The Impact Journey with International Impact Friends

پیمودن مسیر اثربخشی با دوستان بین‌المللی اثربخش

Vers l’impact : une trajectoire aux côtés de nos amis internationaux

Since mid-2017, David Phipps (Research Impact Canada/York University) and Hamid Golhasany (ACECR, Iran) have been collaborating on ways to help Iranian universities and researchers think through creating public value from social sciences and humanities research. Today they are writing about their first steps on this impact journey.

از اواسط سال 2017 دکتر دیوید فیپس (شبکه اثربخشی تحقیقات کانادا / دانشگاه یورک، کانادا) و حمید گلحسنی (جهاد دانشگاهی تربیت مدرس، ایران) همکاری‌هایی را برای کمک به دانشگاه‌ها و محققان ایرانی در دستیابی به اثربخشی از تحقیقات علوم اجتماعی و انسانی خود آغاز کرده‌اند. امروز آنها در مورد اولین گام‌ها در این مسیر می‌گویند.

David Phipps (Research Impact Canada/Université York) et Hamid Golhasany (ACECR, Iran) travaillent ensemble depuis le milieu de l’année 2017. Ils veulent aider les universités et les chercheurs iraniens à réfléchir aux moyens de faire profiter la population des recherches en sciences humaines et sociales. Ils racontent ici les premières phases de cette trajectoire vers l’impact.

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The Impact Journey with International Impact Friends

Impact is colorful and vivid; many diverse individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and expertise are involved in the process of creating supports to help researchers create impact. Impact goes beyond, engages beyond individuals, and seeks institutional change for making impact. Impact is also highly adventurous. It does not happen when a researcher is working in a lab day and night to write an excellent scientific article. Impact happens through collaborative research, supported by knowledge mobilization that helps the researcher to make many contacts, engaging with stakeholders and their problems, their practices, needs, and priorities. This is the interactional nature of impact which is a key part of any model of the research to impact journey.

This adventurous interactivity in the process of making impact relies upon but is not exclusive to the interaction with other parties out of academia. Often many researchers and scientific views come together in order to make the impact happen because the big issues facing local and global communities today such as climate change, income equality, refugees, global spread of diseases, and others are all multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral. Collaborating to make impact is not just the responsibility of researchers and their non-academic partners but is also the responsibility of research institutions who can also collaborate on developing supports for research impact.

This describes the emerging collaboration between ACECR and York University, the lead university in Research impact Canada. The Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) is an Iranian public non-governmental institution, established in 1980, that supports the production of knowledge and technology. This mission is achieved by directing innovative research and development projects in different fields of science and technology and pursuing the utilization of the results. Research Impact Canada (RIC) is a network of 15 universities also supporting the use of research for economic, social and environmental impact. We share the same goals to mobilize knowledge and to make impact from the research that our researchers conduct. MR. Golhasany (Research Director, ACECR, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran) reached out to Dr. David Phipps (York University, Toronto, Canada), Network Director for Research Impact Canada to learn about RIC’s experiences in supporting their SSH researchers in creating impact from their research. Iran is like Canada in that both countries not have a national impact assessment framework like Research Excellence Framework (REF) in United Kingdom. Both countries are interested in ensuring that research does not just sit within academic journals but can create a positive impact on local and global citizens. Therefore, compared to the countries with top-down national discussions, we have to pay extra attention to the promotion of impact-oriented thinking within our scientific and user/partner communities.

Dr. Phipps and Mr. Golhasany have corresponded over the last 6 months. RIC has provided input and insight into impact research projects that is being consucted in ACECR. In this process, Dr. Phipps has also generously helped to design Iran’s first seminar and exhibition of SSH impact, developing an educational program and many other projects that are in initial stages.

This collaboration has provided ACECR, as an intermediary organization between research communities and the society, an opportunity to revise its practices, develop more impact-oriented strategies and activities, and therefore, use the enormous potential of Iran’s research communities to create impact more effectively. Furthermore, it has allowed ACECR to become part of the movement around the globe dedicated to supporting the use of scientific evidence and promote the impact agenda within research communities.

Speaking about this colorful, interactive and adventurous collaboration, we would be happy to find new partners too in this journey. Please do contact us if there could be any possibility for forming new opportunities and collaborations.

پیمودن مسیر اثربخشی با دوستان بین‌المللی اثربخش

اثربخشی رنگارنگ و سرزنده است؛ افراد گوناگونی از زمینه‌ها، تجارب و تخصص‌های متنوع در فرایند ایجاد ساختارهای سازمانی و تدوین حمایت‌ها برای کمک به محققان در دستیابی به اثربخشی دخیل هستند. همچنین اثربخشی فراتر می‌رود، فراتر از افراد تعامل ایجاد می‌کند و تغییر نهادی برای تأثیرگذاری را دنبال می‌نماید. علاوه بر این اثربخشی بسیار پرماجرا است. اثربخشی زمانی که یک محقق روز و شب در آزمایشگاهی کار ‌کند تا یک مقاله علمی عالی آماده سازد اتفاق نمی‌افتد. اثربخشی زمانی حاصل می‌شود که تحقیق به شکل مشارکتی انجام گیرد و از طریق فرآیندهای انتقال دانش پشتیبانی شود که به محقق کمک می‌کنند ارتباطات زیادی برقرار سازد، با ذینفعان و مشکلات آنها درگیر شود و از شیوه‌ها، نیازها و اولویت‌های آنها آگاهی پیدا کند. این طبیعت تعاملی اثربخشی است که بخش مهمی از هر مدل توصیفی درباره مسیر اثربخشی را شامل می‌شود.

