University of Victoria Job Opening

We are excited to share the following job opening at the University of Victoria for the position of Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator. Here is a brief summary of the position:

Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator
Office of Research Services
$45,359.00 – $51,053.00 per annum plus performance range

The KM activities include the creation, coordination and delivery of services to support researchers, graduate students and their non-academic research partners to maximize the purposeful application and use of research-generated knowledge for societal benefit.

The successful candidate will be:

• highly motivated
• creative
• flexible
• self-directed

The successful candidate must have an undergraduate degree (graduate degree preferred), at least two years of recent related experience in a research or policy environment within a university, government, NGO, community or voluntary agency, and/or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Closing date for applications is August 16, 2010.

For the complete job posting, please click on the following link.

Week One of Youth Diabetes Camp – Active Living with Diabetes

Monday, July 19 was the launch of the 3rd Annual Type 1 Diabetes Youth Sports Camp at York University. Dr. Michael Riddell started the Diabetes Camp in 2007 for active children and adolescents, ages 8-16, with type 1 diabetes and the numbers have grown from just 10 kids in 2007 to about 30 this year. The Diabetes Hope Foundation, Tracey Rubinoff Diabetes Hope Fund, and Medtronic Canada are all helping to support this initiative with York University’s Department of Sports and Recreation.

The purpose of this camp is to give the opportunity to diabetic kids to excel in their favorite sport, along with non diabetic kids of similar age and sporting skill levels, as well as to help manage their condition through active living. This is done through an on-site clinical care team of nurses, physiologists and athletic therapists who work along side the exceptional coaching staff and varsity athletes. The kids with diabetes are encouraged to discuss their diabetes care with the on-site team and help is provided from athletes with diabetes who serve as diabetes councilors to assist with blood glucose monitoring and by sharing some of their own strategies on modifications to insulin and or carbohydrate intake. The kids have the opportunity to get together and share stories about active living with their diabetes. The sports offered this year include a focus on either basketball, track and field, soccer, or tennis and a free swim is offered every day from 2-3 in the varsity pool.

The first day of filming the camp for an upcoming KMb in Action story, the children had an opportunity to get acquainted with the sport of their choosing as well as with one another. The next day there was plenty of chatter and laughter as well as enthusiasm and eagerness to excel in their respective sports. The kids get coached at university level by varsity athletes and special guests who also have diabetes. This perfect mix of excellent instruction in sports as well as instruction on management of diabetes informed by cutting edge research creates a really fun atmosphere for the children and makes for a great learning experience. Last year’s study looked at blood glucose levels and sports performance which is published now online at the International Journal of Pediatrics. This year’s study is using a special carbohydrate intake algorithm devised by Dr. Riddell and his research team (Jill Milliken and Dylan Kelly) to help prevent low blood sugar. For the remainder of the two weeks of the Diabetes Camp, the children’s blood glucose levels will be monitored in real time throughout the day, using the Medtronic GuardianRT, as they engage in various sports. Dr. Riddell hopes that the camp and experience of the children participating will help inform his research on diabetes and its impact on sports performance.

This is a great example of knowledge mobilization and turning research into action. Stay tuned for more highlights in the coming weeks.

United Way of York Region – Changing the Game, Again!

Mobilize This! readers, below is the text of a speech made by Daniele Zanotti, CEO, United Way of York Region, at their 34th Annual General Meeting held June 24, 2010 at Oakview Terrace in Richmond Hill (York Region).  You can also find this speech on the UWYR website.

Daniele is a strong advocate and supporter of York’s KMb Unit. He is also a strong supporter of York University having sat on the President’s Task Force for Community Engagement.  You can see him speak in his own words about knowledge mobilization on one of our ResearchImpact videos.  And below, you can read his words as delivered at their AGM.  Always engaging.  Always telling a story not just giving a speech.

And towards the end, a teaser.  Stay tuned for some exciting, disruptive and transformative actions UWYR will be announcing in United Way week in October 2010.

To turn Daniele’s words back on himself, for knowledge mobilization, Daniele Zanotti and the United Way of York Region are priceless.


