Guide to Knowledge Translation Planning at CIHR: Integrated and End-of-Grant Approaches / Guide de planification de l’application des connaissances aux IRSC : approches intégrées et de fin de subvention

ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche is pleased to announce the launch of a new Knowledge Translation (KT) Guide by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 

Le RéseauImpactRecherche-ResearchImpact a le plaisir de vous annoncer le lancement du nouveau Guide de planification de l’application des connaissances aux Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (IRSC).

The creation of new healthcare knowledge often does not, on its own, lead to widespread implementation or impacts on health outcomes. As Canada’s principal health research funding agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) plays a fundamental role in bridging the ‘know-do’ gap and ensuring that research findings get into the hands of those who can use them.

To assist in filling this gap between research evidence and implementation, CIHR has developed a new Knowledge Translation (KT) Guide that we hope will strengthen projects that involve a KT approach, while also ensuring that the review of KT within grant proposals is more rigorous and transparent.

Whether it is disseminating findings from already completed research or co-creating the knowledge to help solve issues, this Guide is relevant across the spectrum of health research. It is targeted to both those writing grants and those reviewing grants.

The Guide provides examples of how different approaches to KT have worked and includes relevant worksheets to help guide planning. The KT Guide is available on the CIHR website or in hard copy by writing to

Le Guide de l’AC est disponible sur le site Web des IRSC ( Il est aussi possible d’en obtenir une version papier en s’adressant par écrit à

York University and United Way York Region Receive Funding for Knowledge Mobilization / L’Université York et United Way de la Région de York reçoivent du financement pour la mobilisation des connaissances

By David Phipps, RIR-York

United Way York Region and York University can build on their 5 year knowledge mobilization collaboration thanks to new funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This funding will allow them to support collaborations on income and housing vulnerability.

United Way de la Région de York et l’Université York peuvent poursuivre le travail collaboratif en matière de mobilisation des connaissances qu’ils ont entrepris il y a 5 ans, et ce, grâce au financement reçu par le Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines du Canada. Ces fonds leur permettront de travailler en collaboration sur le thème du revenu et de la vulnérabilité relative au logement.

In June the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council announced a grant to York University and United Way York Region of $141,798 to invest in knowledge mobilization focused on income and housing vulnerability.  The grant is lead jointly by Daniele Zanotti (CEO, United Way York Region), David Phipps (Director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange) and Steven Gaetz (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education), as well as Michaela Hynie (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Program Evaluation Unit in the York Institute for Health Research). There is an urgent need for research and evidence to inform effective community responses, programs and services for housing and income vulnerability. Building on their five year knowledge mobilization partnership, York University and United Way York Region will implement a community-campus knowledge mobilization strategy based on best practices so that York housing and income vulnerability research and expertise is accessible to community partners. This grant builds on the CIHR funded Knowledge Translation supplement awarded to the partners in 2011 that funds knowledge mobilization activities focused on social determinants of health. Steven Gaetz, who also sits on the York Region Human Services Planning Board, says, “Knowledge mobilization has become very important in Canada. My area of research is homelessness and one of our key beliefs is that we have to figure out ways to mobilize homelessness research so that it can have a bigger impact on policy and practice. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been a big support in this effort.”

While both the SSHRC and CIHR grants support a suite of services as recently described by York’s Knowledge mobilization Unit (see the knowledge mobilization blog post on Mobilize This!), at the core of these activities is funding for a community-based knowledge broker. While many university-based research programs and research units have staff who act as knowledge brokers only the six universities in the York-led ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche knowledge mobilization network have invested in knowledge brokers with a pan-university mandate. And of those six York is the only university to collaborate with their local partner to place a knowledge broker in the community. Jane Wedlock, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at United Way York Region, seeks to build capacity for community members to become partners in collaborative research projects and to work with Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization at York University, to identify and support collaborations between university and community experts in housing and income vulnerability.

These collaborations will include graduate student interns (Summer 2013) and will be informed by more than 25 ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries being developed from York University research articles over the summer of 2012.

“York University has transformed our work in the community” says Daniele Zanotti. “It has opened up the richness of community.