این تعامل پرماجرا در فرآیند دستیابی به اثربخشی تنها منحصر به تعامل با دیگر ذینفعان خارج از دانشگاه نیست. اغلب برای دستیابی به اثربخشی محققان و دیدگاه‌های علمی متنوعی گرد هم می‌آیند؛ زیرا مسائل امروزه جوامع محلی و جهانی مانند تغییرات اقلیمی، برابری درآمدی، پناهندگان، گسترش جهانی بیماری‌ها و دیگر معضلات، چندوجهی و چند رشته‌ای می‌باشند. علاوه بر این، تلاش برای دستیابی به اثربخشی تنها مسئولیت محققان و شرکای غیر آکادمیک آنان نیست، بلکه مسئولیت مؤسسات تحقیقاتی نظیر دانشگاه ها هم هست که می‌توانند در ایجاد حمایت‌های مناسب برای اثربخشی تحقیقات همکاری کنند.

این موضوع می‌تواند توصیفگر همکاری در حال ظهور بین جهاد دانشگاهی و دانشگاه یورک، به عنوان دانشگاهی پیشرو در اثربخشی تحقیقات در کانادا باشد. نهاد جهاد دانشگاهی یک موسسه غیر دولتی بوده که در سال 1980 میلادی با هدف حمایت از تولید دانش و فن آوری تأسیس گردیده است. این مأموریت با انجام پروژه‌های تحقیقاتی و توسعه‌ای نوآورانه در زمینه‌های مختلف علمی و فناوری و همچنین تلاش برای بهره برداری از نتایج آن ها انجام می‌گیرد. شبکه اثربخشی پژوهشی کانادا (Research Impact Canada) ، شبکه‌ای متشکل از 15 دانشگاه کانادایی است که از اثربخشی تحقیقات در حوزه‌های اقتصادی، اجتماعی و زیست محیطی حمایت می‌کنند. ما اهداف مشابهی را برای انتقال دانش و ایجاد اثربخشی از تحقیقاتی که محققان ما انجام می‌دهند، دنبال می‌نماییم. در همین راستا ارتباطی از سوی آقای گلحسنی (مسئول اجرایی پروژه های مطالعاتی جهاد دانشگاهی تربیت مدرس) با دکتر دیوید فیپس (دانشگاه یورک، تورنتو، کانادا، مدیر شبکه) برای برخورداری از تجربیات این شبکه در حمایت از محققان آنها در دستیابی به اثربخشی در حوزه‌های علوم انسانی و اجتماعی شکل گرفت. ایران همانند کانادا دارای چارچوب ملی برای ارزیابی اثربخشی پژوهش‌ها مانند چارچوب تعالی پژوهش (REF) در انگلستان نیست. با این وجود، هر دو کشور علاقه‌مندند تا تلاش کنند که تحقیقات آنها تنها در مجلات علمی باقی نمانده بلکه بتوانند اثربخش‌های مثبتی را بر جوامع داخلی و جهانی ایجاد کنند. بنابراین، در مقایسه با کشورهای دارای مباحث ملی اثربخشی (نظیر چارچوب‌های ارزیابی)، ما باید تلاش بیشتری برای گسترش تفکر اثربخشی در جوامع علمی و کاربری خود به کار بگیریم.

این تعامل بین دو سازمان در طول 6 ماه گذشته در جریان بوده و شبکه اثربخشی تحقیقات کانادا اطلاعات و تجارب خود را در ارتباط با پروژه‌های اثربخشی جهاد دانشگاهی تربیت مدرس در اختیار این نهاد قرار داده است. در این فرآیند، دکتر فیپس با سخاوتمندی در برنامه‌ریزی اولین سمینار و نمایشگاه بین‌المللی اثربخشی تحقیقات علوم انسانی و علوم اجتماعی، تدوین دوره‌های آموزشی اثربخشی و بسیاری از پروژه‌های دیگر اثربخشی جهاد دانشگاهی که در مراحل آغازین قرار دارند مشارکت نموده‌اند.

این همکاری نهاد جهاد دانشگاهی را به عنوان یک سازمان واسط بین جوامع تحقیقاتی و جامعه با فرصتی فراهم کرده است تا در شیوه عملکردی خود تجدید نظر کرده، استراتژی‌ها و فعالیت‌های مبتنی بر اثربخشی را تدوین نموده و بنابراین بتواند از پتانسیل عظیم جوامع تحقیقاتی ایران برای ایجاد مؤثرتر اثربخشی در جامعه استفاده نماید. همچنین این همکاری، این فرصت را برای جهاد دانشگاهی مهیا می سازد تا بخشی از جنبش جهانی حمایت از استفاده بیشتر از شواهد علمی و ترویج برنامه‌های اثربخشی در جوامع تحقیقاتی باشد.

