James W. Dearing Ph.D.

James Dearing

Brandt Endowed Professor

  • Communication
(517) 353-3259


Jim Dearing (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is the 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 and technologies. His research and teaching spans dissemination science, implementation science, program sustainability, and the psychological and sociological basis of the diffusion process. Frequently he focuses on organizational change and organizational strategy in relation to either the creation of innovations, their adaptation, or the adoption and use of innovations in organizational settings. He works with research and practice improvement teams in nursing care, climate change, injury and fatality prevention, public health, STEM education, environmental contamination and healthcare. Dearing studied under and worked with Everett M. Rogers for 20 years.

Dearing was Senior Scientist with Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nongovernmental healthcare provider where he was the principal investigator for a National Cancer Institute Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. Currently he collaborates in a National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Center where he directs a community engagement core. Dearing was a member of the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine framework committee for a five-year programmatic review of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Guide health marketing and health communication review, and was one of two scientific advisors to the coordinating committee of the NIH Science of Dissemination and Implementation Research National Conference. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor at Ohio University.

Currently he is an advisor to the NSF ADVANCE Program, the Dartmouth School of Medicine, and the NSF Study Get the Facts Out project.  Dearing is also on the US Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Policy and Technology, and the Michigan Chapter of the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

Research and Teaching

Research Centers and Labs

Health and Risk Communication Center

Featured Publications

James W. Dearing, Maria Lapinski, Soo Yun Shin, Syed Ali Hussain, Yvens Rumbold, Ruth Osoro, Donald Shell (2019). A Model for Introducing Global Ideas to the US. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

View Publication

Video summary of the project

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

View Publication

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.

View Publication

Current Projects

Scaling Up Multisolving Solutions to Climate Change, total costs $375,747, July 2015, 2019-January 14, 2021, Principal Investigator, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Contact Information

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