Developmental evaluation (DE), an approach developed by Patton to support the implementation of innovations, remains relatively untested in research. This article describes an attempt to apply DE as part of an implementation study of a healthpromoting hospital project in a university hospital. The article highlights the dichotomous demands of academic research and evaluation use inherent in applying DE from a research perspective, and analyzes the challenges encountered in this case. The conclusion is that DE can be used in research, provided that preliminary context analysis is done to anticipate the challenges related to integrating the demands of research and evaluation use.