Knowledge Mobilization

Definitions and Principles

About Knowledge Mobilization

Knowledge mobilization helps make research useful to society by supporting engaged scholarship from inception to impact.

Knowledge mobilization is a suite of services that connects academic research, researchers and students with individuals and organizations seeking to develop sustainable solutions to social, cultural, economic, environmental, and health challenges. Involving scholarship across all disciplines, knowledge mobilization is concerned with research, scholarship (including teaching & learning) and creative activities that have potential to inform decisions about public policy, business and professional practice and social programs. Partners for knowledge mobilization can be from the public, community/non-profit, and the private sector. Knowledge mobilization also supports engagement of research, researchers and students with the broader public.  Knowledge mobilization occurs throughout post-secondary systems and some institutions have dedicated research impact practitioners who provide knowledge mobilization services to researchers, students and their non-academic partners.

Some definitions commonly associated with knowledge mobilization:

Knowledge Mobilization means brokering relationships between researchers and non-academic research partners so that research and evidence can inform decisions and understanding about public policy, professional practice and other applications. Knowledge mobilization services include methods of knowledge transfer, knowledge translation and exchange, and extend them to include the co-production of knowledge. Knowledge mobilization turns research into action.

Social Innovation is an umbrella term that encompasses social enterprise (for profit companies with a social mission) and social finance (impact investing, mission related investing). Social Innovation is the creation or application of research and knowledge to develop sustainable solutions to social, environmental and cultural challenges. Social innovation results in more efficient and effective human services, more responsive public policies and greater cultural understanding. Knowledge mobilization (the process) may contribute to social innovations (the outcome).

Community engagement is collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity” (Carnegie Foundation) and includes many possible avenues for that exchange including knowledge mobilization.

Public Engagement “describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit” (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement).

Community-Engaged Scholarship involves the researcher in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community and results in scholarship deriving from teaching, discovery, integration, application or engagement (Campus Community Partnerships for Health).

Community Based Research (CBR) is where the research questions are driven by community partners and engage academic and community researchers as equal participants in all stages of the research process. CBR is a co-production methodology. CBR leaders in Canada include the Office of Community Based Research (University of Victoria) and Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (University of Guelph) both of whom are RIC partner universities. For more information see Community Based Research Canada

Scholarships and Bibliographies

Research Impact Canada Publications

Members of Research Impact Canada have published a variety of articles related to the work they do. A list of these publications can be found here

KMb Journal Club

The Research Impact Canada’s KMb Journal Club presents a summary of knowledge mobilization related academic journal articles in a standard format. This space is designed to make research more accessible to practitioners. If you are reading a journal article that you think would be relevant to KMb practice, you are invited to submit a journal club summary to us for consideration by emailing


If you are interested in exploring references related to knowledge mobilization, please visit our Zotero account Equipe RENARD also maintains a Zotero account of French and English articles related to knowledge mobilizaton If you are looking for specific items, please contact us at

Journal Club