در ارتباط با این همکاری رنگارنگ، تعاملی و پرماجرا، برای ما پیدا کردن شرکای جدید در این مسیر مسرت‌بخش خواهد بود. اگر در نظر شما امکانی برای ایجاد فرصت‌ها و همکاری‌های جدید وجود دارد حتماً با ما ارتباط برقرار نمایید.

Merry Mobilizing!

2017 Merry Mobilizing Card

Merry Mobilizing from the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University!

From left to right:

Simon Landry, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, VISTA

Anneliese Poetz, Manager, KT Core, Kids Brain Health

Sarah Howe, Director, Innovation York

Rebecca Giblon, Research Translation Assistant, KMb Unit

David Phipps, Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services

Stacie Ross, KT Assistant, KT Core, Kids Brain Health

Jeannie Mackintosh, KT Assistant, KT Core, Kids Brain Health

Asam Malik, Design Communications Assistant, KMb Unit

Krista Jensen, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, KMb Unit

Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, KMb Unit

Event: March 29: The Australian KT Experience and Our Move to the Impact Agenda

The Knoweldge Mobilization Unit at York University looks forward to welcoming Tamika Heiden to YorkU for a talk this Wednesday. Please join us if you are in the area!

The Australian KT Experience and Our Move to the Impact Agenda

March 29, 2017

Tamika Heiden, Knowledge Translation Australia

Tamika HeidenThis talk has been organized by the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University. Knowledge mobilization
helps turn research into action.

Tamika Heiden, of Knowledge Translation Australia, has been driving change, advocating for Knowledge Translation (KT), and training researchers and research support staff in KT processes for the past three years. In a country yet to embrace KT and Impact, Tamika has been preparing for the inevitable change to research funding and reward. In 2017, the Australian government is undertaking its first Engagement and Impact Assessment Pilot, with the view to ongoing impact assessment beginning in 2018.

Join Tamika as she shares the KT practices that are happening in Australia and gives insights into the current research impact and engagement evaluation landscape. This conversational style session will look at Tamika’s entrepreneurial approach to KT, examine current KT roles and activities, and discuss the role of KT in the Australian Impact and Engagement agenda moving forward.

Wednesday, March 29

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Room 519, Kaneff Tower
York University, Keele Campus
4700 Keele Street, Toronto

Knowledge Mobilization Officer Position Opening at York University

We are excited to share this job opportunity for a Knowledge Mobilization Officer to lead the VISTA, Vision: Science to Applications program at York University. Here is a summary of the position:

YorkULogoVer(large)Application Deadline: April 5, 2017 Full position details

Under the general supervision of the Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, the Knowledge Mobilization Officer (KMb Officer) works within knowledge mobilization team and more specifically, will be the knowledge mobilization lead for VISTA, the Vision: Science to Applications program. The knowledge mobilization team is part of Innovation York, the innovation unit within the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) at York University.

KMb Officer coordinates the various KMb functions in order to provide effective and efficient service and support to VISTA faculty members, trainees, students, and external VISTA partners in the administration of the University’s practices relating to knowledge mobilization. KMb Officer will advance knowledge mobilization activities for VISTA researchers, specifically VISTA core members by: creating and maintaining effective working relationships with VISTA faculty, trainees and students in order to understand ongoing research projects, assist in creating opportunities for research partnerships with external organizations, work with new and existing research partnerships, and assist with the creation and dissemination of communications materials for VISTA research projects.

KMb Officer will provide outreach to policy makers and decision makers, as well as external organizations, in order to disseminate communications materials and maximize the impact of VISTA research.

Minimum undergraduate degree is required, preferably in the sciences or communication/journalism.

Minimum two years of experience working with a specific knowledge mobilization or communications mandate, either in a university research administrative environment or in the equivalent in government, NGO, community or voluntary agency, in a research or policy environment.

Excellent presentation skills. Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment; excellent judgment, oral and written communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and organizational skills; ability to multitask, set priorities and meet tight deadlines; strong analytical skills; professionalism, tact, sensitivity and diplomacy in interactions with internal and external constituencies; flexibility, self-directed and demonstrated initiative, creativity; high level of accuracy and attention to detail; comfort with ambiguity. Knowledge of University research and financial policies and procedures an asset. Demonstrated advanced skills in MS Office, intermediate skill and experience in web design software (such as HTML or Dreamweaver) and basic database software (such as MS Access). Demonstrated experience using and instructing on the use of social media (O3 Platform, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) required, preferably in a research environment. Ability to work with databases and web content management systems. Demonstrated ability to use Google analytics and other web metrics.

Salary: Annual salary of $59,565 will be prorated based on the number of weeks worked.

Position Start Date: April 17, 2017 Position End Date: March 31, 2023

Application Deadline: April 5, 2017

For full position details, visit

Mobilizing Knowledge to Give Children and Families the Best Start: Research and Knowledge Mobilization Sub-Committee of Durham’s Best Start Network

This week’s guest post comes from Darren Levine, Manager of the Innovation and Research Unit in the Social Services Department of the Regional Municipality of Durham, on behalf of the Research and Knowledge Mobilization Sub-Committee of Durham Region’s Best Start Network.

