UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum – Call for Content

This week’s guest post was first published on the UKKMbF website and it reposted here with permission.

UKKMbF call for contentThe UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum is a space for collaborative learning and reflection amongst those engaged in the art and science of sharing knowledge and ensuring that it can be used. We are now inviting contributions from anyone with a story, method, resource or insight to share about knowledge mobilisation. If you have got something to share, we would love to hear from you! To contribute, please read the details below, download the submission form (at the bottom of the page) and email it to us at ukkmbforum@gmail.com by Friday 13th October. We aim to notify all contributors by the end of October 2017.

Contributions should cover one of the areas listed below. Please indicate which area your contribution fits into on the submission form.

– Knowledge mobilisation practice – examples and case studies of knowledge sharing practices and activities. The emphasis here is on sharing practices, experiences (good and bad!) and learning about the practice of knowledge mobilisation.

– Knowledge mobilisation research & evaluation – examples of research into knowledge mobilisation and the evaluation of knowledge sharing initiatives and approaches. The emphasis here is on sharing insights and results from the study of knowledge mobilisation.

– Knowledge mobilisation training & development – examples and case studies of knowledge mobilisation training and development activities. The emphasis here is on sharing experiences and practices of educating and training people (researchers, practitioners and the public) in the art and science of knowledge mobilisation. This could include activities to support informal learning and development amongst knowledge mobilisers.

In this year’s programme we have created opportunities for the following types of contribution.

INTERACTIVE POSTERS

Two interactive poster sessions will take place during the Forum. During the first, you will simply need to display your poster and provide an opportunity for your fellow delegates to leave (written) comments and questions. Posters should be A0 or A1 size and can be either portrait or landscape. During the second session, you will have an opportunity to respond to the comments and questions which have been left by your fellow delegates and to develop a shared conversation about your poster. Note – you will not need to ‘present’ your poster, but simply respond to the comments and questions which have been raised.

SHORT PRESENTATIONS

When we say short – we mean short! Presentations should last no more than 7 minutes in total, slides should be light on words and heavy on images and should advance automatically after 15-30 seconds. Resources to help you prepare (and work out if it’s for you) can be found here (http://scottberkun.com/2009/how-to-give-a-great-ignite-talk/) and here (http://www.pechakucha.org/watch).

WORKSHOPS

Workshops should be both practical and interactive with an emphasis on collaborative learning. You will have up to 45 minutes and could use the time to explore a topic in a bit more depth, give participants an opportunity to try something out, find out what people think about something you have developed or try out a new interactive or learning approach. The choice is yours – but the workshop should be both practical and interactive.

MARKET STALL

Market stalls provide an opportunity for you to ‘display your knowledge mobilisation wares’! This could include any kind of materials relating to your knowledge mobilisation practice, research or training & development activities. We particularly welcome stalls which will encourage interaction and conversations. You will be allocated a round table (approx 6ft diameter) to display your materials on, but if you need more space or would like to bring your own display boards, please indicate this on the submission form.

2018 submission form

Research Impact Canada Leaps onto International Stage, Welcomes Three New Members / Réseau Impact Recherche saute sur la scène internationale et accueille trois nouveaux members

This week’s guest post first appeared in the September 2017 edition of the CARA Connection newsletter and is reposted here with permission.

Ce récit a été publié la première fois dans le bulletin Connexion de l’ACAAR, septembre 2017. Il est repris ici avec permission.

Robert HacheOn August 11, 2017, Dr. Robert Haché, Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University and Chair of the Executive Lead Committee of Research Impact Canada, announced that three new institutional members have joined Canada’s expanding knowledge mobilization network.

“We are pleased to welcome the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Western University as new institutional members. Additionally, we welcome the first international affiliate member: the United Kingdom’s University of Brighton,” said Dr. Haché. “These universities bring unique strengths to the network with expertise in knowledge mobilization, community engagement and research collaborations with partners from the public, private and non-profit organizations,” he added.
Research Impact Canada is a network of 14 universities stretching across Canada from Memorial University of Newfoundland to the University of Victoria. The addition of the University of Brighton represents a leap onto the international stage. The network’s goals are to support the engagement of faculty, students and their non-academic research partners which in turn maximizes the social, economic, health, cultural and environmental impacts of research. This vital work will ultimately inform decision-makers, policy-makers, and practitioners, working in community, industry and government partners.

New Members Bring Unique Expertise

Research Impact Canada provides a unique opportunity for institutions to learn from each other and build competencies. In this spirit, the three new members have much to offer the network, for example:

– UBC’s long standing commitments such as the UBC Learning Exchange and more recent knowledge mobilization initiatives such as the Policy Studio in the new UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

– Western University’s “knowledge stewardship” program, a collaboration between the research office and libraries; and

– The University of Brighton’s internationally recognized Community University Partnership Programme, which supports the many ways in which the University and community can work together.

Benefits to Joining

Research Impact Canada bridges the gap between research and real-world application and impact, a core value in today’s academic environment. The Report from the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science articulated this best: “Research is essential to the health, prosperity, and security of Canadians and to our efforts to foster a creative, inclusive, and vibrant society.”

In line with this thinking, successful grant applications often link research to impact; programs such as the Networks of Centres of Excellence and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grants are built on an expectation that research will have a lasting impact on Canadians.

McMaster University provides a prime example of the benefits of joining the network. This University won the 2017 SSHRC Award of Excellence for Communications (May 31, 2017). It did this through modifying the ResearchSnapshot clear language summary series that Research Impact Canada had piloted. McMaster adapted the formatting and created an award-winning social media strategy for their “Research Snaps.”

For more information, visit the Research Impact Canada website or contact David Phipps, Network Manager (info@researchimpact.ca). Follow the group on Twitter @researchimpact. To read the Report from the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science, visit the website. For more context, read the Conference Board of Canada’s publication Beyond Citation.