SSHRC handed out  95 grants in the October 2011 Public Outreach Grant competition. The York University/United Way York Region grant received the third highest funding of all grants and the highest amount of funding of those grants that had a community partner as a full co-applicant.United Way York Region is stronger because of that relationship and the university is stronger, with deeper roots in the community and greater opportunities to apply research to real lived experience.”

“York continues to build on and strengthen its commitment to community engagement, as identified in the Provostial White Paper,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation.  “York’s researchers continue to share and co-create knowledge with the broader community, as exemplified by the success of our researchers in the receipt of funding for engaged scholarship through SSHRC’s Public Outreach grants program and the work of our researchers and Knowledge Mobilization Unit in further developing partnerships with community organizations, such as the United Way York Region.”

York University and United Way York Region have recently released a video speaking about the mutual value gained when they jointly invest in knowledge mobilization.

A Summer of Clear Language Summaries Ahead! / À venir, un été rempli de résumés de recherche en langage clair

This summer, our writing team at York University has started working on brand new clear language summaries. Look for new, upcoming ResearchSnapshots to be developed around the topic of Poverty Eradication.

Cet été, l’équipe de rédaction de l’Université York a déjà commencé à travailler sur de tout nouveaux résumés de recherche en langage clair. Ne manquez pas les prochains ResearchSnapshot qui porteront sur le thème de l’éradication de la pauvreté.

This summer, the writing team at the KMb Unit at York are back to begin drafting a new set of ResearchSnapshots for our readers!  The theme for us this year is Poverty Eradication.

The initiative stems from York University’s partnership with the United Way of York Region (UWYR) in making KMb a crucial process for community engagement.  Between 2001 and 2006, growing trends have been identified in York Region.  There has been a 55 percent increase of low income earners, while the gap between high and low income earners continues to widen. This includes a 62 percent increase in the number of children living in low income households.

According to the Canadian Make Poverty History Campaign, more than 3.5 million Canadian live in poverty and the numbers are growing for youth, workers, young families, immigrants and people of colour. The world has enough resources, money and technology to end poverty, yet about 1.7 billion people worldwide continue to live in extreme poverty.

A part of the UWYR’s Community Investment Priorities seeks to support peoples’ transition from a life of poverty to possibility. But what exactly is Poverty Eradication?

Poverty is the lack of basic needs, with the experience of low income, education and health.  It also involves the lack of opportunity or capacity to improve one’s life. By analyzing the causes that create these living conditions, poverty eradication seeks to create change and eliminate these underlying causes.

As you will find over the summer, researchers at York and our partner RIR universities have much to offer in the areas of poverty, education, housing and economic vulnerability.  We have two very enthusiastic and dedicated mobilizers in the process of seeking research expertise and developing ResearchSnapshots: Sabah Haque and Paula Elias.

Sabah Haque: Currently, I am a business student at Schulich, and I have dedicated my summer to a cause I really care about. I am pleased to be working with Knowledge Mobilization on the pressing issue of Poverty Eradication. My goal is to provide a wide range of perspectives on how poverty can be alleviated, by making current research accessible to anyone in the community. Research in the areas of social work, business, health and environmental studies (to mention a few) – all play a role in tackling the issues surrounding poverty. This summer, stay tuned to learn about the next steps you can take to put an end to poverty!

Paula Elias: As a writer for York’s KMb Unit since 2010, I have had the pleasure of working with many researchers and becoming a part of our efforts to mobilize knowledge.   As a non-profit worker and educator, mobilizing knowledge has enhanced what I do.   Addressing clear language and supporting accessible knowledge to my students and community partners are so vital, and I look forward to gaining another summer of experience here at York.

York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit wins Best Practice Award

The following story appeared in York University’s YFile on June 12, 2012.  It is reposted here with permission. 

On June 12, 2012, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit received the Knowledge Economy Network Best Practice Award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network (KEN). The award, which was part of a group announced by the network was presented during the network’s annual forum, which took place June 11 and 12, in Maribor, Slovenia.

KEN is an European nonprofit association that acts as a “network of 16 European regions and countries, interested in boosting their knowledge-based competitiveness, exchanging good practice, encouraging collaboration and implementing new knowledge into innovative products in response to a larger, global need to enhance and support efforts to build knowledge economy, not only at European, but at a truly international level.”

