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Maureen Dobbins


Maureen Dobbins joined the School of Nursing at McMaster University as an Assistant Professor in 1999. Currently a Professor, she holds cross appointments with the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI), the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, and the Masters of Science in eHealth program. 

Select Publications

  • Dobbins, M., Traynor, R.L., Workentine, S., Yousefi-Nooraie, R., Yost, J. (2018). Impact of an organization-wide knowledge translation strategy to support evidence-informed public health decision making. BMC Public Health, 18(1):1412. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6317-5. 
  • Dobbins, M., Watson, S., Read, K., Graham, K., Yousefi Nooraie., R, Levinson, A.J. (2018). A tool that assesses the evidence, transparency, and usability of online health information: Development and reliability assessment. JMIR Aging 1(1):e3. doi: 10.2196/aging.9216.
  • Yost, J., Mackintosh, J., Read, K., Dobbins, M. (2016). Promoting awareness of key resources for evidence-informed decision making in public health: An evaluation of a webinar series about knowledge translation methods and tools.  Frontiers in Public Health, 4, 72, doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00072.
  • Barbara, A.M., Dobbins M., Haynes, R.B., Iorio, A., Lavis, J.N., Raina, P., Levinson, A.J. (2016). The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal:  Usability evaluation of a unique evidence-based health information website. JMIR Human Factors, doi:10.2196/humanfactors.4800.
  • Brownson, R., Colditz, G., Dobbins, M., Emmons, K., Kerner, J., Padek, M., Proctor, E., Stange, K. (2015). Concocting that magic elixir: Successful grant application writing in dissemination and implementation research. Clinical and Translational Science, 8, 6:710-716. Available at
  • Padek, M., Colditz, G., Dobbins, M., Koscielniak, N., Proctor, E.K., Sales, A.E., Brownson, R.C.  (2015). Developing educational competencies for dissemination and implementation research training programs: an exploratory analysis using card sorts. Implementation Science, 10:114. Available at article is designated as highly accessed by the journal.
  • Yousefi-Nooraie, R., Dobbins, M., Marin, A., Hanneman, R., Lohfeld, L. (2015). The evolution of social networks through the implementation of evidence-informed decision-making interventions: a longitudinal analysis of three public health units in Canada. Implementation Science, 10:166. This article is designated as highly accessed by the journal.


01/10 Ann Beckingham Travel Award ($1,000)
07/08 Ann Beckingham Travel Award ($3,000)
09/07 Canadian Public Health Association-2007 Public Health Human Resource Award-Individual
07/07 Ann Beckingham Travel Award ($3,000)
09/07 UCI Medical Centre-2007 Medical Library Association Research Section
Research Award ($100)
07/06 Ann Beckingham Travel Award ($3,000)
07/05 Ann Beckingham Travel Award ($3,000)
07/04-06/10 Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Career Scientist ($300,000)
01/02-12/03 Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship ($97,500)
09/00 Canadian Policy Research Awards Graduate Student Prize
01/00-12/01 Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship ($75,000)
09/99 University of Toronto PhD Open Fellowship ($3,600)
09/98 National Health Research Development Program Doctoral Fellowship ($18,000)
09/98 University of Toronto PhD Open Fellowship ($7,200)


Granting Agency:  Public Health Agency of Canada
Title:  The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
Support Period: April 2015 – March 2020
Amount:  $5,671,182.00
Investigator: Dobbins, M. (Scientific Director)

Granting Agency:  Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title:  Supporting evidence-informed public health decision making in cancer prevention
Support Period: March 2015 – February 2017 
Amount:  $200,000 
Investigators:  Dobbins, M., Yost, J., Neudorf, C., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Levinson, 
A. J.

Granting Agency:  KT Canada Seed Funding
Title:  Virtual Interactive Knowledge Translation:  A Pilot Study
Support Period: July 2013-December 2013
Amount:  $30,000  
Investigators:  Dobbins, M.,DeCorby, K., Husson, H., Traynor, R.

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dissemination Grant 
Title: Getting the word out to public health: Sharing the results of the Partnerships for Health Systems Improvement project
Support Period: March 2013-March 2014
Amount: $25,000
Investigators: Dobbins, M., DeCorby, K.L., Traynor, R., Yost, J.

Granting Agency:  Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative
Title:  McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
Support Period: January 2013-January 2018
Amount:  $827,715 
Investigators:  Dobbins, M., Haynes, R.B., Lavis, J.N., Levinson, A., Raina, P.

Granting Agency:  CIHR Knowledge Translation Supplement
Title: Tailored messaging and Delivering public health to decision makers.
Support Period: February 2012-January 2013
Amount: $100,000 
Investigators: Dobbins, M., DeCorby, K., Husson, H., Traynor, R., Yost, J.