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Le 11 août 2017, M. Robert Haché, Vice-Président, Recherche et innovation à l’Université York et Président du Comité exécutif de direction du Réseau Impact Recherche Canada, annonçait l’arrivée de trois nouveaux membres institutionnels au sein du réseau grandissant de mobilisation des connaissances au Canada.

“Nous sommes ravis d’accueillir l’Université de la Colombie-britannique (UBC) et l’Université Western en tant que nouveaux membres institutionnels. De plus, nous souhaitons la bienvenue à notre tout nouveau membre affilié international, soit l’Université de Brighton, située au Royaume-Uni, » a déclaré M. Haché. « Ces institutions mettent leurs propres forces et leur expertise en mobilisation des connaissances , en engagement communautaire et en collaborations de recherche avec des partenaires du secteur public, privé et sans-but lucratif au service des membres de notre réseau, » a-t-il ajouté.

Le Réseau Impact Recherche Canada est un réseau de 14 universités situées à travers le Canada, de l’Université Memorial à Terre-Neuve jusqu’à l’Université de Victoria. L’ajout de l’Université Brighton propulse le réseau sur la scène internationale. Les objectifs du réseau sont d’apporter un soutien aux chercheurs, aux étudiants et à leurs partenaires de recherche non-académiques afin de maximiser les impacts sociaux, économiques, culturels, environnementaux et en santé de la recherche. Ce travail primordial en viendra à mieux informer les décideurs politiques et économiques ainsi que les praticiens qui travaillent de concert avec des partenaires communautaires, industriels et gouvernementaux.

Les nouveaux membres apportent une expertise unique

Le Réseau Impact Recherche Canada offre aux institutions une occasion unique de développer des compétences en profitant de l’expertise de ses membres. À cet effet, nos trois nouveaux membres ont beaucoup à nous offrir :

– L’engagement à long terme de l’Université de la Colombie-britannique sur des projets tels que le UBC Learning Exchange, ainsi que de récentes initiatives en mobilisation des connaissances telles que la création du Policy Studio dans la nouvelle UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

– Le programme “gestion des connaissances”, une collaboration entre le Bureau des services de la recherche et les bibliothèques de l’Université Western; et

– Le Community University Partnership Programme, reconnu à l’échelle mondiale, de l’Université de Brighton, qui soutient les collaborations entre l’Université et la communauté de diverses façons.

Avantages de devenir membre

Réseau Impact Canada permet de combler l’écart entre la recherche et ses applications et ses impacts en contexte réel, une valeur clé dans l’environnement universitaire actuel. L’Examen du soutien fédéral aux sciences l’exprimait le mieux: “La recherche est essentielle à la santé, à la prospérité, et à la sécurité des Canadiens et des Canadiennes, et aux efforts qu’ils déploient pour construire une société créative, inclusive et dynamique. »

En concordance avec cette affirmation, les demandes de subvention gagnantes établissent un lien clair entre la recherche et son impact; des programmes tels que les Réseaux de centres d’excellence et les subventions de développement de partenariat Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines et sociales du Canada (CRSH) existent parce que nous nous attendons à ce que la recherche ait un impact durable.

L’Université McMaster offre un exemple probant des avantages de se joindre au réseau. Cette institution a remporté le prix d’Excellence en communications 2017 du CRSH (31 mai, 2017) en modifiant les résumés vulgarisés Research Snapshots, pilotés par Research Impact Canada, pour en faire une stratégie de médias sociaux fort réussie et primée intitulée « Research Snaps ».

Pour plus d’information, veuillez consulter la page Web de Réseau Impact Canada ou contacter M. David Phipps, gérant du réseau (info@researchimpact.ca). Suivez le groupe sur Twitter @researchimpact. Afin de lire L’Examen du soutien fédéral aux sciences en entier, veuillez consulter la page Web. Pour plus de contexte, veuillez lire la publication du Conference Board du Canada sur la page Beyond Citation.

Finding common approaches in a diverse practice domain: A Q-study of knowledge mobilization practitioners and researchers

This information was originally published on the KTECOP website and is reposted here with permission.

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Monica Batac and Dr. Charles Davis conducted a talk about their recent research study about knowledge mobilization work to the Toronto chapter of KTECOP.

Download the presentation slides:

Finding common approaches in a diverse practice domain: A Q-study of knowledge mobilization practitioners and researchers

Watch the webinar recording

Description of the Research Study

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb), or the application and use of research, is practiced in many fields, but there is little consensus on what KMb work actually entails. This presentation shares the findings from a recent Q-methodology study. Data were collected in two phases. First, interviews were conducted with 20 KMb experts from Canada and the UK. Second, 91 respondents completed the online q-sort and an activity-rating task, and answered open-ended questions about their work, background training, and perspectives on KMb practice. We identified four distinct approaches to KMb. This research improves our understanding of KMb practices from the perspectives of researchers, intermediaries, and practitioners across various domains.

About the Presenters

Monica BatacMonica Anne Batac is a PhD student at McGill University’s School of Social Work. During her time at Ryerson University, she was the first Research Intern for the Centre for Communicating Research, which sparked her involvement and research in knowledge mobilization. Her current and emerging research examines service delivery within immigrant-serving agencies. Committed to community-engaged research, Monica is involved in various Toronto-based initiatives that enhance supports for newcomer youth, immigrant families, and front-line workers in the settlement service sector.

Dr. Charles DavisDr. Charles Davis is the Associate Dean, Scholarly, Research and Creative Activities (SRC) for the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University. He is a Professor in the RTA School of Media and holds the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship. Previous to joining Ryerson, Charles held senior management and research positions with the Conseil de la science et de la technologie du Québec, the Science Council of Canada and the International Development Research Centre. He was also the holder of the NSERC/­SSHRC­-NB Power-Xerox Research Chair in the Management of Technological Change at the University of New Brunswick (Saint John).