It does not happen often. I get up to speak, start telling a story about my nonna of all people, rest her soul, my Nonna, and in the thick of it, when the story is coming to a thematic and comedic climax…


last year, during United Way Week, at a congregation located in Vaughan Mills, that is right, in the mall area, speaking on issues of poverty in York Region to a group of over 150 residents and community leaders, I am, using examples from my Nonna’s favourite food, Kentucky Fried Chicken –long story but we think she had a crush on Colonel Saunders who resembled my Nonno somewhat had a little soul patch going … anyway… weaving this and her favourite soap opera, the Young and the Restless… though she could not understand a word of English she caught all the storylines and convoluted love triangles and swore she had a lot in common with Mrs Chancellor… and I am slowly making my way to define poverty in York Region… because it is all connected…

He stands up. Long white beard, white pressed shirt, with suspenders:

“pukh, thup, chup.”

Everyone starts laughing and clapping.

“So simple, “he says, “… old Punjabi definition for poverty:

Pukh, thup, chup.

No food, no roof, no voice.

We should spend less time trying to define it and more trying to solve it.”

He is correct. I am loving this guy, even though he did disrupt my Nonna story, rest her soul.

I compose myself, swoop back in, seamlessly, speaking to the social service infrastructure United Way supports, from programs to public education to system change…

disrupted… again

“navaa…” he says.

Tension in the room; the crowd is engaged….looking for the knockout punch…

“…navaa, not only the same old.”

I… (gesture Italian what is up?)…

He obviously understands Italian too….because he responds…

He says: “navaa means ‘New’…

Mr Zanotti, you represent a leading change organization. Do you have the courage to lead? Do you have the courage to disrupt?”

So I told them our story, one that I have waxed poetic on at our AGMs: of our 2007 roar year –giving voice to the defining issues of our region; of our 2008 listen year –where we committed to hearing the lived realities of residents across the sprawling amalgam of nine municipalities; then 2009 our Meeting House year –in faith groups and town halls and meetings like this, convening people on issues.

And as I am in the middle of a profound… I will pause for dramatic effect… statement, I hear his friggin chair moving again.

“Char pair o pair… four steps, says a Punjabi saying…

He says, “The first is easy, the second is necessary, the third is affirming and the fourth changes the game – it transform you.

Few take the fourth step Mr Zanotti.”

The rest of my speech was a blur, focused only on getting the hell through it to go sit with this disruptive genius.

By the end of the night, three coffees later, I had a mentor. And as we chatted, all I kept saying was – HANJI – the Punjabi word for “yes”.

Since then, and this morning, especially, my friends, I have been and am in a disruptive mood, and I am asking you to join me.

Here is what I said verbatim, at last year’s AGM:

If 2007 was our roar year, 2008 our listen year, let 2009 be our meeting house year.

And here is how we will map this out over 2009:

During UW Week, we will release a follow up to what the Star dubbed a most provocative “… if addressed” report; and we did: Addressing our Strength, called ‘a landmark follow’ up by YRMG.

In October, I said, our board will approve our new community priorities with outcomes and target populations and evaluative indicators; and they did.

In December we will approve our new strategic directions, 2010-2013, setting seemingly unachievable targets on revenue growth, community impact and convening positive change– and we did.

And let us never forget, our sine qua non, another record campaign and strong investment for local services. And we did.

I said: And when we meet next year, at this same meeting, at some other symbolic and tough to find location- I have delivered on that- we will speak of our successes:

  • a record campaign (hanji),
  • a bold Board willing to listen and engage (hanji)
  • oh so committed volunteers (hanji)
  • the strong voice of our labour partners (hanji)
  • staff that bleed United Way pantone red for the people we serve (still the best in the business. I love working with each and every one of you so sorry if the feeling is not mutual), agency and community partners providing programming on the ground….(hanji)

Ladies and gentlemen, you have delivered the goods and another record year, each and every one of you.

So why the hell am I in a disruptive mood?

Because we are a leading organization –a change maker.

And we have an unprecedented opportunity to do something so radically powerful, so York Region, that we could accelerate our impact and growth

… if we have the courage to lead, if we have the courage to disrupt.

char pair o pair…four steps, says a Punjabi saying…

The first is easy and empowering: we have found voice on speaking to the Region’s defining issues.

The second is necessary for grounding: we have established mechanisms for listening, with intent, to voices in communities and neighbourhoods across the region.

The third is contemplative and affirming: we have strengthened our convening role, our capacity to bring stakeholders together.

So what the heck do you want now, Zanotti?… the board and staff are all concerned… and where is he going with this?

The fourth step… game-changer… it transforms you.