In addition to national level awards recognizing innovation in the four domains of education, research & development, innovation, entrepreneurship, plus one media award, the three Best Practice Awards announced this year went to:

  • European Affairs Fund, AP Vojvodina, based in Serbia, which KEN described as “an example of good practice in multicultural education”
  • Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University, which was cited by the network as ”an example of good practice of a new scheme run by the University and involving all triple helix [government, community and industry] partners”
  • South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, based in Croatia, which KEN highlighted as ”an example of good practice in successful regional cooperation in training and education”

“This recognition from a European agency is testament to the growing international reputation that York is gaining for its work in knowledge mobilization,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Knowledge mobilization connects researchers and students with partners, so that their research and expertise can be applied to real-world challenges, in addition to helping to inform decisions about public policy and social services.”

Under the leadership of David Phipps, director of research services & knowledge exchange in York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit, the unit has been developing and delivering knowledge mobilization services to faculty, students and their research partners since 2006. The unit has received funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Working with 240 faculty, 142 students and 205 partner organizations, the Knowledge Mobilization Unit has brokered more than 250 collaborations between the academy and non-academic partners. These partnerships have attracted more than $1 million in sponsored research funding specifically for York research, and over $1 million in funding for community partners.

Michael Johnny, manager of the Knowledge Mobilization Unit, supports all large-scale grant applications, which in turn has secured over $17 million in external research support for York faculty and their partners. Some of these collaborations are maturing into social innovations that help find new ways to address persistent social and economic challenges.

  • In 2009 Nottawasaga Futures, a nonprofit community development agency, called York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit to help a rural business in making green decisions. The collaboration helped launch the Green Economy Centre.
  • York supported a collaboration between graduate student Tanya Gulliver and the Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre in 2007. Research conducted by this partnership is now helping to inform Toronto’s Heat Registry Manual, which will assist more than 2.5-million people cope in an increasingly warming world.
  • When the Regional Municipality of York called the Knowledge Mobilization Unit to seek support in evaluating how they delivered services to immigrants, York supported a collaboration between two faculty members and municipal policy-makers. The evaluation undertaken provided evidence to the regional government, which in turn informed the region’s decision to invest more than $20 million to expand the Welcome Centre program. The investment created 86 jobs and provided 48,000 services to new Canadians living and working in York Region, which is home to Canada’s fastest-growing newcomer population.

“Knowledge mobilization identifies and supports these collaborations,” said Phipps. “The Welcome Centres, Heat Registry and Green Economy Centre are examples of social innovation.”

As a result of these and other stories of the impact of research, Phipps is widely sought as a speaker on York’s model for knowledge mobilization, which is increasingly becoming recognized as a critical component of engaged scholarship and learning.

To watch Phipps’ acceptance speech for the Economy Network Best Practice Award, click here.

Canada and the United Kingdom commit to social innovation / Le Canada et le Royaume-Uni s’engagent dans l’innovation sociale

Canada and UK have made a commitment to social innovation for the first time. David Phipps (RIR-York) had a small part to play.

Le Canada et le Royaume-Uni ont pris un engagement pour l’innovation sociale pour la première fois. David Phipps (RIR-York) avait un petit rôle à jouer.

In September 2011 David Cameron , Prime Minister of Great Britain met with Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. They discussed many matters including international diplomacy, national security, the economy and innovation. Speaking to the House of Commons on September 22, 2012 David Cameron said of Canada, “yours is a home of innovation and technology”. During their meeting they decided to build on these mutual interests of science and innovation by committing to the drafting a Joint Innovation Statement.

David Phipps (RIR-York) was in the UK for 2 weeks of meetings on knowledge mobilization and social innovation starting November 26, 2011. At that time I wrote in Mobilize This! about my meetings with Centre for Research in Families & Relationships (University of Edinburgh) and with Community University Partnership Program (University of Brighton). What I didn’t write about at the time was about my meetings with agencies interested in social innovation. I met with the Young Foundation, a global leader in social innovation, and with NESTA, “the UK’s innovation foundation”. Caroline Martin, Trade Commissioner for science & technology of the Canadian High Commission in London, was immensely helpful in setting up and accompanying me to those meetings. We discussed the importance of social innovation to Canada and the UK, a conversation we have since continued with Nicole Arbour, Team Lead for the Science & Innovation Network of the British High Commission in Ottawa. Together we explored opportunities for collaboration on social innovation with Canadian organizations such as Social Innovation Generation and the McConnell Family Foundation whose leadership of social innovation in Canada parallels that of NESTA and the Young Foundation in the UK.