Reimagining the Concept of a Commonwealth University

This week’s blog post first appeared on The Association of Commonwealth Universities’ blog and is reposted here with permission.

As I have been thinking about a blog for our Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), I got a bit stuck on the concept of commonwealth itself. If you look at definitions for the word commonwealth, you will find that they largely refer to relations between states, such as with our own use of the Commonwealth referring to former members of the British Empire. When one looks a bit further, one finds under the label ‘archaic’, the 14th Century origins of commonweal or commonwealth referring to the common good. The common good is the idea of sharing the bounties among people in an equal or just manner.

What would the concept of a Commonwealth university really mean if we were to refer back to the original meaning for the common good? It would support the idea of the social responsibility of universities. It would support the concept of community university engagement for another. And it would align very closely with the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), wouldn’t it? The preamble of the Transforming Our World statement, which introduces the SDGs, declares “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path”. These are goals and ambitions that speak to a deeper understanding of our commonwealth, of recognition of our common place on the planet.

Budd Hall

Author: Budd Hall

A true commonwealth university would share a number of characteristics. First it would be an engaged university, engaged in the way the ACU has articulated in the past: “Engagement implies strenuous, thoughtful, argumentative interaction with the non-university world in at least four spheres: setting universities’ aims, purposes, and priorities; relating teaching and learning to the wider world; the back-and-forth dialogue between researchers and practitioners; and taking on wider responsibilities as neighbours and citizens” (Engagement as a Core Value for the University: A Consultation Document, ACU, 2001).

Secondly, it would be a decolonising university because it would be seeking to recover the rich bodies of knowledge that colonialism and the domination of the western canon has covered over, obscured or in other ways attempted to erase. Third, and growing out of both of the first two characteristics, it would be a place that recognises and celebrates the fact that knowledge is created in community organisations and social movements, among other places. And in this spirit, it would support the co-creation of knowledge on themes that originate in communities themselves. Fourth, a commonwealth university would be a place of action. Students in legal clinics would work on behalf of Indigenous Peoples to fight dangerous extractive industries seeking to ruin the environment. Coalitions of community groups and business school academics would support housing co-ops, community economic development, local food sales and production. The possibilities are endless.

The exciting part of reimagining the commonwealth university is that in larger and smaller ways this is a movement that is already happening. Decolonisation is on the minds of students all over the world. Contributing to the SDGs is in the minds of university leaders and government funding agencies. Examples of the co-construction of knowledge can be found in many places. And exciting actions abound. Moving towards the vision of a commonwealth university means paying less attention to university rankings for example and more to those people in your community who have been excluded historically from the common good. If we do not take passionate care of the common good, then the private good will have little meaning.

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Budd Hall is a Steering Committee member for ACU’s Engage Community. Professor Hall is Joint UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education and a Professor of Community Development at the University of Victoria, Canada. His most recent books are: Knowledge, Democracy and Action: Community-University Research Partnerships in Global Perspectives (Manchester University Press), Learning and Teaching Community-Based Research (U of T Press), Higher Education and Community-Based Research (Palgrave-MacMillan) and Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education’s Contribution to Social Change – with R Tandon and C Esgrigas (Palgrave-MacMillan).

Systems of Engagement

This week’s post first appeared on The Association of Commonwealth Universities’ blog and is reposted here with permission.

Most writing on community-campus engagement focuses on individual projects and practices. This makes sense since most practices are employed at the project level, but what about systems of engagement? Individual projects sit within institutional and community systems. Institutions and communities sit within sector or regional/national systems. Where are these systems of engagement?

David PhippsAs I increasingly engage internationally with like-minded knowledge mobilisers/brokers and impact practitioners (we are a diverse lot!), I am impressed with the networks already working at a system level. Here are some examples (there are certainly more) with brief descriptions from their websites:

Community Based Research Canada: Their intent is to build an inclusive and open network, engaging already existing networks, to build support for community-campus partnerships, community-based research and community engagement.

Development Research Uptake for Sub Saharan Africa (DRUSSA): Funding has ended but DRUSSA was a network of 24 universities building capacity for research uptake.

Engagement Australia: The main objective is to lead and facilitate the development of best practice university-community engagement in Australia. This is done through creating inclusive forums for discussion and development of engagement, promoting practice, fostering awareness, building capacity and developing resources.

Global University Network for Innovation: Their mission is to strengthen the role of higher education in society, contributing to the renewal of the visions and policies of higher education across the world, under a vision of public service, relevance and social responsibility.

Knowledge into Practice Learning Network: Founded in 2016, KIPLN Network is an international online learning network dedicated to sharing advice, expertise, and resources to help people get better at using knowledge to inform practice.

Living Knowledge Network: an international network of science shops, which perform science projects responding to civil society’s needs for expertise and knowledge.

National Alliance for Broader Impacts (US): The goal of NABI is to create a community of practice that fosters the development of sustainable and scalable institutional capacity and engagement in broader impacts activity.

National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE): A national (UK) network that helps universities and the public engage with each other.

Research Impact Canada: A network of universities across Canada investing in support for campus-based knowledge mobilisation to maximise the economic, social, health, cultural and environmental impacts of research.

And don’t forget the ACU Engage Community: an international network of university staff and stakeholders from member universities, who are working or involved in university community engagement and outreach, including public engagement staff, industrial liaison officers, research managers and communications officers, and those specialising in distance or open learning.

One conclusion that can be drawn is that engagement is a global phenomenon, with international networks and national networks existing in both industrialised and developing countries.

How can these system-wide networks help your individual practice? Research on networks shows that membership brings benefits of legitimisation and reduced transaction costs. You can phone up folks around the world to find out their practices, attend international conferences to meet people and learn about their work and practices, and join a network and reduce your costs of obtaining this information.