That is why we are here at Oakview Terrace, the destination of choice for new beginnings – the most weddings and proms of any single facility in Richmond Hill.

How many of you have been here for a wedding, to get married, for your prom?

A place of new beginnings… navaa…

United Way has a great mechanism for supporting people in need today– a strong network of partners providing a safety net, albeit stretched across our sprawling region.

United Way must develop a simply spectacular mechanism to invest in our region’s strength, not needs, strength. When we say, in our mission, “…We ascertain and address critical human needs by fostering innovative responsive ….”

Innovative: We need a mechanism to seize the opportunity of innovation– with great urgency and possibilities.

And we can do so by investing in our region’s strengths:

  • our youth: engaged, connected, wanting to make a global and local difference
  • our well educated families and new Canadians making york region their home
  • our culture of entrepreneurs –from developers to auto to tech, we remain home to an influential, intelligent and affluent culture of innovators and doers
  • our strong and ever growing corporations, many already engaged in UWs at a philanthropic level

This is why 2010 will be our navaa disrupt year– the fourth, most difficult, step.

When we announce, during United Way week in October, a transformative, game changing investment plan for UW going forward…a small start, but one that can scale.

One that unites not by an assembly line – corporate philanthropy and donor dollars to agency programs.

But one that converges –corporate, donor, resident and agency insight to create innovative solutions –one that dissolves sector boundaries to incubate new ideas.

Our strength investment will inspire and support diverse groups of problem solvers to incubate ….navaa ideas.

And disrupt: solutions, opportunities, outside of our current and necessary programs that address our regions emerging social issues in a small scale, and can be scaled-up, over time.

This is not an either/or. This is an AND:

  • support and strengthen the existing critical network of services and programs


  • foster new social innovation, leveraging the region’s strength, by uniting, really uniting, outside of silos, diverse groups of problems solvers : social innovators, entrepreneurs.

Because we know the most difficult and important emerging social problems of our region, and the country and world, cannot be understood, let alone solved, by anyone sector on its own.

Friends, the Punjabi word for yes is HANJI. I do not know and will not provide the Punjabi word for no.

In keeping with the ceremonies often celebrated at this stunning Oakview Terrace, please respond after me…

Friends of United Way of York Region, do we have the courage to lead change on our most pressing social issues?


Do we have the courage to disrupt our current mechanisms and seek new innovative solutions, across sectors and silos?


Do we have the courage to take the fourth step –game-changing, transformative –together in 2010?


Ladies and gentlemen, I now pronounce us the navaa United Way of York Region …

One I remain humbled and honoured to serve.

Postcards from Congress Day 8 – Celebrating Canada’s Knowledge Mobilization Network

What Happened: Last day in Montreal, so it’s time for a little reflection. Our network has come of age. In 8 days, I have had the chance to speak with representatives, including other knowledge brokers, from all six RI-RIR universities.

Here are some highlights:

  • 130 quality conversations about RI-RIR and knowledge mobilization at our booth
  • Hosted a Congress Career Corner session about KMb on June 1
  • Presented at the SSHRC Impacts Workshop- “Understanding social sciences and humanities research outcomes and impact: from innovative metrics to success stories” on June 3
  • Attended and supported the national Knowledge Commons conversation
  • Continued to strengthen our relationships with colleagues at SSHRC, the Federation and within the broader KMb community

Why is this Important: Being Canada’s knowledge mobilization network, RI-RIR is now being recognized as a national leader that delivers programs and services. In addition, we are being acknowledged for our significant contributions to help inform the ongoing development of KMb in Canada.

Final Thoughts: The investments we have made over the past four years in attending Congress throughout Canada are paying off for us! The network is alive and well, and if delegates have any say, will grow. By the way, of those 130 conversations, nine other universities in Canada have asked how they can be a part of this network. I think this calls for a beer, to celebrate! See you in Fredericton in 2011!

Michael Johnny of RI-RIR York

Postcard from Congress Day 7 – Knowledge is King

What Happened: Today was spent with SSHRC, other Canadian research stakeholders and 17 grantees from the SSHRC “Capturing the Outcomes and Impacts” grants 2006-2008. We were exploring how our SSHRC funded projects might inform decisions at SSHRC to assist in measuring the impacts of research and articulating the benefits of research to various stakeholders from politicians to the Canadian public.