At the same time Caroline and Nicole were helping their colleagues draft the Joint Innovation Statement called for by Prime Ministers Harper and Cameron. Recognizing the mutual interests of Canada and the UK in social innovation, our conversations helped inform the decision to include social innovation in the text of the Joint Innovation Statement.

As reported by the British High Commission on May 9, 2012 the Joint Innovation statement was signed by the Honourable Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Lord Green, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment. The text of the Joint Innovation Statement includes a commitment to support social innovation:

The Participants will consider to take joint initiatives in the following priority areas (including) Social innovation: Working with academic, government, and civil society partners to leverage research and innovation activities for greater societal benefits.”

“Social Innovation is one outcome of knowledge mobilization for which York has developed an international reputation,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “New discoveries are being made to address persistent social challenges through social innovation. Our conversations with the British and Canadian High Commissions helped inform the decision to include social innovation in the text of the Joint Innovation statement. The outcome reflects the growing international appreciation of the work of York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and its leadership role in ResearchImpact, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network, in working to turn research into action.”

This joint, diplomatic commitment to social innovation between Canada and the UK finds another home in David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. On February 17, 2012 he wrote of knowledge diplomacy in the Globe & Mail asking, “So how do we bring about a smart and caring world that is at once prosperous, sustainable and resilient? Our ability to work together – to practise the diplomacy of knowledge – will be the key to our success.” As announced on May 3, 2012 by the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS, organizers of Congress 2012), His Excellency will lead a “discussion of cross-sector collaboration and social innovation at Congress 2012 (that) will encourage students, researchers, employees and citizens alike, as we strive for greater prosperity and quality of life for all.” In their May 3 announcement CFHSS also recognized the work of York University, on behalf of RIR in the Community-Campus Collaboration Initiative.

Collaborating for social innovation is now recognized as a priority for Canada and for the UK. RIR-York was there and will be there working with colleagues from Canada and the UK to support knowledge mobilization as a process that enables enhanced social innovation.

Governor General Returns to Waterloo for Keynote Address / Le gouverneur général revient à Waterloo pour une allocution

University of Waterloo is known more for industry-associated innovation despite many local community engaged initiatives. But when the Governor General returns to the university where he used to be President he will be speaking on collaboration for social innovation thanks in part to RIR.

L’Université de Waterloo est plus connue pour l‘innovation associée à l’industrie, malgré de nombreuses initiatives communautaires locales engagées. Mais lorsque le gouverneur général du Canada revient à l’université qu’il présidait, il s’exprime sur la collaboration au service de l’innovation sociale, grâce, entre autres, au RIR.

Led by York University, ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR) has exhibited at Congress every year since 2007 – see our post cards and other reports from Congress 2011 posted on Mobilize This! This year Congress is in Waterloo and will be opened by His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Nice indeed but what does he have to do with knowledge mobilization? This year, a lot.

As announced on May 3, 2012, by the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS, organizers of Congress), “The Governor General believes that the creation and sharing of knowledge is critical if we are to effectively and equitably address today’s complex, global issues. It is hoped that the discussion of cross-sector collaboration and social innovation at Congress 2012 will encourage students, researchers, employees and citizens alike, as we strive for greater prosperity and quality of life for all.”  CFHSS’s announcement also referenced RIR. “CFHSS has been working with the United Way of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and ResearchImpact, which are engaged in a joint project, the Community-Campus Connections (CCC) Initiative. Its purpose is to support a culture of collaboration and to marry the resources of communities with those of post-secondary institutions to address persistent social and economic challenges Canadians face today”.

Community-campus collaborations. Cross sector collaboration. Social Innovation. All very knowledge mobilization. His Excellency will be opening Congress with a Big Thinking lecture that will be informed, in part, by the work of the CCC Initiative, a year-long collaboration by York University on behalf of RIR, SSHRC and United Way-Centraide Canada. We are delighted that His Excellency will be speaking on this topic as he opens Congress 2012.