Durham Region logoOver the past several months, the Research and Knowledge Mobilization Sub-Committee of Durham Region’s Best Start Network has begun to mobilize local EDI (Early Development Instrument) data to inform practice across Durham’s early learning community. This sub-committee is comprised of representatives from The Region of Durham’s Social Services Department, Innovation and Research Unit, and Health Department, local academic organizations including the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, and community agencies.

EDI data is gathered every several years to examine school readiness in young children and is led by the Offord Centre. Following each gathering of the data, a research report is written and is used to inform planning. Our sub-committee has taken recent EDI research and, earlier this month, completed our first two resources – an at-a-glance poster to be placed on the walls of early learning centres, and a two page “research-to-practice” highlight to be circulated amongst early learning professionals. These resources translate areas of the EDI that suggest opportunities for improvement into tangible, evidence-informed strategies for early learning professionals. These initial prototype resources have been very well received and we have begun to receive requests to put up the posters and distribute the summaries in early learning and childcare centres across Durham Region.

We are very excited and, in the new year our sub-committee will be scaling up to translate and mobilize other parts of Durham Region’s EDI data into tangible products for early childhood professionals, as well as explore digital platforms to support and enhance this work. We will also be exploring ways in which we might evaluate the impact of our work. Equally exciting is the very strong academic-community relationships that have been formed, and the shared leadership to co-create these resources that has emerged from all members of our sub-committee. Knowledge mobilization is truly a team effort!

Our sub-committee could not have gotten here without inspiration and all that we have learned from York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit!

Members of this sub-committee include:

Darren Levine – Innovation and Research Unit, Durham Region Social Services Department (Co-Chair)
Ann LeSage, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Co-Chair)
Alison Burgess, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Denise Cashley, Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth, Durham
Erin O’Dacre, Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources
Gloria Duke-Aluko, Innovation and Research Unit, Durham Region Social Services Department
Jackie Dick, PRYDE Early Learning Centres
Jane Thompson, YMCA of Greater Toronto
Jason Warga, Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth, Durham
Julie Gaskin, Durham Region Children’s Services
Karen Chartier, Lake Ridge Community Support Services
Laura Stephan, Innovation and Research Unit, Durham Region Social Services Department
Lorraine Closs, Durham College
Mary Lennon, Lake Ridge Community Support Services
Nicole Doyle, Durham College
Pam Douglas, Durham College
Susan Mace, Durham Region Heath Department
Taryn Eickmeier, Durham Region Children’s Services
Terra Mucci, Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth, Durham
Tracey Hull-Gosse, Durham College

Challenging Perceptions by Changing Ourselves / Défier les à priori en nous transformant

“There has been a shift in focus over the last two decades or so, moving away from a concern around ‘productivity’ to an emphasis on ‘innovation’, and, as we have seen here in Canada with the federal government’s new innovation agenda, towards ensuring that considerations of social inclusion are included in any innovation strategies or frameworks.”

« Depuis 20 ans environ, on assiste à une réorientation des priorités qui nous éloigne du souci de “productivité”, pour nous rapprocher de l’“innovation” et – comme on l’a vu ici, au Canada, avec le nouveau programme du gouvernement fédéral – de l’inclusion des enjeux de la solidarité sociale dans toutes les stratégies et les structures d’innovation. »

This is how Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice Chancellor, York University, began his opening address to the 4th annual Post-Secondary Education & Skills Summit of the Conference Board of Canada on November 30, 2016. He charged the audience to “challenge perceptions by changing ourselves”. Seeking to set the tone for the ensuing two days, President Shoukri spoke of innovation, emerging technologies, mission driven research, talent and entrepreneurship to an audience made up of researchers, students, academic administrators, government and advocacy organizations.

ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche was there.

President Shoukri at Conference Board of Canada

President Shoukri spoke about “Beyond Citations: Knowledge Mobilization, ResearchImpact and the Changing Nature of Academic Work”, the Conference Board of Canada’s report on the ResearchImpact network, which we wrote about in this blog on October 25, 2016. That report called on Canada to go beyond narrowly construed notions of technology commercialization and industry liaison and also embrace knowledge mobilization to more fully contribute to inclusive concepts of innovation. The report concludes “Universities need to invest in institutional supports, such as dedicated knowledge brokers, for knowledge mobilization, as they currently do for technology transfer and industry liaison”.

President Shoukri referred to the ResearchImpact network as creating a culture of knowledge mobilization in Canada. He said, “As its name suggests, the ResearchImpact network has been working to build and advance Canada’s knowledge mobilization and research impact culture across all areas of university research, including humanities, social sciences and the arts, so that we are generating research that is of value to society, and so that our research is getting into the hands of policy-makers, practitioners and decision-makers. This is a new, people-centred approach to research that also complements research agendas that traditionally have focused exclusively on tech transfer and commercialization.”

President Shoukri ended with a snapshot of what success would look like. His vision included:

• “Research with social value or mission-driven research that complements research and development with the work of knowledge mobilization more broadly; and
• More university and college partnerships with governments, not-for-profits and civil society.”

He then invoked the concepts underpinning inclusive innovation by recognizing the key role of non-academic partners in mediating impacts of research and the interconnectedness of our campuses with the public, private and civil society sectors.

“For our teaching and research to be truly valuable to society, for our graduates to be ready for the workplace, colleges and universities must be integrated into our communities—with government, with industry, with civil society—rather than islands.