Why is it important: Telling our stories is important. Informing taxpayers and their elected officials of the outcomes and impacts of their investments in social sciences & humanities research ensures that our work remains relevant. Knowledge mobilization is an important element in this equation. If impact is the what (we are trying to achieve) then KMb is the how (we are going to achieve it) – thank you Gisele Yasmeen.

Final thoughts: Knowledge is King. Knowledge Mobilization is the “kingmaker”. Social Impact is the king’s legacy.

Michael Johnny of RI-RIR York

Postcards from Congress Day 6 – Big Ideas, Baby Steps

What Happened: UQAM hosted over 100 academics, students, community leaders and funders for a one-day conversation “to explore the role of knowledge in society”. This structured conversation is intended to support the development of a Knowledge Commons for Canada.

Why is this Important: The energy in the room was very positive and clearly people in the room felt very passionate about this initiative. Dr. Chad Gaffield, SSHRC President, who facilitated the morning plenary session shared, “we have not articulated the paradigm shift at Canadian universities across Canada” and this was significant as I felt a lack of a clear mission statement could be keeping this conversation at a level that lacks an action agenda. That said there were many highlights shared from the morning speakers and afternoon breakout sessions which the leadership can build on to strengthen the foundation of this initiative. It is a very important conversation, because as promoted, “there is a growing recognition that knowledge is not a monopoly of academics”. Check for more information.

Final Thoughts – There are two:

  1. When this shifts from a conversation to an action agenda then this will be a dynamic initiative and;
  2. A Keynote Listener- this is one of the most innovative ideas I have seen in some time!

Michael Johnny of RI-RIR York and Budd Hall of the OCBR at UVic

Post Cards from Congress Day 5 – The more things change….

What Happened: ResearchImpact lead a conversation in the University Affairs Career Corner about knowledge mobilization and career options inside, outside and after the academy. Thanks for Krista Jensen and Phillipe Dugas for participating. We also attended the new SSHRC Program Architecture presentation. See our previous blog on this topic here.

Why is this important: York is leading changes in KMb and students and faculty have the opportunity to embrace an evolving paradigm of engaged scholarship in order to take advantage of the opportunities that come with this change. And there will be change. And there will be opportunity – both in career choices that link research to practice/policy and in SSHRC grant funding that welcomes individual scholarship and engaged scholarship.

Final Thoughts: If you don’t ride the wave of change it will wash over you…

Gisele Yasmeen of SSHRC, Noreen Golfman of CFHSS and Brent Herbert-Copely of SSHRC

Postcards from Congress Day 4: Riding the Wave!

What Happened: We have been tracking our conversations with delegates while we are here at the ResearchImpact-Réseau Impact Recherche (RI-RIR) booth. This includes a full spectrum of queries (and trust me there has been a spectrum!). For example, on our first day 70% of requests asked where the registration desk is! Fast forward a few days, and on Sunday 70% of our conversations were substantial and related to knowledge mobilization

Why is this Important: Documenting the quantity and quality of our discussions should provide data to support our investment in attending Congress.

Final Thoughts: The annual nature of Congress also allows us to reflect on our growth and our role. I am struck this year with the quality of conversations, notably, ‘how can my university be part of this network’. We have also enjoyed conversations at our booth and at the evening President’s receptions with SSHRC staff, Gisele Yasmeen (VP Partnerships) and Christine Trauttmansdorff (Director, Policy, Planning and International Affairs) and Federation staff Jean-Marc Mangin (Executive Director) and Pierre Normand (Director, Communications). These collegial relationships we have developed with staff at SSHRC and the Federation demonstrates to me that we have truly arrived on the national scene. We have also connected with Budd Hall, Director of University of Victoria’s Office of Community Based Research and with Peter Levesque, with Knowledge Mobilization Works, who has arrived in Montreal today and is sharing booth space with ResearchImpact this week! The investment of four years seems to be paying off from this brokers’ perspective. I am enjoying the ride, and look forward to the growth opportunities from many more years of Congress participation!

Peter Levesque of Knowledge Mobilization Works and Michael Johnny of ResearchImpact- York at the RI-RIR booth

Postcards from Congress Day 3: Connected Understanding… Disconnected Book Fair

What Happened: The Congress Book Fair is the agora of Congress.  It usually holds the registration desk so is accessible to every one of the thousands of Congress delegates.  It holds all the book sellers and publishers.  It is the Congress home to SSHRC, CIHR, Canada Research Chairs and to ResearchImpact (and even to the Ottawa Police at Congress 2008 in Saskatoon!).  The Book Fair is the heart of Congress where scholars and graduate students mingle.  It’s where you feel the buzz.  But this year… not so much.

