice in rural primary care health professions education, research, and training in a way that is evidence-based, community-engaged and practice-informed.

Design and Dissemination Studio topics and presenters

View past and future sessions


The objectives of a DDS are to:

  • Strengthen research proposals
  • Build a cadre of research-engaged professional and community stakeholders
  • Make research more community centered, culturally relevant, and accessible
  • Increase the relevance of research to a community of practice in rural health professions education
  • Suggest and share strategies for effective dissemination


  • Stakeholder members are invited to participate as “community members” 
  • Pre-session preparation includes a description of the process, a link to a brief video if appropriate (available below), and relevant pre-assigned readings
  • Community of practice engagement then occurs on the day of the DDS through an in-person interaction around a new research proposal, early results of research, or a completed study
  • Subsequent stakeholder follow-up and reporting occurs through an online form for evaluation and feedback 

* The Rural PREP DDS process was adapted from a strategy used in Clinical Translational Research from the Meharry – Vanderbilt Alliance.