The government has traditionally regarded the three areas of: economic growth, social justice and environmental sustainability as separate, but is now recognizing, along with the rest of society, that a more integrated approach is more effective.

This represents a key opportunity and key role for colleges and universities.”

Knowledge mobilization enables inclusive innovation by creating the conditions for collaborations that will maximize the impacts of research on Canadians. That truly is a key opportunity for colleges and universities and even for Canada.

The full text of President Shoukri’s remarks can be found on his website.

KMb at York 2015-2016 Annual Report Released / L’Unité de MdC de l’Université York rapport annuel pour 2015-2016

KMb at York has completed it’s Annual Report for 2015-16. The report highlights current services and recent successes and this report shared reflections on 10 years of KMb services at York University.

L’Unité de mobilisation des connaissances de l’Université York vient de terminer son rapport annuel pour 2015-2016. Ce rapport met en lumière les services offerts actuellement et les réussites les plus récentes, et propose une réflexion sur dix années de MdC à York.

2015-2016-kmb-at-yorku-annual-report-coverYou won’t have to look far to notice a central overarching theme to our Annual Report, which is recently completed and can be accessed here. The title page reflects a new logo we shared to reflect the 10 year anniversary of KMb Unit services and support at York U and for York Region and the entire Greater Toronto Area.

This 16 page report highlights our services, activities, partnerships and accomplishments over the past year and since 2006. The feature story is the success of the York Region Food Network (YRFN). Our engagement with YRFN has been more a tapestry of research engagement in areas of policy such as their Food Charter leadership as well as areas of programming such as their Aquaponics lab. Dr. Rod MacRae from the Faculty of Environmental Studies has provided oversight and engagement over this relationship and for a true grassroots organization it is great to see the significant impact YRFN is having in the Region.

The report also provides readers a two-page infographic which takes them along a timeline of development and accomplishment for the KMb Unit. Partnerships, staff hiring and service milestones are all represented in this great visual look back over time. The leadership of KMb at York is reflected well in this work developed by our Data and Communications Student, Meghan Terry.
Meghan is also the feature of our annual Student Profile.

Students play a very important role in support the work of the KMb Unit and with two students working regularly in our office (also working with Meghan is Rebecca Giblon as a Research Translation Assistant). Over the years students have been involved in many key operational developments, including this annual report. Our commitment to train and support students in areas of KMb is something we are very proud of.

Annual reports provide a good opportunity to reflect, gather data and information and help plan moving forward. And while we’re hopeful to share an Annual Report in 2025-2026 to reflect our 20th anniversary we acknowledge that year over year the growth, development and refinement of our service unit is important to capture, share and showcase. So we will focus on this 11th year of engaging our researchers and their partners outside the university in an effort to help research inform important areas of public policy and professional practice.

Lastly, 2016-2017 will see the KMb Unit formally move within the Innovation York office. This move will situate all innovation services for research in one office. We’re excited for the opportunities which we feel will strengthen our capacity to provide quality services.

Thank you for 10 years of support!

York U Champions Research Mobilization Through Graduate Experiential Education Program

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

York U welcomed 22 graduate students and their respective community partners on Monday, Sept. 19 to celebrate the launch of an exciting new award opportunity at the University.

Internship meeting photo

The meeting between 22 graduate students and their community research partners took place Monday, Sept. 19

The Office of the Vice-President of Research & Innovation (VPRI) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) were awarded $100,000 of funding from York for a university–wide graduate student paid internship experiential education program. The Academic Innovation Fund was established to support initiatives that advance York’s strategic priorities in relation to teaching, learning and the student experience.

“Congratulations to those 22 interns who were awarded funding for their innovative projects. We look forward to seeing them shape the future of teaching, learning and the student experience at York University,” said Robert Haché, vice-president Research & Innovation. “The ever-intensifying research enterprise at York provides an ideal environment to foster scholarship, creativity and innovation for young minds. These interns will benefit from, and become integral contributors to, this vibrant intellectual community.”

Facilitated through the Knowledge Mobilization Unit (KMb) and FGS, the program connects York graduate student researchers with organizations from the broader community who are pursuing research questions of interest to the students.

David Phipps, executive director, Research & Innovation Services, said he was very pleased to see that the 22 interns represented seven of the University’s Faculties “which makes this a pan–University initiative.”

Students have forged partnerships locally and internationally, with partners hailing from Brazil, Jamaica and Australia and spanning the spectrum from non–profit organizations, governments and the private sector. “At York, we’ve got a rich tradition of knowledge mobilization supporting research,” said Phipps.

Recent Conference Board of Canada statistics show that only 18.6 per cent of PhD graduates are employed as full-time university professors. This increases the urgency to prepare graduate students for other careers through skill-building, career development and experiential education opportunities. Providing graduate students with enhanced opportunities for integrated work and learning and skills acquisition is crucial to enhancing both the student experience and post–degree outcomes.

Mike Zryd, associate dean in FGS said, “There’s a strong connection between what you’re doing as students and researchers and the needs of community organizations. One of the things we’re finding is graduate students often don’t realize the professional skills they’re learning as part of their studies.”

Mylini Saposan

Mylini Saposan

One internship was awarded to Mylini Saposan, a master’s student in the Graduate Program in Health. Under the supervision of Dr. Emma Richardson, Saposan’s internship is with external partner St Michael’s Hospital’s Centre for Ethical, Social and Cultural Risk.