This year the Book Fair is spread through three buildings and on different floors within some of those buildings.  ResearchImpact is still having substantive conversations but we miss the cross pollination of buzzing next to our SSHRC friends.

Why is it important: Creating a buzz about social science and humanities research is part of what leaves a lasting impression on the minds of Congress delegates.  It can help politicians and journalists see the excitement that is possible when you connect research to timely topics.  The researchers are here but they are buzzing in their own scholarly associations.

Final Thoughts: Where else but the Book Fair can non-academics see the importance and connectivity of policy and practice relevant research but at the Book Fair?  The Book Fair will have less impact at Concordia’s Congress.  We are assured this will change next year at UNB (Fredericton, NB).  See you then.

Quiet morning at the Congress 2010 Book Fair

Pat Armstrong (LA&PS) at the ResearchImpact booth Congress 2010

Postcards from Congress Day 2: new ResearchImpact web features

What Happened: You have heard about KMb in Action. In response to one request from our web survey, we developed success stories of KMb in practice featuring stories of university researchers and their non-academic partners. Our online community also asked for greater access to KMb resources. We have expanded our web links section to become a new site called “KMb Bookmarks”. This section presents the latest KMb bookmarks that the ResearchImpact team has bookmarked through delicious, the social bookmarking site (see all of our delicious bookmarks at Our latest bookmarks are displayed as well as the tag cloud of all the 106 ResearchImpact bookmarks tagged with 195 tags.

Click on a tag and you’ll be taken to those bookmarks that are of interest to you. Click on one of the delicious links and you get to the site you’re interested in.

Why is it important: Social bookmarking is a way for ResearchImpact to share resources we think will be useful and interesting to you. You can also create your own delicious site and share your own interesting bookmarks with ResearchImpact.

Final Thoughts: Delicious is one more social networking tool that we are exploring for knowledge mobilization for Canada. Each year at Congress we release new web features. This year’s features, including the delicious KMb bookmarks, are responding to your needs. Thanks for your input.

David Phipps of RI-RIR York at the Congress 2010 booth

Postcards from Congress: Day 1 – ResearchImpact is Number 1 at Congress!

What Happened: ResearchImpact-Réseau Impact Recherche (RI-RIR) is exhibiting for the 4th year at Congress at the Bookfair. Among the 53 exhibitors that are located throughout Concordia, we have been assigned booth #1, and enjoy a premium location adjacent to the participant registration desk.

Why is it important: Exhibiting at Congress is extremely important to the RI-RIR network. With growing interest from the Canadian academic research community around knowledge mobilization, we want researchers to think of RI-RIR when they think about KMb.

Final Thoughts: In four years RI-RIR has undergone tremendous growth. We represent six universities now from our original two, and we also possess leadership in the theoretical and practical understanding/application of KMb. It is this knowledge that is driving our vision of RI-RIR to ultimately have an affiliation with all Canadian universities. And with that we look forward to our week in Montreal, and next year in Fredericton and the year afterward in Waterloo… and so on! We are number 1 for a reason, after all!

RI-RIR Booth at Congress 2010

New KMb in Action Stories

In our recent social media survey (read the blog post about the survey results here), several people said they would be interested in reading more KMb success stories and seeing examples of KMb projects. To answer this call we have added some new stories to the KMb in Action section of our website. Among these stories you can read about: York Prof. Isolde Diaski’s Health Bus Project, University of Victoria Prof. Jutta Gutberlet’s Binning in Victoria project and others. These stories are brief, sometimes featuring videos or supporting documentation and some have a ResearchSnapshot clear langauge research summary but most share the common element of researchers and non-academic partners working together to solve an unmet need.

We know the term knowledge mobilization isn’t always easy to grasp at first so we hope that by sharing some examples of KMb projects and events in action, visitors to our site will better understand what KMb is all about and how we might be able to help them.

Do you have a KMb project or event you would like featured on our website? If so, please contact us at

Binners in Victoria

United Way? United Wow!

