The Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) program is an observational multi-method health services research project underway in the prairie provinces of Canada (funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research). Its focus is improving care delivered in nursing homes. TREC is designed to establish the associations between organizational context, bedside knowledge use, work life quality for caregivers, and resident outcomes. The data sources for TREC include direct reports from frontline caregivers and their managers, facility and unit demographic data, and clinical outcome data generated as part of the regular care process using the interRAI Resident Assessment Instrument system. These articles describe the protocols for the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) program and the evolution of the approaches taken by the team in its first four years to feed research findings back to study participants as the team began to move toward an integrated knowledge translation model.