The opportunity at St. Michael’s Hospital will encourage Saposan to take a critical perspective in analyzing real and current issues affecting health quality both globally and locally. She will assist her team in developing a model for community engagement to be used as a resource for global health researchers to enable them to better adapt their research to local international contexts and facilitate greater community support.

Graduate students can apply for a one year part-time internship, an eight month part-time internship, or a four month full-time internship. Further application details can be found at:

The ultimate aim of the initiative is to place York University at the forefront for cutting-edge experiential educational opportunities for students at all levels of study, from undergraduate to doctoral, in support of their learning and goals.

York Leads Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum to a New Level of Excellence

This post originally appeared in YFile on July 6, 2016 and is reposted here with permission.

York University hosted the fifth annual Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (CKF16) on June 28 and 29.

By all standards this was the largest and most comprehensive gathering of knowledge mobilization scholars, students and practitioners in the world, said David Phipps, executive director of research and innovation, York University.

Participants gathered for the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum, which was hosted by York University

Participants gathered for the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum, which was hosted by York University

York University hosted this year’s forum as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit, which located in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation.

The forum, the only venue in Canada and the largest in the world, brings together the scholarship and the practice of knowledge mobilization across all disciplines. Some 232 registrants attended the forum, which had more than $50,000 in sponsorship. Participants came from across Canada and the United States, and from the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The hashtag #CKF16 trended on Twitter in Canada on both June 28 and 29. There were some 80 presentations, performances and posters.

Michael Johnny

Michael Johnny

“The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum is the premier event for knowledge mobilization in the world,” said Robert Haché, vice-president, Research & Innovation at York University. “Hosting this year’s forum is testament to York’s international reputation for knowledge mobilization.”

Michael Johnny, manager of York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit, chaired CKF16, and led a program committee that included Krista Jensen, York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Officer and partners from Gambling Research Exchange Ontario, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Bloorview Kids Rehab, Hospital for Sick Children, Treasury Board Secretariat of the Ontario Public Service.

“Michael Johnny and his entire team put together an exemplary program of content describing knowledge mobilization research, practice, theory, methods and tools,” said Peter Levesque, president of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization. “The outstanding response from the Canadian and global community is a result of Michael’s leadership this year and reflects York’s leadership over the last 10 years.”

Examples of knowledge mobilization research and practice shared at the forum came from research areas that included mental health and addictions, agriculture, the Arctic, Aboriginal issues, gambling, education, housing, social services and many other disciplines. Representatives shared their stories, tools and methods they used to maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of research.

David Phipps, centre, watches the proceedings

David Phipps, centre, watches the proceedings

The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum was started in 2011 by the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization and has since been hosted in Ottawa, Mississauga, Saskatoon and last year in Montreal drawing 172 registrants. Next year the forum will return to Ottawa as part of celebrations to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Enabling Online Community For Remote Learners: An Opportunity with Contact North

MICH logoThe Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage (MICH) Program at York University invites you to attend an afternoon broadcast from the Mobile Summit 2016 at Lambton College. The broadcast will take place at Kaneff Tower, York University, Room 746 and will feature MICH and Contact North representatives discussing a free video collaboration hub available to York University researchers to deliver courses and workshops to remote communities in Ontario.

If you are a teacher, educator or work with remote communities, we invite you to join this session to brainstorm on some possible opportunities to leverage Contact North’s services. You could, potentially, deliver one of your courses to students at a Contact North hub and this presentation will allow you to realize the possibilities. We hope this presentation will allow you to leverage a variety of content delivery ideas and also spark further ideas on using a Contact North model in other communities.

Lunch will be served at 12:15 pm followed by the presentations at approximately 1:00 pm. The session will conclude at 2:00 pm.

To register, send an email to with confirmations.

CommunityBUILD Launches the Social Venture Pipeline Accelerator Program for Social Entrepreneurs

This post originally appeared in YFile on April 6, 2014 and is reposted here with permission.

Innovation York announces that communityBUILD, an ongoing collaboration between York University, Seneca College, ventureLAB, United Way Toronto and York Region, has launched a new Social Venture Pipeline initiative to help budding social entrepreneurs in York Region build their social venture ideas into companies.

communityBUILD’s mission is to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem by addressing important social issues in York Region and beyond. The new Social Venture Pipeline initiative is now accepting applications to join the program beginning in May 2016.  The program consists of a four and one half month accelerator followed by a three month incubator for social ventures near to launching their solutions to market.

Robert Hache

Robert Hache

“communityBUILD finds ways to engage social entrepreneurs who are focused on addressing major social issues, whether on a local or global scale,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the Social Venture Pipeline program will benefit from research expertise and mentorship, as well as opportunities to learn more about social issues important to York Region.”

The Social Venture Pipeline initiative is a program that arose from York’s partnerships with United Way Toronto, York Region and ventureLAB, the York Region’s Regional Innovation Centre and Seneca College. communityBUILD’s unique collaboration connects the strengths of university and college research with entrepreneurship and the lived experiences of members of the York Region community.