RIR will be there and you will receive daily post cards from Congress posted on this blog.

It’s time to Discover Social Innovation

Janice Chu (United Way of York Region), Jeremy Laurin (ventureLAB), David Phipps (RIR-York)

York University, United Way of York Region and ventureLAB are collaborating to support social innovation and social enterprises in York Region. On May 15 they will speak about the assets they bring to bear to help address persistent social challenges.

Picture this: Metro Toronto Convention Centre. May 15. Over 2,600 attendees listening to a multi-sectoral panel on social innovation.

That’s what we’re doing at Discovery 2012, Ontario’s premier technology and innovation showcase. Hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Discovery is Ontario’s annual conference bringing together university, college and industry based researchers, students, entrepreneurs and innovators. Traditionally focused on technology sectors such as green tech, health tech and ICTs, this year Discovery is going social and exploring the role of social innovation and social enterprises in Ontario’s innovation landscape. Mobilize This! has previously written about efforts to introduce social innovation into the federal innovation agenda and on May 15, in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, over 2,600 delegates (well, those that attend the panel at least) will hear this message. York Region’s innovation sector will speak about how we are sowing the seeds of social innovation in York Region and how we are starting to build relationships to support innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to address persistent social, environmental and cultural challenges.

This panel at Discovery represents early conversations with York Region’s vibrant entrepreneurial sector (represented by Lahav Gil of the Kangaroo Group), a regional hospital network (represented by Pat Clifford of Southlake Regional Health Centre) and the three primary supports for innovation in York Region: ventureLAB (York Region’s Regional Innovation Centre represented by CEO, Jeremy Laurin), York University (represented by Vice-President Research & Innovation, Robert Haché) and the United Way of York Region (represented by Janice Chu, Director Community Investments). For the first time in the history of Discovery the community sector will be represented. We will also be joined by Allyson Hewitt, Advisor, Social Innovation and Director, Social Entrepreneurship MaRS, who will reflect on York Region’s assets and efforts and place them in a provincial context.

ventureLAB, York U and UWYR are actively discussing how best to support an emerging cohort of social entrepreneurs. UWYR has a Strength Investments program (itself a social innovation) that has already invested $300,000 in 11 community based innovations to address local opportunities. ventureLAB has an established Build program and Entrepreneurs in Residence that can be made available to social entrepreneurs. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit will actively broker collaborations between social entrepreneurs and researchers/students so that social innovations are grounded in the latest research. The Innovation York accelerator space at the Markham Convergence Centre, co-located with ventureLAB and other York Region innovation acceleration services such as the York Technology Alliance, will be available to social entrepreneurs seeking a space to grow their businesses.

Stay tuned for details on how we will weave these assets into a coherent value proposition but we have progressed beyond recognizing the need and moved into the “how to” stages. This energy will build on the primary message of the recent Public Policy Forum reportthat spoke of the value of collaboration as a key component of innovation and singled out York Region as a region that was making strides to supporting multi-sectoral collaboration.

Discovery 2013. That’s when we will share the emerging York Region story – still separate silos beginning the dialogue on and action to support social innovation and social entrepreneurship so we can make a difference in the lives of York Region’s diverse citizens. Come with us as we discover social innovation.

ResearchImpact wants to grow / Le RéseauImpactRecherche veut grandir

Founded in 2006 by York University and the University of Victoria, ResearchImpact is Canada’s knowledge mobilization network. In 2010-2011

ResearchImpact expanded to include Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Guelph and University of Saskatchewan. Responding to local opportunities and constraints has resulted in different models of institutional knowledge mobilization services; however, all six universities have invested in an institutional capacity to support knowledge mobilization among faculty, students and partner organizations.

Now maturing as an interactive working network and having completed an initial period of definition and goal setting, ResearchImpact would like to solicit interest from the academic community to join us in building knowledge mobilization expertise and sharing best practices.

Please see the attached document, RIR announcement for new members EN, regarding the call for new university partners.


Fondé en 2006 par l’Université York et l’Université de Victoria, RéseauImpactRecherche est un réseau pancanadien de mobilisation des connaissances.