Networks also enhance the scaling up of promising practices. In a recent example, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) learned about the ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary method from Research Impact Canada. They adapted this format to their own context and produced research snaps that went on to win a national award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Award of Excellence for communications. This is a clear example of reduced transaction costs.

An additional, and possibly more important, benefit of membership in any of these systems of community-campus engagement is the membership itself. Join a network of like-minded practitioners and you have found your tribe. Many of us work as solo practitioners (see some literature on this). Finding a tribe helps us feel connected to our work, to other practitioners and ultimately will help us become better practitioners, as the McMaster example shows.

What does this mean for the ACU Engage Community? While the Community is a network of ACU members, these members are likely to belong to other national and international networks. We should work to seek out the benefits members derive from other networks and systems, and use this knowledge to inform the work of the Engage Community.

The national and international networks above are just examples. This list is limited by my own experience. What other networks and systems of community-campus engagement can you add? How do you think these could contribute to the Engage Community?

Netherland’s Research Impact Assessment Exercise / Exercice d’évaluation de l’impact de la recherche aux Pays-Bas

The UK has the Research Excellence Framework. Australia launched the Engagement and Impact Assessment exercise. And the Netherlands has the Standard Evaluation Protocol. Canada can learn from these and from the Research Impact Canada network as we implement our own tool for research impact assessment.

Le Royaume-Uni s’est doté d’un cadre pour l’excellence en matière de recherche, le Research Excellence Framework. L’Australie a mis en place un exercice d’évaluation de la participation et de l’impact dans ce domaine, l’Engagement and Impact Assessment. Et les Pays-Bas disposent d’un protocole d’évaluation normalisé, le Standard Evaluation Protocol. Le Canada peut tirer des enseignements de ces modèles et exploiter le Réseau Impact Recherche qui existe déjà au pays afin de mettre en œuvre son propre outil d’évaluation de l’impact de la recherche.

There is increasing global interest in creating socioeconomic impacts from academic research. National networks such as Research Impact Canada and the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (US) invest in methods to create impacts but neither have national systems of impact assessment. The UK and Australia have national research impact assessment (RIA) exercises but no formal structures to create impact.

And new for me is the Netherland’s RIA process called the Standard Evaluation Protocol (no snappy title points for the Dutch…maybe it suffered in translation). Every six years NLD research institutions are required to self-assess and present to external committees on the research from the past six years and plans for the subsequent six years. The assessment returns a rating of unsatisfactory, good, very good or excellent. The submission, the committee report and the institutional response are posted on line creating public accountability.

The assessment reviews research quality, relevance to society and viability (the “extent to which the organization is equipped for the future”).

For readers of this blog the relevance to society will be of greatest interest. Go straight to Appendix D Table D1 which provides a selection (not an exhaustive list) of indicators for societal impact:

Demonstrable products: reports (for example for policymaking); articles in professional journals for non-academic readers; instruments, infrastructure, datasets, software tools or designs that the unit has developed) for societal target groups; outreach activities, for example lectures for general audiences and exhibitions.

Use of products: Patents/licences: use of research facilities by societal parties; projects in cooperation with societal parties; contract research

Marks of recognition: public prizes; valorisation funding; number of appointments/positions paid for by societal parties; membership of civil society advisory bodies

The SEP submissions are reviewed by committee assessing the narratives of research quality and societal relevance. This is similar to the REF. A significant difference is the committee review happens as a site visit to the submitting unit. This face to face element of the assessment creates greater opportunities for evaluation than an arm’s length committee assessing a submission as in the REF.

What is also similar to the REF and the Australian pilot is that the method and the indicators are predicated on the academic research institution describing the impact of the research. But we know that it isn’t the researchers who are making the products, developing the policies or delivering the services that have an impact. Research partners from the private, public and non-profit sectors make the products, policies and services are the ones making the impact. Yet we ask the research institution to step in and tell someone else’s story of impact. That’s ok so long as the indicators come from the non-academic partners; however, the indicators in the SEP all of which are academic centric.

How long before Canada jumps on the research impact assessment (RIA) bandwagon? Alberta Innovates is implementing the Canadian Academies of Health Sciences’ RIA framework. The co-produced pathway to impact is being implemented by some of the Networks of Centres of Excellence including Kids Brain Health Network, MEOPAR, AllerGen, Cell Can and PREVNet who helped conceptualize the pathway. However, these are pathways that help to guide the progress from research to impact. They are not research impact assessment protocols.

Research Impact Canada is undertaking an RIA pilot which we riffed off the REF as explained in Mobilize This! on April 12, 2017. We have used our RIA tool on one example of impact from York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. Based on that experience we revised the interview questions we derived from Sarah Morton’scontribution analysis. We are revising the guidelines and will develop it as an RIA tool that can be used along your pathway to impact, not just ex post research impact assessment (at the end).

When Canada is ready for a national impact assessment process we will be ready with a validated tool. But Canada, please call us first. Let us help you develop a Canadian research impact assessment exercise.

Universities Create Evidence but Can We Also Use It? / Les universités produisent des données scientifiques, mais savent-elles s’en servir ?

Researchers in higher education (HE) institutions produce lots of research based evidence. When that evidence is about higher education how good are our HE leaders at gathering, synthesizing, assessing and implementing evidence for HE policy and practice? Do they know they need help to do this?

Les établissements d’enseignement supérieur sont la source de nombreuses recherches fondées sur des données scientifiques. Quand ces données concernent l’enseignement supérieur lui-même, dans quelle mesure les dirigeants des établissements réussissent-ils à les rassembler, à les synthétiser, à les évaluer et à les intégrer aux pratiques et politiques ? Sont-ils conscients qu’ils ont besoin d’aide pour y parvenir?

