The forWater: NSERC Network for Forested Drinking Water Source Protection Technologies is a University of Waterloo-led, pan-Canadian strategic research network that is funded by $9-million of support from NSERC, nine Canadian universities, and numerous drinking water, land management, environment, industrial forestry, public health, and knowledge mobilization industry and government partners. The forWater Network will contribute to transforming the way in which communities, governments and industries work together in Canada and abroad to adapt to changing climate and other water-related threats by use of innovative “green technologies” for source water protection and integrated management of critical drinking water supplies, and the forests from which they originate.
In order to achieve these ambitious outcomes, the forWater Network’s senior leadership recognizes that engagement of partners and end users of the network’s research outputs is essential. By developing an in-depth understanding of partner and end user knowledge needs, the network will be well-positioned to offer knowledge that is relevant, timely and accessible to meet these needs. Actively engaging these stakeholders throughout the research process is also central to ensuring end-user buy-in and uptake of the network’s research knowledge.
As a result, forWater is seeking a qualified and dynamic individual to support the network’s leadership in effectively implementing its knowledge mobilization (KM) strategy. The Knowledge Mobilization Manager will be responsible for the effective engagement of network partners and end users in support of forWater’s Knowledge Mobilization goals, and will lead the development of meaningful research outputs for these stakeholders. The incumbent will work collaboratively with the Canadian Water Network lead KM specialist, based at the University of Waterloo.
This role is contingent on funding.
Facilitate Effective Engagement of Network and End Users
- Build relationships between research producers and users (end users). Ensure partner/end user participation in all phases of the research, so that outputs are “decision ready” knowledge that they can act upon
- Recognize that end users are united by the shared, pressing need for new knowledge 1) regarding the impacts of different forest management strategies on source water quality and treatability and 2) organized around the key research questions but extremely diverse in their KM needs and roles (i.e., how they would best take up and capitalize on that knowledge and how they can contribute to informing the research questions and/or designing the research methodologies to best inform their decisions)
Develop Meaningful Research Outputs for Stakeholders
- Ensure that knowledge or technology is both delivered to end users in an end-user friendly format and altered to maximize impacts
- Deliver two types of outputs: 1) the science outputs typically associated with high quality research and 2) end user oriented outputs that enable knowledge uptake and end user-defined outcomes identified by Network partners. The KM Manager will lead the dissemination of all end user-oriented outputs, including in person workshops, webcasts, and conferences that include continuing education units
Network Communications Plan
- Develop and implement a network communications plan
- Be responsible for communications with the media and general public
- Maintain the forWater Network’s website and social media account, deliver youth outreach, and assist the HQP Training Coordinator with delivering KM training to network HQP during the annual forWater source-to-tap training program week
- Work with university outreach to deliver press releases and profile-raising stories and materials and to field and direct outside inquiries for information
- Develop/implement end-user reports as well as other reporting and survey templates
- Prepare factsheets and targeted white papers
- Bachelor’s degree in social science, environmental science, or other related field, with 5+ years of relevant experience; a graduate degree is strongly preferred
- Familiarity with survey development, implementation, and statistical and qualitative analysis of survey results
- Demonstrated experience working directly with diverse stakeholders across multiple disciplines; direct experience working with drinking water utilities is preferred
- Direct experience working with the academic research community
- Knowledge mobilization theory or practice, or experience with the integration of research-based evidence into policy or practice
- Work independently and complete tasks professionally
- Schedule and coordinate multiple projects
- Synthesize large amounts of information to distill key points and implications for non-academic audiences
- Prepare and deliver effective presentations
- Prepare concise, clearly-written reports
- Adapt written and oral communications to meet the information needs of different audiences
- Effectively work, communicate, and build rapport with senior researchers and executives in different sectors
- Lead webinars and workshops
- Work independently, and work as a contributing member of a larger team
- Be comfortable dealing with the media
- May involve somewhat frequent travel to various locations across Canada to visit our diverse, multi-sectoral partner base, attend conferences, and participate in project specific events such as board of director’s meetings, annual general meetings, and high-quality personnel training