On April 26 and 27 the United Way of York Region (UWYR) and York University hosted their counterparts from St. John’s, Montreal (UQAM), Guelph, Saskatoon and Victoria. This represented the first time the ResearchImpact universities met and was an ideal opportunity to invite our UW partners. Some of us (York, Victoria, Guelph) have established strong relationships between the university and the UW and the rest were meeting for the first time to explore possibilities. The goals of the meeting were two fold:

  1. Mobilize best practices and lessons learned about KMb from YorkU and UWYR to universities and communities across Canada
  2. Seed a national KMb network informed by evidence and best practice.

“I feel connected to a real network in spirit not just on paper”

The full agenda is available  here- UW-University KMb Meeting Agenda

Introductions: We prepared our recipe cards for success (for a successful meeting I need a pinch of _____________, a dash of _______________ and whole heaping handful of ________________) and shared them around the table. Humour was the ingredient most frequently cited… that we had, in abundance. Thanks to Jennifer Adams Warburton for setting the right tone for the meeting. In Newfoundland & Labrador they just “get ‘er done!”. And that we did!

KMb 101: The use of faculty and community partners in videos during York’s KMb overview grounded the KMb theory in the reality of community practice.

Presentations from Victoria and Guelph: These universities and their UW partners shared their experiences including UW Greater Victoria providing funding for UVic KMb interns and Guelph presenting on their new Research Shop.

Lunch: York’s KMb staff joined for lunch, presented on their KMb projects and we discussed staffing, resourcing and structures of the office.

Unconference Time: The group identified two topics of mutual interest and divided to discuss and report back. The Unconference topics were: 1) evaluation (we actually have very little understanding how to evaluate a system of KMb) and 2) local vs. national projects (a national network needs standards and tools to support local knowledge mobilization and we need a national network to enhance the access to scholarship anywhere across the country and to serve as a community of practice).

ResearchImpact: David Phipps (ResearchImpact York) presented a vision for ResearchImpact focusing on two activities: a community of practice and a larger pool of research and expertise to bring to the benefit of the ResearchImpact community partners. Louise Powell-McCarthy (UW Canada) provided reflections from a national perspective including her role as Director of Knowledge Exchange and her work to ensure all local UW share best practices through their Standards of Excellence.

Dinner: Lago. Good food. Great company. One theme emerged and remained with us – squirrel (you had to be there).

“We are so focused on the day to day but now we appreciate what the end looks like and what this can mean for policy change.”

The next day started with Saskatoon summing up what they heard from Day 1 and putting it in their perspective exploring learnings and opportunities for their community.

O3 demo: this was important as the entire meeting was managed through the ResearchImpact O3 site. A UW-University group was created with access to blogs, forums, gallery, documents and wikis, all of which were used to develop the community, provide materials in advance and set the tone for the meeting. The blog channel for this community is now open so check out the blog postings here.

Yaffle demo: We have previously blogged about yaffle, MUN’s online knowledge brokering service. Jennifer Adams Warburton presented on the launch and university (even province) wide implementation of this tool and described some of the success stories arising from yaffle. We briefly discussed its potential to link decision makers and researchers across the country – no promises but some great thinking.

For lunch that day we were joined by York’s VP Research & Innovation, Stan Shapson, and Assoc. VP Research (Social Sciences & Humanities), David Dewitt. We explored the impacts the meeting had on participants and made commitments to action in the following year. We then, one by one, said good bye, à bien tôt.

“very inspiring, happy to have been able to see how KMb is implemented in different communities”

The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive:

What did you like most about the meeting?
• Seeing how KMb is managed in the different universities and communities
• Meeting great people
• The sharing
• Establishing connections within a network
• Les experiences de chacune des universities et de Centraide et les outils développés.

What did you like least?
• Too many carbs, no decaf, need better snacks
• Le peu d’espace accordé à la traduction en français

Did you find the information about universities & ResearchImpact useful?
• We received a score 31 out of possible 36 points (36 = extremely useful)

Did you find the information about United Ways useful?
• We received a score 31 out of possible 36 points (36 = extremely useful)

After this event would you characterize the potential for United Way-University collaboration?
• We received a score 30 out of possible 36 points (36 = excellent potential)

What was the experience using the O3 social media site?
• We received a score 20 out of possible 36 points (36=excellent)

Are you interested in continuing this dialogue? 11/12 reported yes with one person saying yes so long as the openness continued.

