Presented is a conceptual framework for planning intervention-related research. Altogether, nine steps in the process of developing and evaluating public health interventions are specified. This process is dynamic and iterative, and all steps are not always required, or need follow in sequence. The framework can be used to set research priorities by verifying where there is sufficient knowledge to move forward and by identifying critical information gaps. It can also help select appropriate research designs, as each step is characterized by certain types of studies. Greater effort is required to move beyond descriptive epidemiological and behavioural studies, to intervention studies. Field trials of public health interventions require particular attention as they are often neglected, despite their significance for public health policy and practice.