LFHE logoThe Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) is “committed to developing and improving the management, governance and leadership skills of existing and future leaders of higher education.” They have had a long standing interest in the impacts of HE. This includes a recent assessment of the UK Research Excellence Framework impact case studies from legal, governance and management research. You can read more about that study on our Knowledge Mobilization Journal Club. Their latest endeavour concerns a “What Works” centre on HE evidence use. The UK gov’t has sponsored seven What Works centres on topics ranging from education to clinical practice to aging and more.

To help frame their thinking about a What Works centre for HE they performed a quick survey of What Works centres and international KMb organizations, a deep dive into one What Works centre and interview 17 leaders in HE and knowledge mobilization including me and John Lavis (McMaster Health Forum) providing an international perspective. While statements from interviewees are in the report John and I are the only ones quoted in the report which was published on July 20, 2017.

What we said is in the report but two things stand out:

1. The focus of the What Works centre will be on the HE institution with HE leaders as the primary focus. Check out a couple of recent KMb journal clubs here and here on institutional perspectives of KMb.

2. The report highlights the need for the What Works centre in HE to achieve impact on HE practices and policies.

But in this I encourage the authors to go a little further. They quote John Lavis speaking about the need to end a policy dialogue with next steps and assign action items. I recommend they do active follow up to support the uptake of the evidence. We know from models like PARIHS that evidence needs to be facilitated in the context of its use in order to create the conditions for effective evidence use. Bailing on the end users once you disseminate the evidence will not facilitate its uptake. Active facilitation needs to happen in the context (i.e. on site) of its use.

Don’t just send evidence to HE leaders. Do workshops with stakeholders to help them learn the evidence (=uptake). Help stakeholders evaluate the evidence to facilitate implementation into new HE policies and practices. Help stakeholders assess the impact of the evidence on those policies and practices.

Dissemination is necessary but not sufficient to support impact.

I will repeat that because it is key: dissemination is necessary but not sufficient to support impact

LFHE then undertook an ideas lab session to design elements of a successful What Works centre. This ideas lab identified three desirable features of a What Works centre for HE. These include the following and my comments on each:

A knowledge map that would help connect knowledge needs with the people who hold the knowledge

• Maps are hard to keep current and do not easily capture emerging knowledge needs. At York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit we do not rely on codified knowledge maps but on knowledge brokers who know those who have expertise in demand. Speaking of knowledge brokers….

Impact Champions – boundary spanners who would work for the knowledge sharing system appointed for their skills and expertise in line with specific knowledge needs suggested by the system

• Knowledge brokers = Impact champions (although without a cool name!). Like the knowledge brokers connecting the Research Impact Canada (RIC) institutions impact champions will need to be embedded within networks of academic and non-academic experts to enable connections. LFHE needs to support networks of champions, researchers and end users.

A digital dating system which could be developed in the future as an adjunct to the knowledge map to support the impact champions and their work

• Again, RIC has something to contribute to the LFHE What Works centre. Yaffle.ca performs exactly this function for Memorial University of Newfoundland and we are exploring it as a platform for RIC. LFHE should look to Yaffle as an existing platform and reach out for an introduction. Why re-invent it when you can build on almost 10 years of experience with Yaffle.

Final observation is that the What Works centre should not be predicated on a knowledge supply and demand model. Leaders of HE have their own expertise that needs to be leveraged to implement the evidence in the context of its use. It’s not that HE researchers or the What Works centre has knowledge and HE leaders need knowledge. It’s more about finding the fit between complementary expertise.

The RIC network has much to share to help LFHE in their efforts. It’s not that RIC has knowledge and LFHE doesn’t. It’s that we have certain experiences and expertise that might be complementary to their own experiences and expertise.

That’s mobilizing knowledge about knowledge mobilization.

Mobilizing Knowledge: Memorial Recognized for Inter-Institutional Collaboration

This week’s post first appeared in the MUN Gazette on July 13, 2017 and is reposted here with permission.

By Zaren Healey White

Memorial University has been recognized by a national body of research administrators.

Memorial is part of a network of of 12 Canadian universities awarded with the Directors’ Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA).

Memorial’s Harris Centre is a member of Research Impact Canada, a knowledge mobilization network that aims to maximize the impact of academic research for the benefit of Canadians, support collaboration for research and learning, and connect research outside of academia.

From left are Bojan Fürst, manager, knowledge mobilization, and Amy Jones, mobilization co-ordinator, Harris Centre. Photo: Zaren Healey White

From left are Bojan Fürst, manager, knowledge mobilization, and Amy Jones, mobilization co-ordinator, Harris Centre.
Photo: Zaren Healey White

In 2006, Memorial was a founding partner in the network, formerly called ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche.
Tackling challenges

Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director, Public Engagement, and the Harris Centre, says that Memorial is a national leader in knowledge mobilization.

“The work of the Harris Centre shows how teaching, research, and public engagement can be integrated,” he said. “Knowledge mobilization is a way to connect the needs of the province with the resources of Memorial and foster connections between the university and this province to tackle major challenges.”
Tools and projects

In addition to regional workshops, public policy forums, research funds, and other core programming, the Harris Centre has created or partnered on several tools and projects to enhance and develop knowledge mobilization capacity at Memorial and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

These include Yaffle, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Vital Signs report, and the Rural Routes podcast. The Harris Centre works with funded researchers to help them create a knowledge mobilization plan for their work and regularly meets with other institutions to share the Harris Centre’s model.

N.L.’s Vital Signs report translates statistical data into clear, accessible graphics. Photo: Zaren Healey White

N.L.’s Vital Signs report translates statistical data into clear, accessible graphics.
Photo: Zaren Healey White

“Yaffle, for example, is one of the key tools through which Memorial creates partnerships and mobilizes talent and expertise,” said Dr. Greenwood.
Relevant and accessible

Bojan Fürst, the Harris Centre’s manager of knowledge mobilization, represents Memorial in the Research Impact network along with Amy Jones, knowledge mobilization co-ordinator. He says knowledge mobilization is all about making research “useful.”