While we have some way to go in supporting the use of O3 and serving fruit would have been nice, we received very positive feedback and have a mandate to move forward with plans for a national ResearchImpact network.

“I can see the power of the United Way national network and the academic network blended together.”

In summary: Watch the ResearchImpact YouTube channel, where we shall shortly be posting a video produced from the event. It was clear from all of the sharing and mutual learning, that collaboration between community and university, enabled by an institutional capacity for knowledge mobilization can maximize the impact of research on social service and community agencies and thus on the lives of Canadians. To cite York’s tag line, the meeting really did “redefine the possible”.

“Potential: need to think about what this [network] could be and connect”

Four common themes emerged from the meeting:

  1. In our diverse experiences community is stepping up to the KMb, plate but faculty, not so much. This culture change for faculty and for our academic institutions recapitulates the early years of technology transfer and industry liaison. Only the consistent application of professional services and an institutional capacity to support university-industry collaborations and time changed the collaboration culture in academic science & technology research. There’s a lesson here for knowledge mobilization.
  2. KMb is not a cookie cutter approach. While broad principles (involve decision makers in all stages; use a variety of KMb methods including push, pull, exchange and co-production; provide training and tools) should be adopted those must be implemented in a way that takes into account local opportunities and constraints. For example, KMb at York and UVic will achieve the same goals but be implemented differently.
  3. One word summed up the meeting: POTENTIAL
  4. And again… squirrel… because you had to be there.

Next Steps: While the next steps in the growth of ResearchImpact will depend on the outcomes of the careful reflection and deliberation of participants upon returning home, the one thing we are all committed to is continued dialogue in an open and transparent fashion.

“The United Way and Universities are two different cultures but by collaborating, change will happen and we can balance Canada’s innovation agenda.”

Thank you to CIHR which funded this meeting through a CIHR KT grant to York University and the United Way of York Region.

Results from our Social Media Survey

ResearchImpact has had a web presence since 2006 when we first launched our site Since then, we have made substantial changes to the site 2007 and 2009. We entered the Web 2.0 world with the launch of this blog in May of 2008 and then started using twitter (@researchimpact), delicious ( and O3 (, the online collaborative research platform developed by ORION in the spring of 2009.

We believe that social media or Web 2.0 tools are an important part of the research collaboration and KMb process and wanted to understand our community’s satisfaction with our online services, how they were using social media tools (ours and in general) and what features they would like to see us add in the future. So in November 2009, we conducted a survey asking our community to rate our online services and social media tools.

We invited everyone who receives our monthly email newsletter, anyone who had been to one of our KMb events, as well as anyone who had received one of our funding opportunities to take part in the survey (1151 people in total) and we received 99 responses. A report including all the responses is available here- Full Survey Results Report but here are some of the overall findings and suggestions that were made, as well as our plans to address some of the suggestions:

We asked 25 questions; the first set of questions focused on our web site, this blog, our monthly newsletter and twitter feed. We asked what people thought of of these tools and if they had any suggestions for improvement; and the second part of the survey asked questions about the use of common social media or Web 2.0 tools- which tools they use and which tools would they like us to start using.

Some Findings

  • The top two reasons for visiting our web site is to find information on knowledge mobilization and to learn about upcoming events
  • The majority of people who could rate the features on our web site were either satisfied or very satisfied with the features and no more than 5% of respondents found anything very unsatisfactory or unsatisfactory
  • The top three features people would like to see our on site are- Success Stories/examples of KM successes; a calendar of events (which we have added) and an Ask a Mobilizer feature, which could be a forum for questions to a KM researcher or practitioner
  • The majority of people (52.9%) were not aware that they could comment or ask a question on our blog postings and the majority of people (91.2%) have never left a comment on our blog. To leave us a comment, click on “Leave a Comment” at the top of this post
  • The majority of respondents (71%) were not on Twitter; 14.5 % were on Twitter but not following us; 8.7% were on Twitter and follow @researchimpact; and a final 5.8% did not know what Twitter was
  • Reading blogs and using Wikipedia, were the most common web 2.0 activities of our readers (40.6% read blogs on a monthly basis; and 54.5% used Wikipedia on a monthly basis).
  • The majority of people never used tools such as facebook (37.3%), Myspace (93.7%), flickr (62.9%), delicious (90.6%), ning (89.1%), friendfeed (93.8%) or Linkedin (60.7%). In addition, most people never wrote blogs (79%), commented on blogs (77.8%), read wikis other than Wikipedia (50.8%) or contributed to wikis other than Wikipedia (81.3%).
  • The top three picks for new tools to be added to the ResearchImpact web site were-Discussion forums; Collaboration tools such as document sharing, wiki; Connection tools such as database to find researchers, receptors, brokers, students
  • 80.7% of people said they use social media tools for both work and personal use