Granting Agency:  Public Health Agency of Canada
Title:  The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
Support Period:  April 2011 – March 2015
Amount:  $6,533,000.00
Investigator:  Dobbins, M. (Scientific Director)

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title: Working together toward evidence-informed public health in Canada: Turning research into action 
Support Period:  March 2011-February 2012
Amount: $ 99,946 
Investigators: Dobbins, M., DeCorby, K.L., Robeson, P., Traynor, R.

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Partnerships for Health System Improvement ($350,000); Ontario Public Health Units ($150,000) 
Title: A Tailored, Collaborative Strategy to Develop Capacity and Facilitate Evidence-informed Public Health Decision Making
Support Period:  January 2010-January 2013
Amount: $500,000 (3 years)
Investigators: Dobbins, M., Kyle, R., Timmings, C., Ward, M., Cava, M., Clarke, C., Pietrusiak, M., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Jack, S., Kothari, A., Lemieux- Charles, L., McKibbon, K.A., Peirson, L., Sibbald, S.

Granting Agency: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Title: Do Tailored Messages Promote Evidence-Informed Decision Making in Breast Cancer Prevention
Support Period:  August 2008-July 2010
Amount$299,130 (2 years)
Investigators:  Dobbins, M.Cameron, R., DiCenso A., Bryant-Lukosius D., Ciliska D.K., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Jack, S., Brouwers, M.C.

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Translation in Mental Health and Addictions NET grant application 
Title: Optimizing the Health of Women with Substance Use Issues and their Children
Support Period:  July 2008-June 2013
Amount: $1,447,990 (5 years)
Investigators: Niccols, A.(Nominated PI), Dobbins, M.(PI), Sword, W.(PI), Henderson, J., Smith, P., Thabane, L., DeWit, D., Lipman, E., Milligan, K., Jack, S., Schmidt, L., Dooley, M.

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title: Scoping Review:  Use of evidence from systematic reviews in decision making
Support Period:  February 2008-January 2009
Amount: $99,268 (1 year)
Investigators: Straus, S., Dobbins, M., Lavis, J.N, Brouwers, M.C., McKibbon, K.A., Angus, D., Shepperd, S., Ma, J., Khandwala, F., Armson, H.A., Young, C., Perrier, L.

Granting Agency: City of Hamilton, Public Health Services 
Title: Evidence-Informed Public Health Decision Making 
Support Period:  May 2007-April 2009
Amount: $236,328 (2 years)
Investigators: Dobbins, M.

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title: Exploring Knowledge Brokering in Public Health: A Natural Phenomenon
Support Period:  January 2005 – July 2007
Amount $194,000 (2 ½ years)
Investigators: Dobbins, M., Jack, S., Ciliska, D., Thomas, H., Manske, S., Cameron, R. 

Granting Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Title: Evaluating Evidence on the Knowledge Broker: Comparing Strategies to Support Decision Maker’s Translation of Evidence on Physical Activity and Healthy Body Weight Among Children
Support Period:  September 2003 – September 2006
Amount: $558,000 (3 years)
Investigators: Dobbins, M., Ciliska, D., Thomas, H., Manske, S., Green, L., Cameron, R., Hanna, S., Mills, C., DeCorby, K.


Maureen’s research efforts have sought to understand knowledge translation and exchange and evidence-informed decision making among public health decision makers in Canada. Studies have included: identification of barriers and facilitators to research use; understanding the information needs of public health decision makers at the local, provincial and federal level; evaluating the use of systematic reviews in provincial policies; exploring where research evidence fits into the decision-making process; evaluating the impact of knowledge translation strategies, and exploring knowledge brokering in public health. On March 10, 2005 Maureen launched Health EvidenceTM, a registry that houses all reviews evaluating the effectiveness of public health and health promotion interventions published since 1995. The value of this registry is that it meets the need for a single source of high quality effectiveness evidence in public health/health promotion, a need clearly articulated by Canadian public health decision makers. In December, 2011, Maureen assumed the role of Scientific Director for the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT), one of six National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in Canada. The NCCMT provides leadership and expertise in evidence-informed decision making to Canadian public health practitioners and organizations. Some of the resources available from NCCMT include: self-paced online learning modules suitable for professional development; a searchable database of methods and tools to support knowledge translation in public health; OutbreakHelp, a searchable, online platform for sharing information and resources gathered from around the world on Ebola prevention, management and control; and a series of short plain language videos explaining some common but often misunderstood terms and concepts related to using evidence in public health practice.

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