En 2010-2011, RéseauImpactRecherche s’est étendu à l’Université Memorial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, à l’Université de Guelph et à l’Université de la Saskatchewan. En réagissant aux ouvertures et aux contraintes propres à leurs milieux, les membres ont produit différents modèles de services de mobilisation des connaissances dans leurs établissements; toutefois, les six universités ont en commun d’avoir investi dans leur capacité à favoriser la mobilisation des connaissances pour leurs professeurs, leurs étudiants et leurs divers partenaires.

Après le déroulement d’une phase initiale où il s’est défini et a établi ses objectifs, le RéseauImpactRecherche a atteint la maturité en tant que regroupement fonctionnel et interactif. Il s’agit désormais de susciter dans le milieu universitaire l’intérêt à se joindre au réseau, dans le but de construire une expertise commune en mobilisation des connaissances et de veiller à la diffusion des pratiques exemplaires.

Veuillez trouver le document, RIR announcement for new members FR, en annexe.

York’s KMb Unit part of inaugural conference on knowledge mobilization

The following article appeared in York University’s YFile on April 24, 2012 and is reposted with permission.

York University is playing an important role in the first conference of its kind that is dedicated to better mobilizing and brokering knowledge.

The K*2012 conference, which starts today and continues until April 27, provides a forum for an international cohort of delegates to share their ideas and practices in knowledge mobilization. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and Research Impact are two of the sponsoring organizations involved in the conference.

“York University is a recognized leader in Knowledge Mobilization in Canada and internationally,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president Research & Innovation. “We are pleased to participate in this event. The K*2012 conference provides an opportunity for global experts to share their perspectives on knowledge-brokering practices and its impact on the creation of public policies.”

How to better mobilize knowledge and maximize its usefulness will be the focus of some 60 experts from 20 countries. David Phipps, director of Research Services & Knowledge Exchange at York University, serves on the conference steering committee and is a participant in a panel discussion featuring experts in knowledge mobilization.

“This conference is the first of its kind,” said Phipps. “I will be sharing York’s knowledge mobilization practices with knowledge brokers from knowledge intermediary organizations around the world. I am particularly excited about presenting a panel with a knowledge broker from Argentina and one from Ghana. Despite the very different national contexts we have identified eight shared outcomes from our very different practices.”

As part of the conference proceedings, delegates will lay the foundation for future work, including establishment of a global community of interested parties and mechanisms to sustain it. The conference chair, Alex Bielak, senior Fellow and knowledge broker of the United Nations University’s Hamilton-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), will create a legacy document to capture ideas on reducing the gulf between knowledge and action.

The York University community can join the conference through social media. There will be a daily conference blog available on GDNet providing updates on plenary and panel discussions and interviews with speakers and participants. The blog offers a forum for University community members to ask questions and share their ideas and research about their experiences navigating the knowledge-policy interface. Twitter updates including photos, live updates, participants comments regarding discussions can accessed by following @Connect2GDNet and #Kstar2012.

University community members can also register here to watch full coverage of the plenary and panel sessions, or they can subscribe to receive GDNet blog email alerts and blog newsfeed offering a daily digest of conference news.

Upcoming KMb Learning Events at York

The Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit at York will be providing the following learning sessions for York University researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development throughout 2012:

Social Media 101 – a lunch hour session to provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects.

Twitter – a 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research.

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!)

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts.

KMb 101 – Maybe you’re familiar with the term, or maybe you’re not. This lunch hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization and how services are delivered here at York.

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy.

KMb Peer to Peer Network – this is an informal network for York staff and researchers who have explicit responsibility for KMb. Come and meet others in similar roles, share and learn from others.

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences.

For a complete list of dates, please see the poster below. To register for any of the sessions, please visit or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at or ext 88847.

The Most Influential Knowledge Broker in Canada

The following blog story was first published on the United Way York Region blog on November 22, 2011. It is reposted here with permission.

In a recent bulletin from York University, David Phipps, who is the director of York University’s Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, was named the most influential knowledge broker in Canada. We’re lucky enough to be able to work with David as part of our partnership with York University.

David received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen’s University and has built a career managing academic research at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation, Canadian Arthritis Network and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In 2001, he completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management at U of T. In his current role at York, David manages all research grants and contracts, including knowledge and technology transfer.