“In partnership with the Rural Policy Learning Commons and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, I started the Rural Routes podcast last year,” said Mr. Fürst. “It all started after attending a conference and hearing about all kinds of great research — I wanted other people to hear about it, too. A podcast is a great way to make research relevant and accessible to a wide audience.”

Rural Routes now has 16 episodes and well over 3,000 downloads.

Dr. David Phipps, executive director, Research and Innovation Services at York University, accepted the award at the CARA national meeting in Winnipeg on May 8.

Learn more about Research Impact Canada here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Harris Centre’s regional workshops, research funds, or opportunities to collaborate on projects with Memorial, please contact Bojan Fürst or Amy Jones.

Zaren Healey White is a communications advisor with the Harris Centre. She can be reached at zaren@mun.ca.

Save the Date: 8th Living Knowledge Conference 2018 in Budapest, Hungary, 30 May – 1 June

Logo_LK8-ConferenceThe 2018 edition of the LK Conference will be hosted by the Corvinus Business School, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, from 30 May to 1 June.

The chosen theme is “Enriching Science and Community Engagement”

The LK8 Conference is aimed at academics, practitioners, activists, social innovators, research funders, science educators and communicators, citizen scientists, policy makers, non-governmental organisations, artists, interested community groups and citizens.

The last conference hosted more than 250 participants from 25 countries.

Among others the following questions are going to be discussed at the conference:

• How to build on and enrich the public engagement in research practices (through RRI, Open Science, Open Innovation, Science Shops, citizen science, participatory governance, community-based research, inclusion of community members in advisory boards, etc.)?

• What are the most valued aspects of community-based engaged scholarship?

• How to assess impacts in science-community partnerships?

• How to nurture the debate about the place and role of “society in science” / “science in society,” and how to encourage the systematic and ethical involvement of civil society actors and their societal concerns in research and innovation processes?

• Science event organisers, educators, community organisers carry a lot of the weight in achieving successful ‘engagement’ – yet, many of their efforts, practices, and challenges go unnoticed, unacknowledged, or taken for granted (organisationally and monetarily). Sometimes leading to burnout, this lack of recognition kills creativity and the very drive of and purpose of engagement: what really matters gets swallowed by bureaucratic procedures, unfulfilled expectations, and lack of time/spaces for replenishment. What new arrangements exist or can be created/practiced to address this at the personal, organisational, and funding levels?

• How / do we fulfill our promises of community engagement? What are the critiques and expectations from institutions aiming at community engagement? How are these engaged with / addressed?

The conference website with further information will be online soon: www.livingknowledge.org/lk8.

Contact: Réka Matulay

Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization, Course 2: Sept.18 to Nov.12

Registration for Course 2 of the Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization is now open! “Engage: Building capacity to understand and use relevant evidence”, will be offered online from September 18 to November 12, 2017.

Register by July 28, 2017 and take advantage of early bird savings!

The course

The creation of productive contexts for knowledge mobilization (KMb) requires acting on the factors enhancing or limiting individual, organizational and societal capacity for using and sharing evidence. The course focuses on the processes and products that support target audiences in engaging with new evidence, and build capacity to identify, make sense of, and apply relevant evidence.

“Engage” is the second of three online courses offered in the University of Guelph Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization. Courses are targeted towards professionals in the social sciences, human services and health sectors. They can be completed in any order, with one course offered each semester.

Instructor: Travis Sztainert, Ph.D., Knowledge Broker and Content Specialist for the Gambling Research Exchange Ontario

For more information, visit us at www.knowledgemobilization.ca or get in touch with Caroline Duvieusart-Déry

The Knowledge Mobilization Certificate program is excellent and has provided me with better tools to assist researchers in communicating their knowledge to a broader community of interest. The course is well designed, highly practical and the instructors are knowledgeable and responsive to student needs. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in ensuring that research is shared beyond the academy.
-Participant, Course 1 of the Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization

How to Tell a Story (of Your Research) to Anyone – You Are Batman

This week’s guest post first appeared the Kids Brain Health Network KT Core-ner blog. It is reposted here with permission.

By Anneliese Poetz, KT Manager, Kids Brain Health Network

Almost two years ago I took a creative writing course. I didn’t expect at that time that it would be so relevant to Knowledge Translation, but I have come to realize that it really is.

storybookI remember during graduate school, as researchers-in-training we were taught to be able to ‘tell the story’ in our data, meaning, how think analytically or be able to describe the patterns in your data. Being able to tell the story that your data were telling you was necessary no matter whether it was a quantitative (statistical analysis of numerical data) project or qualitative (analysis of words, text). But beyond this, when it comes time to tell the story of your research project as a whole, you need to become Batman.

“Becoming Batman” means you can think of yourself as the protagonist (see #4 below) in the story of your research project when you are developing your messaging for your KT products. The KT Core recently produced an Infographic Guide. It requires the research team to sketch out the ‘story’ they want to tell about their research. It occurred to me post-production that maybe some further pointers were needed for how to do that, and became the inspiration for this blog post.

Whenever we create KT products, it is usually the hope that it will inspire and inform changes; either in policy, practice or individual behaviours and attitudes. In my creative writing class we were taught about ‘the poetics’ or the 4 ‘unities’ or ‘elements’ of any great story, no matter how it is told: in a book, a play, a movie, etc. In each great (popular) story, all 4 elements are present. These four elements and how they relate to telling a compelling story about your research that motivates people to take action are:

time1) Time: how much time is being covered in your story? With respect to your research project, how long as the problem (see: #4 antagonist) under study been an issue?

