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

Post Cards From Congress – Day 7

The final day of Congress comes with mixed feelings; excitement from so many fruitful conversations and some fatigue from working 7-8 consecutive days. It’s an annual rite of passage and one the RIC network enjoys and values.

Special thanks to hosts, Ryerson University. Their space at Maple Leaf Gardens has been our office for the week and it was excellent. Also, we acknowledge the leadership and tireless efforts of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. They helped facilitate an excellent week for us and allowed us to focus on our outreach and engagement efforts.

Congress at Ryerson had over 10,000 delegates register, a record! In seven days, RIC had 254 conversations/visits about KMb and others visiting to get their passports stamped (for awesome prizes) or to pick up some RIC swag.

We talked to delegates from 6 countries, 49 post-secondary institutions and 16 organizations. Over the years, these conversations have seeded projects and continue to place RIC as a national leader in KMb in Canada!

See you in Regina for Congress 2018!

Post Cards From Congress – Day 6

Our First Ten Years at Congress

Congress at Ryerson is winding down and ends tomorrow. For Research Impact Canada / Reseau Impact Recherche Canada this is our 10th year exhibiting and talking Knowledge Mobilization to researchers across Canada and other countries. Over the years we’ve experienced a growing understanding of what KMb is and how researchers can engage in KMb to maximize the impact of their scholarship.

In our early years, common questions were- Who are you? What is Research Impact Canada? What is knowledge mobilization? We’ve had skeptics visit, as well as champions and early adopters.

We exhibit close to our friends at SSHRC, who are kind enough to steer scholars over to us to share with them how universities across Canada are supporting KMb.

And now, 10 years into this network, were able to provide more sophisticated messages. We have peer reviewed papers, stories of success and samples of our tools to share. We network and meet others interested in this work. And all this, along with some basic questions about what KMb is makes the week worthwhile.

Saskatoon, Vancouver, Calgary, St. Catherine’s, Ottawa (twice), Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo, Fredericton and Montreal are all the places we’ve visited and exhibited at since 2007.

We’re excited for the next 10 years as we promote our national network and advance knowledge mobilization as a critical function of making research relevant to society.
10 years of RIC at Congress

Post Cards From Congress – Day 5

Why exhibit about Knowledge Mobilization?

Every year at Congress we’re set amongst numerous book publishers at the book fair. For 7 or 8 days we sit and engage researchers about Knowledge Mobilization and Research Impact Canada. But why do we do this?

Congress materialsKnowledge Mobilization has become increasingly important for researchers in Canada. It is an important component of federal research grant applications. Our booth is positioned close to SSHRC and we’re able to provide operational messages around the strategic importance they have placed on KMb in Canada. We’re able to tell researchers the scope of services available within Research Impact Canada and how our services can help them.

We are also sharing resources and publications that help advance people’s understanding of KMb. All this while still maintaining basic and introductory messages about what KMb is. As a national network who are leaders in KMb we see ourselves having a responsibility to engage, inform and support researchers around this work, especially for researchers who are affiliated with our member institutions.

And this ties in the third reason we exhibit; to seek to grow our network. Each year we speak with researchers from many Canadian universities, some colleges along with international universities. There’s also a growing number of non academic organizations and research collaborators who participate in Congress.

It has been fun over 10 years to speak with researchers and take part of a growing conversation around work that is having a positive impact on campuses and in communities across Canada.

Post Cards From Congress – Day 4

Congress tableWhat is knowledge mobilization?

I’ll be honest, it is not a question we get at our exhibitor booth too often anymore. Clearly, KMb has become more mainstream in the research culture. However, on occasion, we will get someone who drops by and says, “I’ve never heard of knowledge mobilization, what is it?”. This is important for us to know as we advance our understanding and messaging of KMb. There will always be some people for whom the term or the processes of KMb are new. I always appreciate when people drop by and ask questions like this. It challenges the assumptions we have as a network that has been around for over 10 years now.

Since Friday, we have had two people come by and ask this, one happening today. I invite anyone to drop by booth 15 at the Congress book fair and talk to us about knowledge mobilization. Your questions and stories help us and we hope our answers can help you.

Post Cards from Congress – Day 3

ktinfographicguide2016nov21formfilledpages-161124161859 1Day 3: Another great day with over 50 substantive conversations at the Research Impact Canada booth. Yet again we had another non-academic organization swing by to inquire about our services. Food Secure Canada is already working with researchers across Canada including York University’s Rod McRae. However, there are always new research needs emerging and we will stay in touch to see how the 12 Research Impact Canada universities can work with Food Secure Canada to held advance food security. Another York researcher, Nick Mulé dropped by for a chat about his work on advocacy, social inclusion/exclusion of gender and sexually diverse populations. KMb York has worked with Nick in the past but this year Nick asked if we had any supports for infographics.

Well, enter our partnership with Kids Brain Health Network and the many guides we have produced with them on KT Planning, stakeholder engagement, social media and…yes…infographics. The Infographic Guide of Guides is an annotated bibliography of a number of web based infographic guides plus worksheets to help researchers, students and partners co-create infographics. This is complemented by hands on support by KMb York and the KT Core of Kids Brain Health Network.

While KMb York is anchoring the Research Impact Canada booth at Congress, we are also keen to help out the many York researchers who attend Congress every year.