David Phipps

David Phipps

“For more than 10 years, York University and the United Way have been working together to help to advance social innovation.  Our collaborative expertise in this area helps distinguish the Social Venture Pipeline initiative from other supports for social enterprises in Ontario,” said David Phipps, executive director of research & innovation services at York University.

The goal is for entrepreneurs to merge the social impacts with business acumen to turn their social venture ideas into growing and emerging businesses. The Social Venture Pipeline program builds on the programming offered through the communityBUILD Social Innovation Mash-Up competition in 2014.

Innovation York helps bring innovative research and discoveries to market by connecting industry partners and other entrepreneurs with researchers and students. The organization provides access to resources and information, and creating a vibrant and engaged research community for start-ups to be successful and enabling social innovation.

Applications for the Social Venture Pipeline are due on April 15. For more information or to register, visit:

York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit Celebrates 10 Years of Service

This week’s post, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University, first appeared in YFile on February 7, 2016 and is reposted here with permission.

KMb at York 10 year logoYork University’s Knowledge  Mobilization (KMb) Unit, a national leader with an international reputation for connecting research and researchers to maximize the impact of their findings on society, is celebrating 10 years of service.

Since it was founded in February 2006, the KMb Unit has created significant impacts by helping to secure more than $42.9 million in federal research funding and $1.14 million in funding from community partners. It has engaged 323 faculty members and 167 graduate students from across the University in KMb activities, it has hosted 636 information sessions and created 422 brokering opportunities.

“Throughout the years, York’s award-winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit has helped to strengthen the relationship between research, policy and practice on a global scale,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation.

The KMb Unit has been sought out to provide input into organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, New Zealand, Columbia and Argentina.  “We are delighted to be celebrating 10 years of service and look forward to advancing social innovation through engaged scholarship,” said Haché.

The work of the KMb Unit assisted the Youth Emergency Shelter of Peterborough in creating a new life skills mentoring program. It has helped York research inform the cooling policies for the City of Toronto during extreme heat alerts. It has also helped develop the Toronto Weather Wise Committee and the United Way York Region create a new funding stream called Strength Investments that are helping to build civic muscle in York Region. Based on a connection made by the KMb Unit, York research helped the Regional Municipality of York expand their immigrant settlement services by investing over $20 million, creating 86 jobs and delivering more than 48,000 services over a five-year period.

York’s KMb Unit has enjoyed other successes. In 2012, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit received the Knowledge Economy Network Best Practice Award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network (KEN). A year later, David Phipps, executive director, research and  innovation services, which includes York University’s KMb Unit, was named the most influential knowledge broker in Canada, according to a report by Knowledge Mobilization Works, a consulting and training company based in Ottawa. Currently, the KMb Unit is collaborating with colleagues from the UK on a project that will develop capacity for university-based knowledge mobilization professionals.

York University is also a founding member of ResearchImpact (RIR), a pan-Canadian network of 12 universities committed to maximizing the impact of academic research for the social, economic, environmental and health benefits of Canadians. RIR is committed to developing institutional capacities to support knowledge mobilization by developing and sharing knowledge mobilization best practices, services and tools.

Since 2012, the KMb Unit has partnered with NeuroDevNet, a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE), which is dedicated to understanding brain development and to helping children and their families overcome the challenges of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and cerebral palsy, to maximize the social and economic impacts of NeuroDevNet’s investments in research and training.

Founded in February 2006, the unit provides a suite of activities that enhances the two-way connection between researchers and research users. The KMb Unit employs knowledge brokers who connect research and people to maximize the social, economic and environmental impacts of research. It is dedicated to knowledge brokering and partnership support, training and capacity building, and supporting research grants and research event planning.

For more information, contact Michael Johnny, manager, knowledge mobilization, or visit or follow @researchimpact on Twitter.

The Who, What and How of Research Impact / L’impact de la recherche : le qui, le quoi et le comment

David Phipps has just returned from three weeks in the UK for his Fellowship funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Working with his Fellowship partner, Julie Bayley (Coventry University), he became immersed in research impacts mediated through public engagement, commercialization, entrepreneurship, internationalization and knowledge exchange. This affords the opportunity for a trans-Atlantic comparison of the people who are creating and assessing the many impacts of research. You can help by participating in a survey to help us figure this out.

David Phipps rentre tout juste d’un voyage de trois semaines au Royaume-Uni, où il a avancé les travaux qu’il réalise à titre de boursier de l’Association of Commonwealth Universities. Avec sa partenaire de subvention, Julie Bayley (de la Coventry University), il s’est penché sur l’impact produit par l’engagement dans le domaine public, la commercialisation, l’entrepreneuriat, l’internationalisation et l’échange de connaissances.Cela ouvre la porte à une comparaison transatlantique des personnes qui créent et qui évaluent les multiples impacts de la recherche.Vous pouvez les aider à mettre de l’ordre dans tout cela en participant à un sondage.

Julie Bayley and David Phipps

Julie Bayley and David Phipps

If research impact were a coin it would have two sides: heads (research impact assessment) and tails (knowledge mobilization that creates impacts of research). My Canadian experience is almost wholly knowledge mobilization – the practices and tools that help to maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of research. Driven by the REF (see below), Julie’s UK experience is almost wholly capturing the evidence of impact and connecting the steps in the narrative that describes the pathway(s) from research to impact beyond the academy.