You need a containable frame of time. What was the time frame for your study? Is there a timeline?

Was there a short timeline within which you had to solve this problem? What were the macro segments of time (the overall timeline from beginning to end) and what were the micro segments of time (time it took to interview respondents)?

You need to decide what will be the beginning of the story, and what will be the end. Make the time frame clear. Will you start to tell the story from before the project began, when you consulted with stakeholders to find out what they needed and formulated the research questions in order to figure out what the solutions could be? Or will you start telling the story from when you successfully received a research grant to investigate your questions? Is this something that occurred in the past? Over the past week? Over years? Are you telling the story in past tense or present tense?

Be aware of how much time (e.g. in a video) or space (in an infographic) you have to tell your story – if you only have a small amount of time or space, you are bound by that so keep the story within these constraints. You can’t cover everything, and the amount of time or space will never be enough. But make a decision what you actually want to cover.

place2) Place: In your story, where is your research taking place? Place is very important to the story, is it clearly defined or mentioned? How has ‘place’ affected you and your role in the story of your research? What are the people like? How has it influenced who you are, how you do your work? Make sure your interaction with ‘place’ is part of the story you are telling.

3) Antagonist (villain): you can’t write a story without an antagonist, the antagonist is absolutely crucial to your story. But in your research project you won’t be talking about how (you as) Batman defeated the Joker. An antagonist in a research project can be an illness, disease, societal issue you want to understand or solve, or a phenomenon (like a discovery you want to make). Describe what your antagonist is. What is the problem you are investigating? Is your antagonist internal (you are struggling to overcome your own curiosity, your personal issues and/or health problems) or external (are you investigating a community or societal issue, an environmental plague, outer space, etc.)? It should be readily apparent to the reader what it is you are up against.

How did you (or are you planning to) overcome it? This will be your research methods.

4) Protagonistbatman: The protagonist is the ‘hero’ or main character. This would be you, the researcher. You are Batman. You and your research team are working towards overcoming the ‘antagonist’ or problem you are investigating.

How are you different now at the end of the project than you were at the beginning? What did you learn? Discover?

You can’t have a little of both – it is absolute – you either overcome the antagonist or you succumb to it. Did you overcome the antagonist (solve the problem you were investigating, make the discovery, answer your research questions) or did you succumb to it (the project did not yield results and further research is needed)? In storytelling this is known as the cathartic ‘release’, the recipient of your story is waiting to see whether it is going to be one or the other, and gets the same amount of pleasure out of the story whether you succeeded or failed. The reason why people are interested in your story is to find out what happened, to get that cathartic experience. In order to motivate the reader to action, you need to find a way to get that emotional reaction.

You have a fascinating research project. The trick is to be able to convey what’s important to you about your research, to someone else. What is at stake for you? For society? Make sure the stakes are high enough, this makes the story more compelling. What would happen if you hadn’t done this research project?

Food for thought for the next time you create an infographic (or really any KT product). What is the story you are telling? Does your ‘story’ evoke an emotional reaction? If the answer is yes, you will be more likely to motivate the reader toward action (e.g. changes in policy, practice, and/or personal behaviour) and isn’t that the reason why we do KT?

Knowledge Mobilization Advice From SSHRC / Les recommandations du CRSH concernant la mobilisation des connaissances

Knowledge Mobilization advice from a research funder is necessarily generic but the advice provided by SSHRC is a great starting point for grant applicants to begin to craft a specific knowledge mobilization strategy. Just don’t leave it to the last day to start!

Les recommandations des organismes de subventions concernant la mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) sont nécessairement générales. Celles du CRSH, toutefois, fournissent aux candidats un point de départ solide pour commencer à mettre sur pied une stratégie de MdC. Mais n’attendez pas à la dernière minute pour commencer!

strategyAnyone completing a SSHRC grant application needs to develop a knowledge mobilization strategy. For those fortunate enough to be at a Research Impact Canada university help is close at hand. But for everyone else SSHRC has provided some advice.

http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/policies-politiques/knowledge_mobilisation-mobilisation_des_connaissances-eng.aspx

SSHRC starts out by underselling their advice. They speak about how the guidelines will help with dissemination of research: “to whom should research results be communicated; how is the process of communicating research results best mapped”. But there is little on dissemination and much on engaged methods of knowledge mobilization.

Don’t get me wrong. Communicating research results to end users/beneficiaries is critically important but it is not enough. We know from the research on research use that making research results accessible is necessary but not sufficient to change behaviour (read anything by Sandra Nutley from Research Unit for Research Utilization). We need to engage with end users to identify their needs so researchers work on what is important to stakeholders not just what researchers think is important (see this article and a stakeholder engagement report by Kids Brain Health Network).

And beyond stakeholder engagement which identifies research priorities we need to practice engaged methods of dissemination and co-production. SSHRC provides a number of examples of this in their advice to grant applicants:

• Meetings with knowledge users, especially at the outset of the project, are an effective vehicle for forging strong and lasting connections.

• When building relationships with organizations, build links across multiple levels, from front-line, program and policy staff to executives.

• To produce knowledge mobilization products that meet users’ needs, researchers can use or repackage existing materials, or develop new ones, in concert with the users and their identified needs.

• Larger projects typically employ a project co-ordinator. The use of knowledge brokers, who have specific skill sets, can be effective.

• Ultimately, the more proactive and multifaceted the approach researchers take with users, the more successful and durable the relationship.

• Successful projects often adopt more than one outreach medium in their knowledge mobilization plan.

• All research teams, but especially those engaging in co-production of knowledge, should outline at the outset of projects the roles and responsibilities of all participants to ensure the voices of all team members, including partners, are represented at all stages of the project.

These are great examples covering the gamut from engaged priority setting to engaged dissemination to engaged co-production of research. Kudos to SSHRC for these.