David is also leading York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who want to use policy and practice related research to inform public policy.

Working in partnership with United Way of York Region provides community credibility to the brokering efforts of York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.

Both partners act as mutual knowledge brokers to bridge the academic and community sectors to support knowledge translation (KT) activities so that university research and expertise can inform community level health related policies and practices. Through this collaboration, York Region residents and vulnerable populations can receive health and human services that are informed by academic research.

The partnership also includes the hiring of a Knowledge Mobilization Officer, who was recently employed to work on site at United Way to develop research initiatives that will examine how living conditions (the social determinants of health) affect health. Jane Wedlock is currently working in this role, which will certainly enhance the partnership’s overall goal to inform and support the public across the region.

Of the partnership, David notes that UWYR provides a valuable community perspective to the research and knowledge mobilization activities of York University. “In order to be relevant to York Region we need to ground our work in the experience of York Region. UWYR is the principle community convener in York Region. Our partnership with UWYR is invaluable in our efforts to be York Region’s research university.”

Doing something that matters is what David says brings him the greatest satisfaction from his involvement with United Way. “Research is important but isn’t valuable unless it’s engaged with people and organizations who can take that research and apply it to more effective social programs and more responsive public and community policies,” he adds. “Our partnership with UWYR helps make York University’s research matter.”

New Knowledge Mobilization Award at UVic / Nouveau prix afin de reconnaître l’excellence en matière de mobilisation des connaissances

Dale Anderson, RIR-UVic

The University of Victoria has a new award to recognize excellence in knowledge mobilization by UVic researchers. The Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 award. This award replaces the former Craigdarroch Awards for Excellence in Societal Contribution, and Excellence in Communicating Research. 

L’Université de Victoria compte sur un nouveau prix afin de reconnaître l’excellence en matière de mobilisation des connaissances par les chercheurs de l’Université, le Prix Craigdarroch. Les mises en candidatures sont ouvertes pour l’édition 2012. Ce prix remplace l’ancien Prix Craigdarroch récompensant l’excellence de la contribution à la société, et l’excellence en communication de la recherche.

The University of Victoria has a new award to recognize excellence in knowledge mobilization by UVic researchers.

The Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 award. This award replaces the former Craigdarroch Awards for Excellence in Societal Contribution, and Excellence in Communicating Research.

The new award will recognize a significant project or body of work that demonstrates excellence in Knowledge Mobilization (KM). At the University of Victoria, KM is defined as “the purposeful exchange and application of knowledge developed through an ongoing process of research and/or creative and artistic endeavor for the benefit of society.” KM applies across the academy and includes the dissemination of both basic and applied research as well as the full range of creative and artistic activities undertaken by faculty members. The concept of societal benefit resulting from KM is equally comprehensive, ranging from advances within academic disciplines, to community engaged research, to advances affecting wider society through social, economic, humanistic and/or environmental improvements.

The Craigdarroch Research Awards are named for Craigdarroch Castle, which was home to Victoria College from 1921 to 1946. These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize those who have been instrumental in original, productive, entrepreneurial and ground-breaking research at the University of Victoria.

For more information and nomination forms, please see the website.

Reflections on Going Green / Réflexion sur le virage vert

In this blog we reflect on the lessons learned from working with Nottawasaga Futures to help develop the Green Economy Centre in South Simcoe.

Dans ce billet, nous revenons sur les leçons apprises du travail accompli avec Nottawasaga Futures afin d’aider au développement du Centre d’économie verte de South Simcoe.

York’s KMb Unit was pleased to work with Valerie Ryan (Nottawasaga Futures), faculty and students of York University to imagine, develop and launch the Green Economy Centre. The Green Economy Centre provides green business services to businesses in rural South Simcoe.

You can read the full story of the Green Economy Centre from knowledge mobilization to social innovation in the KMb in Action section of the RIR website here.

Working with Val has been a pleasure. Her vision and leadership have had a material impact on rural South Simcoe communities and business. And York’s KMb Unit was pleased to be part of this effort. Our experience with Val, Nottawasaga Futures and the Green Economy Centre illustrates a number of knowledge mobilization “lessons learned”.

