James W. Dearing Ph.D.

James Dearing

Brandt Endowed Professor

  • Communication
(517) 353-3259


Jim Dearing (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is Brandt Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University.   Dearing studies the diffusion of innovations, including the adoption and implementation of new evidence-based practices, programs, technologies and policies.  His research and teaching spans dissemination science, implementation science, program sustainability, and the psychological and sociological basis of the diffusion process.  He works with research and practice improvement teams in environmental remediation, nursing care, water conservation, injury and fatality prevention, public health, and healthcare.  He has been PI for research grants from NSF, EPA, NCI, AHQR, and private foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  He is a fellow of the International Communication Association, and a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dearing has worked for eight years as a co-investigator on a large Canadian research team with researchers at nine Canadian universities and decision makers in a number of provincial health authorities that studies interventions to improve care in nursing homes.  The team is now planning to test methods for diffusing these evidence-based interventions across Canada.  Dearing also leads a study concerning climate change innovations for communities, and co-leads a study assessing the implementation of Project ECHO at 40 sites in North America.  Most recently, he has begun working with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff to diffuse innovations in opioid prevention.

Research and Teaching

Research Centers and Labs

Health and Risk Communication Center

Featured Publications

James W. Dearing and Maria K. Lapinski (2020), “Multisolving Innovations for Climate and Health: Message Framing for Broad Public Support,” Health Affairs 39(12):1-7.

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James W. Dearing, Jeffrey G. Cox (2018). Diffusions of innovations, principles, and practice. Health Affairs 37(2):183-190.

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R. Sam Larson, James W. Dearing, Thomas Backer (2017).  Strategies for Scaling Up Social Programs:  Pathways, Partnerships and Fidelity.  New York, NY:  The Wallace Foundation.

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Current Projects

Adoption Accelerator for Preventing Drug Overdose, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021 - .

National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention, U.S. National Institutes of Health, 2022 - .

Maternal Health Multilevel Interventions for Racial Equity Center, U.S. National Institutes of Health, 2023 - .

Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd., Room 573A
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824