But despite our different perspectives on impact we have a lot of common language that allows us to navigate to our collaboration which explores the skills and competencies of knowledge brokers. These similarities among differences is reminiscent of a previous post where I attended the International School of Research Impact Assessment.

The primary difference between the two approaches to research impact is the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF allocated funding to universities based, in part, on their ability to articulate the impacts of their research beyond the academy. The evidence of impact, predicated on as established body of codified scholarship, was presented in a narrative case study that was then assessed by panels of academic and non-academic expertise. REF was a research impact assessment exercise affecting the entire post-secondary system in the UK. Administering the REF cost the UK £250 million although some estimates are up to four times that amount.

But here’s the thing….REF assessed impacts arising from pre-existing research. Outside of supports for commercialization and entrepreneurship there are few institutional and no system wide support networks for non-commercial impacts in the UK. This is in contrast to the Canadian experience where there is no system wide assessment of impacts beyond the academy but there are institutional efforts to help researchers and their partners create impacts exemplified by the 12 university members of ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network.

Canada has developed the tools and processes to create impact (the “how” of impact). The UK has developed methods to assess and articulate impacts (the “what” of impact). My work with Julie began with these differences and progressed to focus on the “who” of impact: the public engagement officers, knowledge brokers and REF staff. We know how to support impact. We know how to assess impact. We know less about the people actually working across the spectrum from stakeholder engagement to partnership development to impact assessment.

You can help us out. If you are a working in a role that supports research impact, no matter how tangentially, then we welcome your participation in our survey. In about 20 minutes you can let us know your experiences practicing different skills and competencies in your job. You can take the survey at It will be live until January 31, 2016.

Merry Mobilizing!


Merry Mobilizing 2015

Merry Mobilizing from the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University!

From left to right:

Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization

Anneliese Poetz, Manager, NeuroDevNet KT Core

David Phipps, Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services

Krista Jensen, Knowledge Mobilization Officer

Rebecca Giblon, Research Translation Assistant

Amber Vance, Research Translation Assistant

Meghan Terry, Design Communications Assistant

Stacie Ross, KT Assistant, NeuroDevNet KT Core

Putting the Social into R&D / Du social dans la R-D

ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (David Phipps, RIR York and Cathy Edwards, RIR Carleton) participated in a two day design workshop to develop the basis for an R&D agenda for Canada’s social sector. Or was it to develop a national agenda for R&D with social impact? Whatever it was we won’t be able to do it alone.

Des membres du RéseauImpactRecherche-ResearchImpact (David Phipps, RIR York et Cathy Edwards, RIR Carleton) ont pris part à un atelier de conception de deux jours qui visait à poser les fondements d’un programme de R-D pour le secteur social au Canada – ou peut-être à mettre au point un programme national de R-D ayant un impact social? En tout cas, peu importe ce que c’était, on n’y arrivera pas tout seuls.

For two days Cathy and I joined a meeting of national Foundations (including Community Foundations Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Vancouver Community Foundation, McConnell Family Foundation, Trico Foundation, Rideau Hall Foundation, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation), social entrepreneurs, Imagine Canada and intermediaries like Tim Draimin and Kelsey SPITZ from Social Innovation Generation who organized the event with Vinod Rajasekaran from Hub Ottawa/Rideau Hall Foundation.

We came together as a follow on to work over the summer that was inspired by a SIG blog titled “Doing Good Better: Upping Canada’s Game with an R&D Engine”. The summer work generated a Declaration of Action that called on social innovators/entrepreneurs and their allies to imagine the impact of joining the heart of community and lived experience with the R&D capacity found in other sectors.

We fortunately didn’t get stuck in definitional dystopia. We resisted the unproductive challenge of agreeing on a definition of “research” or “development” but we did discuss if this this was social R&D or R&D for social impact.  I prefer the latter. Universities already do lots of research on social and environmental issues (although we do some “innovation” but little “development”). We can also develop technology or analyze open data; however it has social (and environmental) impact when we work to reduce disparities, encourage reconciliation, work on climate change and/or improve the health of our local and global communities rather than making money as the primary objective. Money isn’t bad as a byproduct of R&D with a social impact but it means we pay attention to the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits.

We were all asked to make a commitment to one of five working streams arising from the design workshop. I signed up for the conversation about working across sectors in a polycentric fashion. No one sector will be able to achieve social impact from R&D working alone. We need governments and we especially need corporations at the table to achieve lasting impact at scale. Cathy Edwards volunteered to continue the conversations with Hub Ottawa to build up connections and conversations in the region.

Universities, represented by RIR, are at the table. Our role is to represent the role that academic research institutions can contribute to this planning stage and, eventually, to broker to specific research expertise. We will first broker to academic expertise on the social/community/charity/voluntary/NGO (chose your descriptor) sector to ensure the right governance, finance and tax instruments are available to maximize the ability for the social sector and people with lived experience to participate as equals in these R&D efforts. Live long and prosperSubsequently, as domain and subject priorities are identified, RIR will be able to broker research collaborations with faculty and students from across Canada.

If you believe in this work you can contribute by adding your name to the Declaration of Action by emailing

For me, the entire event can be summed up in the words of Anil Patel (TimeRaiser) who commended us to “share strong and prosper”.