  1. Knowledge mobilization (the process) enables social innovations (the outcome): Knowledge mobilization connected Nottawasaga Futures to faculty and graduate students. The work that they undertook together resulted in a vision for a green economy in South Simcoe. The Green Economy Centre was the result. The Green Economy Centre is a social innovation. It found a new way to address a pressing and persistent need.
  2. Impact is measured at the level of the user. When measuring the impact of knowledge mobilization or of research, don’t ask a faculty member to tell you how many papers were published, which is important, but important to them. Instead ask the research user what changed as a result of the relationship formed with the researchers and/or students. In this case a new program was developed and jobs were created. In other instances a policy might have been influenced or a social service might be delivered more effectively.
  3. Impact takes time. The knowledge mobilization process happened fairly quickly, over the summer of 2009. Then the research and planning occurred and the Green Economy Centre launched March 26, 2010. Eighteen months later the Green Economy Centre is producing results. Funders and stakeholders need to give projects enough time to demonstrate results. (In fact, showing results in 18 months is remarkable. Many social innovations measure their impact over years.)
  4. Students are as valuable to knowledge mobilization as faculty. Michael and Susan were the key researchers for Nottawasaga Futures. They had the support of their supervisors Mark and Gerda but it was their research skills and their talent that helped Nottawasaga launch the Green Economy Centre. Knowledge mobilization can also be a way for students to meet potential employers. Eight of York’s Knowledge Mobilization interns, including Susan, have been hired by their placement partners. This is an immediate impact for the student and for the placement partner that has built capacity to engage with university research to inform decision making.

Don’t forget to watch the Green Economy Centre video that is posted in the KMb in Action story to hear Val and Susan Swail, a York KMb graduate student intern now working at the Green Economy Centre, talk about the Green Economy Centre in the own words.

Two Steps Forward for KMb at UQAM / Deux pas en avant pour la mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) à l’UQAM

Luc Dancause and Jérôme Elissalde (RIR – UQAM)

Mobilize This! first published this post in French on September 13, 2011.  We re-publish it here translated into English.

In 2011-2012, almost 200 new researchers will join UQAM. In an effort to provide more support to these newcomers regarding knowledge mobilization, UQAM is launching a new website and a researcher’s guide.

Au cours de la période 2010-2012, l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) accueille près de 200 nouveaux chercheurs. Dans une optique de mobilisation des connaissances, l’UQAM lance coup sur coup un nouveau site et un guide destinés à mieux soutenir les chercheurs dans leurs activités.

Building on the excitement of the back-to-class period, the Office of Research and Creativity( Service de la recherche et de la création or SRC) introduced two new tools that will prove useful in the future. First, the SRC launched its new website. The content of the site has been completely restructured and expanded with the goal of making it an indispensable and user-friendly tool for the entire research and creative community at UQAM. From this site, researchers can find all the resources and information they need to manage their research and creative projects.

In a second step, the SRC collaborated with colleagues in the Office of Partnerships and Innovation Support (Service des Partenariats et du Soutien à l’Innovation or SEPSI) to launch the first version of a guide entitled “Guide to Research and Creativity at UQAM: Tools and Resources to Ensure Your Projects Succeed.” This document is a tool to help researchers find their way amongst the many support services offered at UQAM during the many stages of a project, from the early stages of funding, right through to the eventual mobilization of knowledge. Designed primarily as an electronic document, the guide will evolve according to the needs of researchers at UQAM.

From the perspective of knowledge mobilization, the launch of both products allows UQAM to remind researchers that a wide range of support services is already available on campus. The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Creativity, has also implemented a program to support the mobilization of knowledge, bringing together professionals from the SRC, SEPSIS and the Office of Service to the Community (Service aux collectivités or SAC) to both improve KMb services and make them more accessible.

The program to support knowledge mobilization at UQAM provides:

  • Consultation on the use of knowledge (knowledge dissemination, transfer, etc.);
  • Identification of opportunities (for funding, partnerships, etc.); and
  • Support for the development of partnerships and collaborations

In a future MobilizeThis! post, we will take you behind the scenes to the process we undertook in developing the “Guide to Research and Creativity at UQAM: Tools and Resources to Help Your Projects Succeed,”  which was itself an interesting experience in knowledge mobilization within our university.