Web Site and Blog Story Suggestions

These are some of the suggestions we received and how we plan to answer your call:

1. Success stories/examples of KMb successes

  • In response to this request for more success stories and examples of KMb successes, we are currently working on adding more KMb stories to the KMb in Action section of our web site found at We anticipate adding three more stories to this section in May and then adding regular content here over the summer of 2010.

2. Calendar of events

3. Cross disciplinary examples

  • This is a topic we often address here on our blog. Two examples include our posts about  the research partnership between Stephen Gaetz, Faculty of Education, York University and Bernie Pauly, School of Nursing, University of Victoria (read it here) and the Aboriginal Policy Research Forum which brought together faculty members from four universities, as well as policy makers and citizens from across Canada (read it here).

4. International KMb stories and examples

  • We are planning to add a new regular series of posting to this blog called KMb World, which will feature stories and examples of KMb units and projects from across the world. We are currently in the process of soliciting stories and anticipate being able to share some of these stories in the coming months. If you know of someone undertaking key KMb work in other countries please let us know using the comment feature on this blog.

5. If I had a KMb wish… blog

  • This idea was suggested by one of the respondents and we plan to implement this in the near future.

6. Successful KMb strategies

  • We are developing a series of KMb tool kits which will cover a variety of KMb strategies that we use, such as how to develop research summaries, how to plan a KMb event, how to set up a social media strategy, etc. We plan to post this series of tool kits or “how-to’s” on the ResearchImpact web site in the coming months.

Over the last three years we have rolled out new web features at Congress. This year the theme of Congress is “Connected Understanding”. ResearchImpact will be rolling out some of these new features as we present at Congress 2010. Visit us if you’re in Montreal May 28-June 4!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey and please leave a comment if you have any more ideas or suggestions.

United Way-York University Graduate Student Intern Job Posting

We are happy to share the following job posting for a United Way of York Region-York University Graduate Student Intern position for the summer of 2010.

United Way – York University Interns Job Description

General Purpose:

The United Way-York University Interns will work with United Way of York Region (UWYR) Community Engagement and Research Committee to facilitate community- and evidence-based research that addresses UWYR strategic directions and priorities. Findings of the research will help inform the planning and delivery of UWYR Strength Investments within communities of rapid growth. UWYR Priorities (

  • Helping youth grow up strong
  • Enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence
  • Improving the well being of individuals and communities

Term of Internship: May 3 – August 27, 2010

Report to: Director, Community Investment, UWYR

Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Undertake a literature review focusing on the impact of growth and change on human services and various responses to address the impact.
  2. Conduct social asset mapping in identified geographies of growth in York Region.
  3. Organize community consultation and engagement activities with residents, community groups, service providers and other key stakeholders to identify, develop and ascertain strategies for UWYR Strength Investments.
  4. Analyze research findings and develop reports.
  5. Present reports to Community Engagement and Research Committee

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Currently affiliated with Faculty of Graduate Studies, may have finished degree requirements but not yet graduated
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Available to work full-time during the months of May to August 2010
  • Intern will receive relevant training and support through the Knowledge Mobilization Unit of York University and be part of knowledge mobilization community peer to peer network
  • Expertise in immigration & settlement, GIS, urban planning, program evaluation, human services, policy research & development or related disciplines an asset

Internship Stipend: $10,000 paid $2500 per month at the end of each month May-August 2010

Interested candidates should submit a résumé and cover letter describing the relationship between the applicant’s graduate studies and the interests of the United Way of York Region and how the applicant’s research expertise will contribute to a successfully executed internship. Please include the name and affiliation of your thesis supervisor.

Deadline: Submit applications by 4:30 pm on Friday April 23, 2010 to

For more information please contact Michael Johnny, Manager of York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit, x 88876;

We thank all candidates for their interest and application but only those invited to an interview will be contacted.

Download the full job description: UW-York KMb Summer Intern Job Description