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CAREER-RELATED CONSIDERATIONS

Yet another important consideration in the conduct of behavioral intervention research is career-related. As we have discussed throughout this book, developing an intervention takes time and upwards of 20 years from idea inception to its potential and actual use in real-world settings. A classically trained researcher may have the methodological background for developing and evaluating an intervention but as noted, not necessarily the know-how for conducting implementation studies, developing a comprehensive dissemination plan, or scaling up a proven intervention for widespread adoption. Intervention researchers have to decide whether to see an intervention through its inception and development to its evaluation and then implementation and dissemination (if effective), or whether to focus only on one particular phase and enable others (on one’s team or others) to move the intervention forward for implementation or backward for additional modification and testing. The decision can affect other aspects of professional life including choice of publication outlets and grant applications that are pursued. The choice is challenging because one may have ideas for many different interventions; yet, investing energies in the pursuit of widespread implementation of a proven intervention requires dedicated time and energy

A related consideration is that a tested intervention and its associated manuals and training programs represent a “product” or intellectual property that may warrant protection and that may also have market bearing. As mentioned also in Chapter 21, seeking a trademark for the name of the intervention/program, enacting copyright protections for manuals, forms, and other materials, and possibly obtaining a patent for unique aspects of an intervention (e.g., a device, algorithm, or procedure) are all important considerations. The rules guiding trademark and copywriting require consultation with experts in this area such as lawyers and/or technology transfer departments in universities. Collaboratively derived projects require special consideration and determination as to who has rights to what, how partners will be recognized and compensated, and the relative contributions of each partner. Submitting to technology transfer offices what is referred to as “disclosure” statements that describe the “invention” (e.g., intervention) and potential products (e.g., manuals, training programs) should occur once the intervention is shown to be effective. Technology transfer offices are essential for developing and overseeing joint agreements with collaborators who may be within or outside of one’s institution.

 
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