But here’s the limitation of this advice. It is only generic. Like the impact advice provided by the Research Councils UK, advice from funders to applicants can only be generic. How an applicant in the history of English theatre will mobilize knowledge is different than how an economist working in sustainable business practices will mobilize knowledge. But both need to be informed by the advice from SSHRC.

Applicants need to take the generic advice and develop a specific (“bespoke” as my UK colleagues like to say) knowledge mobilization plan for their grant application. You do need to meet with knowledge users (first bullet in the list above) but which knowledge users, when will you meet, how will you recruit them, and what pre-existing relationships will you build on? This level of specificity is needed for your knowledge mobilization strategy.

As we recommend in our recent publication about supporting knowledge mobilization and impact strategies in grant applications you need to start with a generic impact pathway (like the co-produced pathway to impact) and generic advice (above) and use your own research, stakeholders, activities, partners and indicators to develop a specific impact pathway and specific knowledge mobilization plan.

There is no cookie cutter approach. Don’t leave this section to the day before the application is due. The research plan and the knowledge mobilization/impact plan need to be writer concurrently so each will support the other.

And for help call your local knowledge mobilization practitioner – oh yeah – if you’re at a Research Impact Canada member university!

Arts-Based Approaches to KT in Health Policy Development Webinar with Susan Cox – July 7, 2017

For full details on this webinar and to register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kt-connects-webinar-susan-cox-tickets-34518886920

KT Connects: Knowledge Translation Webinar Series

The Michael Smith Foundation of Health Research and Arthritis Research Canada have partnered to co-develop and host a series of monthly expert-led, beginner-level KT training webinars with the goal of developing a sustainable resource for researchers and trainees to learn knowledge and skills that will enable them to develop KT practice in their work.

Title: Arts-based approaches to KT in health policy development

Speaker: Susan M. Cox, Ph.D Associate Professor
Acting Director, The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics
School of Population and Public Health
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

In this webinar, participants will be introduced to the range of literary, performative and visual methods used in arts-based approaches to KT. Specific challenges and opportunities related to using these innovative KT approaches in the field of health policy development will be considered through closer examination of a series of examples drawn from my own as well as colleagues’ work. The webinar will conclude with reflections on ethical and methodological issues arising and tips on where to turn for resources and support.

Learning objectives:

1. Explore the range of arts-based approaches to KT

2. Identify challenges and opportunities related to using arts-based approaches in health policy development

3. Consider examples of KT projects utilizing live theatre, found poetry and visual methods to inform health policy development.

4. Reflect on ethical and methodological issues arising from examples

Webinar poster

Register now at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kt-connects-webinar-susan-cox-tickets-34518886920

UK KMb Forum 2018 – Save the Date!

This week’s guest post was first published on the UKKMbF website on February 28, 2017 and it reposted here with permission

UKKMb Forum logoWe are delighted to announce that the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum will be returning on 7th-8th March, 2018 in Bristol.

The UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum is an annual event for all those with a passion for ensuring that knowledge makes a positive difference to society. The Forum brings together practitioners, researchers, students, administrators and public representatives who are engaged in the art and science of sharing knowledge and ensuring that it can be used. The Forum is designed as a space for learning and reflection, providing an opportunity for sharing knowledge, experiences and methods and access to some of the most up to date thinking and practice in the field. Expect conversations, creativity and collaborative learning…and if you’re wondering what we mean by ‘knowledge’ – we are as interested in practical know-how, skills and experience as in research findings or evaluation data.

We will be announcing details of bookings and call for content later in the year, so for now please just hold the date in your diary.

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news – @UKKMbF

McMaster University Takes Home 2017 SSHRC Award of Excellence for Communications

This week’s guest post first appeared on www.newwire.ca and is reposted here with permission.

Canadian Public Relations Society-McMaster University takes homeResearch Snaps project presents social sciences and humanities research by asking simple questions and engaging readers in the results

KELOWNA, BC, May 31, 2017 /CNW/ – What is this research about? What did the researchers find? How can people use it? With plain and simple language, McMaster University’s Research Snaps digital media campaign, which features over 80 projects, has helped make social sciences and humanities research more accessible to Canadians. It has earned this year’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Award of Excellence, presented at this year’s annual Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) gala on May 30, 2017.

“McMaster University’s Research Snaps project highlights the contribution of social sciences and humanities research in simple, straightforward terms. It is a wonderful example not only of how academic institutions can convey insights about today’s complex social, cultural and economic issues but, perhaps more importantly, engage Canadians in mobilizing that research,” said Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The SSHRC Award of Excellence was created in 2016 to showcase the communications efforts of postsecondary institutions in promoting the benefits and impacts of social sciences and humanities research. This research is used by people across Canada to better understand our society, innovate and build prosperity.

“The SSHRC Award of Excellence recognizes the important role that communications plays in making social sciences and humanities research accessible, relevant and easy to understand,” said Kim Blanchette, National Board President of CPRS. “This research improves our quality of life as Canadians and the CPRS congratulates this year’s award recipients who truly represent excellence in public relations practice.”

The award was one of several prizes in public relations and communications management presented to industry professionals at the CPRS gala.

For more information about the winning project, visit Research Snaps on McMaster University’s website.

About CPRS
Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is a not-for-profit organization whose members are engaged in the practice, management or teaching of public relations. Members work to maintain the highest standards and to share a uniquely Canadian experience in public relations. CPRS is a federation of more than 2500 members across 14 Member Societies based in major cities or organized province-wide. For more information, visit its website: cprs.ca.

About SSHRC
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world. Created in 1977, SSHRC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Science.

SOURCE Canadian Public Relations Society

For further information: Karen Dalton, Executive Director, Canadian Public Relations Society, 416-239-7034, kdalton@cprs.ca; Christopher Walters, Director of Communications, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 613-992-4283, Christopher.Walters@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca