Knowledge Translation to Advance Clinical Care : Webinar : February 23, 2018

Co-hosted by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Arthritis Research Canada, KT Connects is a monthly series of beginner-level training webinars for researchers and trainees to learn how to embed KT in their work. For more information and archived recordings, visit

Please join us for our next webinar on Friday February 23, 12-1PM PST:
Registration link:

Knowledge translation to advance clinical care: A frontline health care perspective

Presented by Stephanie Glegg, Occupational Therapist & Knowledge Broker, Sunny Hill Centre for Children; PhD Candidate in Rehabilitation Sciences, University of British Columbia

One of the key aims of knowledge translation (KT) efforts is to support the application of evidence to improve health services. This uptake requires clinically-relevant evidence that is accessible and applicable, processes in place to adapt the evidence to the local context, a means of assessing barriers and facilitators of change, and infrastructure to support implementation, evaluation and sustainability.
This webinar will bring you inside the frontline health care experience through the use of preliminary research findings that describe the range of KT involvement by health professionals. Challenges that exist and the supports that are required to facilitate KT in clinical settings will be discussed.
An overview of KT initiatives at Sunny Hill Health Centre will provide a glimpse into various strategies used to engage clinical stakeholders in KT and evidence informed health care at our site.

About Stephanie:
Stephanie Glegg is an occupational therapist, and the Knowledge Broker Facilitator at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. In this role, she supports health professionals, students, knowledge brokers and health care leaders to apply evidence from a range of sources, in order to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of health care services. Stephanie is also a Vanier Scholar and a Public Scholar, from the Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral program at UBC. Her current research examines the influence of social networks on research use in health care practice, policy and subsequent research.


Free Access to Building the Concept of Research Impact Literacy Article

We are pleased to announce that this article written by Julie Bayley and David Phipps and published in Evidence & Policy, was one of the Journal’s top five most read articles published in 2017. Due to its popularity, the article will be free to access during the month of February 2018. You can access the article here.

Baley, J. E. & Phipps, D. (2017). Building the concept of research impact literacy. Evidence & Policy.


Impact is an increasingly significant part of academia internationally, both in centralised assessment processes (for example, UK) and funder drives towards knowledge mobilisation (for example, Canada). However, narrowly focused measurement-centric approaches can encourage short-termism, and assessment paradigms can overlook the scale of effort needed to convert research into effect. With no ‘one size fits all’ template possible for impact, it is essential that the ability to comprehend and critically assess impact is strengthened within the research sector. In this paper we reflect on these challenges and offer the concept of impact literacy as a means to support impact at both individual and institutional levels. Opportunities to improve impact literacy are also discussed.

2018 Call for Content for the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum

The following post was first published on January 27, 2018 on the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization’s website at

Canadian Human Rights MuseumMobilizing Evidence for Human Rights and the Social Development Goals

Call for Content #CKF18

WORD form to contribute content: CKF18 Call for Content Form

Click here to REGISTER

Please use one form per contribution – multiple contributions are accepted

We are inviting practitioners, researchers, academics, activists, social innovators, research funders, science educators and communicators, citizen scientists, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, artists, interested community groups, and citizens to share their views and experience on innovative activities in knowledge mobilization.

The theme for 2018 is: Mobilizing Evidence for Human Rights and the Social Development Goals

Knowledge Mobilization is often described as making the best of what we know, whether from research, assessed practice, or traditional knowledge, ready for others to use so that new value can be created.

The framework created by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Social Development Goals, and other social justice declarations are a deeply useful structure to help move knowledge into action.

The theme for 2018 focuses us on how to be better together. We invite participation that will push thinking and engagement of the knowledge mobilization community further. You can present and connect with any other subject matter areas covered by the discussion on human rights and social development goals. We encourage you to share how your work, for example, in healthcare links to sustainable communities, or economic growth links to clean water, helps end poverty, creates equality etc.

Let us share the best of what we practice to improve our collective well-being.

The Forum will be hosted at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

We are driven by an objective of allowing you to design your own conference experience that reflects your interests, experience, priorities and learning styles. Drawing on the assets of the Province of Manitoba’s Capital – Winnipeg, leaders in knowledge mobilization from all across Canada and beyond, it is our hope you will come away from CKF18 enriched, energized and engaged in this field like never before.

Please see the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization’s website for more details about this call for content and the Forum

The Impact Journey with International Impact Friends

پیمودن مسیر اثربخشی با دوستان بین‌المللی اثربخش

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

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

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

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

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The Impact Journey with International Impact Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

پیمودن مسیر اثربخشی با دوستان بین‌المللی اثربخش

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knowledge Mobilization Within Large Scale Science Projects – January 23, 2018 – Waterloo, ON

This event is being hosted by the Guelph/Kitchener Waterloo Knowledge Translation and Transfer Community of Practice. For more information, please visit their website at


This moderated panel discussion will draw on the experiences of the panel, with discussion questions raised with the audience to identify the practices and challenges to knowledge mobilization within large scale, multi-stakeholder projects. Please bring your questions and success stories involving large scale projects.
This moderated panel discussion will draw on the experiences of the panel, with discussion questions raised with the audience to identify the practices and challenges to knowledge mobilization within large scale, multi-stakeholder projects. Please bring your questions and success stories involving large scale projects.

Date: Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30-8:00 PM
Location: One King North, Waterloo ON

5:30pm networking
6pm panel presentation
7pm Q&A


Kara Hearne, Knowledge Mobilizer, Global Water Futures, University of Waterloo

Kara is a Knowledge Mobilization Specialist with the University of Waterloo’s Water Institute. She supports the Global Water Futures program as part of the Knowledge Mobilization core team, working with project teams to plan and implement knowledge co-production and collaboration activities with research partners.

Kara comes to the Global Water Futures team with a background in environmental consulting, where she worked as a project manager and environmental planner. With a focus on leading large-scale environmental assessments, she specialized in building, managing, and coordinating large multidisciplinary teams for projects in various sectors, and regularly functioned as the primary liaison with private industry, government agencies, the public, and Indigenous communities.

Comfortable with the dynamic of working as part of a large team on complex projects with significant stakeholder interest, Kara has extensive experience in working with subject matter experts to tailor project plans and deliverables to meet the needs of end users; identifying the right people and bringing them together to solve multidisciplinary problems; and in the synthesis and summary of technical information for the purpose of supporting decision-making.

Simon Landry, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, Vision: Science to Application (VISTA), York University

Stephanie Merrill, Knowledge Mobilizer, Global Water Futures, University of Saskatchewan

Stephanie joins the Global Water Futures Program from the east coast where she was the communications coordinator for the Canadian Rivers Institute (University of New Brunswick). Previously, she was the director of the freshwater protection program for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Stephanie graduated from University of New Brunswick in 2009 with a MSc. in Forestry and Environmental Management and in 2004 with a BSc. in Biology (Aquatic Ecology).

She has extensive experience in knowledge mobilization and water policy while working alongside rural and urban watershed groups, indigenous and settler community organizations, academic scientists and government departments. She is currently an appointed member of the minister’s working group on watershed management in New Brunswick.

Elizabeth Shantz, Knowledge Mobilization Manager, Food from Thought, University of Guelph

As Knowledge Mobilization Manager in the University of Guelph’s Research Innovation Office, Elizabeth facilitates the two-way exchange of information between researchers and end users on the Food from Thought program. She focuses on developing and implementing effective knowledge mobilization strategies, facilitating strong partnerships, clearly communicating knowledge, and demonstrating the impact of research.

Elizabeth Shantz has worked in the field of knowledge mobilization since 2010, most recently as the Knowledge Mobilization and Training Manager at Canadian Water Network. She has learned about knowledge mobilization best practices as a community engaged scholar and by working closely with researchers and stakeholders at all levels of government, industry and NGOs. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with an MASc in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (2011) and a BA in English and Psychology (2009).

Andrew Spring, Research Associate, Northern Canada Knowledge Networks, Northern Water Futures, Wilfrid Laurier University

As part of the Northern Water Futures project, a major multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research project led by Wilfrid Laurier University and funded by the Global Water Futures program, Andrew Spring liaises between researchers, northern communities and organizations to build broad networks of researchers, communities, and decision-makers to help facilitate knowledge transfer and communication between all parties.

He is currently completing his PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University where he conducts research focused on food security in Canada’s Northwest Territories. His work explores the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of food security and food sovereignty, climate change and pressures exerted on country food and traditional economic activity in Indigenous communities.

Andrew has a diverse background in sustainability and the environment. Trained as an environmental engineer (MASc Toronto), his expertise is creating innovative programs to engage communities in sustainable planning or environmental conservation. Working with a diverse group of stakeholders, he aims to expand Laurier’s capacity to conduct research that meets the needs of people in the North.

Moderator: Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilizer, Wilfrid Laurier University

Register Now!

Blogging as a Vessel for Knowledge Translation: Turning Numbers into Narrative – Webinar – January 26, 2018

For full details on this webinar and to register, please visit

KT Connects: Knowledge Translation Webinar Series

Co-hosted by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Arthritis Research Canada, KT Connects is a monthly series of beginner-level training webinars for researchers and trainees to learn how to embed KT in their work. For more information and archived recordings, visit

Blogging as a Vessel for Knowledge Translation: Turning Numbers into Narrative

Featuring: Natasha Kolida, M.Ed. University of British Columbia; Founder, Redefining Bipolar

Time: January 26, 2018 12:00-13:00 PST

This webinar is an introduction to creative media and knowledge translation meant for use as research-to-practice or educational purposes. Specifically, it will focus on the medium of blogging and how to make scholarly work accessible to the general population and/or a target population using this creative outlet. Key topics of discussion will include dismantling the knowledge translation process, building a narrative, understanding language and purpose, logistics, and ethics. The webinar is tailored for researchers and health professionals, and will focus on mental health and mental illness for examples.

Learning Objectives:

– Examine blogging as a creative method for making scholarly work more accessible

– Explore the impact of blogging as a research dissemination activity

– Consider the value and complexity of narrative in relation to research implementation

Register now

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Recapping the Top Five Most Popular Posts of 2017 / Résumé des 5 billets les plus populaire de 2017

Here’s a look at the top five most popular blog posts in 2016. Revoici les cinq billets qui vous ont le plus intéressés.

#1 – 252 views

Watching Impact in the REF and How It Informs the Canadian Context / Le REF en observation : comment l’impact s’y manifeste, et son influence sur la situation canadienne

The Research Excellence Framework is a system wide research assessment exercise that includes assessment of the various non-academic impacts of research. As the UK prepares for REF 2021 Research Impact Canada is piloting impact assessment in Canada. Not because of any reporting requirement but because we should understand and communicate the impacts we are making. It’s the right thing to do.

Au Royaume-Uni, le Research Excellence Framework est un exercice d’évaluation de la recherche appliqué à l’ensemble du système d’enseignement supérieur, qui prévoit l’évaluation des nombreux impacts de la recherche en dehors de l’université. Tandis que ce pays prépare son REF de 2021, au Canada, le Réseau Impact Recherche réalise son propre projet pilote d’évaluation de l’impact. Non pas parce qu’une autorité quelconque nous l’impose, mais parce que comprendre et communiquer les effets que nous provoquons… c’est ce qu’il faut faire, tout simplement.


Fast Track Impact logo#2 – 209 views

Connecting Impact Pathways to Actual Impacts / Raccorder la trajectoire à l’impact

Researchers are crafting impact strategies in grant applications. Are they getting any help from their universities and their institutional research administrators?

Dans leurs demandes de subvention, les chercheurs mettent au point des stratégies d’impact. Reçoivent-ils de l’aide pour ce faire de la part de leur université et des administrateurs de la recherche?

Durham#3 – 164 views

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

This guest post was written by Darren Levine, Manager of the Innovation and Research Unit in the Social Services Department of the Regional Municipality of Durham.

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

Puzzle pieces#4 – 151 views

Six Actions to Mobilize Knowledge / Six actions pour mobiliser les connaissances

On January 31, 2017, Bev Holmes and Allan Best summarized their recent paper in Evidence & Policy that seeks to make sense of the complexity of knowledge mobilization by pointing to six key actions that can be taken by initiative managers and key influencers.

Le 31 janvier 2017, Bev Holmes et Allan Best ont résumé leur récent article, paru dans Evidence & Policy, dans lequel ils cherchent à expliquer la complexité de la mobilisation des connaissances. Ils indiquent six actions clés qui sont à la portée des gestionnaires d’initiative et des grands influenceurs.

#5- 123 views

The “Guide of Guides” Series for Knowledge Translation

This guest post was written by Anneliese Poetz, KT Manager, Kids Brain Health Network (formerly NeuroDevNet).

A couple of years ago, one of our researchers asked us for guidance for using social media for KT. We realized while searching for what was ‘already out there’ that there are a lot of guides for social media, but not all of them are targeted towards use by researchers. In collaboration with York University’s KMb Unit, we produced our first “Guide of Guides” that is a compilation of carefully selected and vetted guides for social media that are relevant. The “Guide of Guides” format resembles an annotated bibliography, where the reference information is provided for each guide along with a summary paragraph about the tool, how it can be used and why you may wish to use it. The “Social Media Guide of Guides” became the start of a series. This post serves as a “guide” to the “Guide of Guides” series.

Guide of guides image_small

Save the Date: ‘Impact of Science 2018’, June 14-15, 2017 in Ottawa

AESIS, the Network for Advancing & Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science, will be holding their annual connference, Impact of Science: Finding shared approached to assess, enable and accelerate impact on society on June 14 & 15, 2018 in Ottawa, Canada. Visit the conference website for full details and registration

AESIS logoIn 2018 the annual ‘Impact of Science’ conference will be held in Ottawa, Canada. During the last few years Canada has been successful in calling for more attention to its position worldwide in their research intensity and innovation. This has led to a variety of evaluations and strategies that draw attention to societal impact of science, most notably, the Fundamental Science Review, the Innovation and Skills agenda, and more recently the Superclusters initiative. In addition, the federal and several provincial governments have (re)introduced the position of Chief Science Advisor in order to generate more evidence-informed policymaking.

The political momentum and current research eco-system in Canada are an excellent and indeed inspirational context to foster the worldwide debates on impact. In line with Canadian prospects and initiatives the AESIS annual conference will focus on finding shared approaches for assessing, enabling and accelerating the societal impact of science.

Registration for the conference Impact of Science is open. A limited amount of early bird tickets are available until February 15th (23.59 EST).

The draft-programme, information about the speakers and the registration form can be found on the conference website.

Merry Mobilizing!

2017 Merry Mobilizing Card

Merry Mobilizing from the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University!

From left to right:

Simon Landry, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, VISTA

Anneliese Poetz, Manager, KT Core, Kids Brain Health

Sarah Howe, Director, Innovation York

Rebecca Giblon, Research Translation Assistant, KMb Unit

David Phipps, Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services

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

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

Asam Malik, Design Communications Assistant, KMb Unit

Krista Jensen, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, KMb Unit

Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, KMb Unit

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #7: If Impact Occurred but No One Was There to Measure It… / #ShitDavidSays About Impact, no 6 : s’il y a un impact, mais que personne n’est là pour le mesurer…

If impact occurred but no one was there to measure it did anything ever really happen? In this 7th and final post in this series, David speaks about the importance of assessing research impacts because if we don’t how can we demonstrate the value of research to end beneficiaries? He points out the irony of asking researchers to report on impacts in end of grant reports.

Si la recherche produit un impact, mais que personne n’est là pour le mesurer, est-ce qu’on peut dire qu’il a vraiment eu lieu ? Dans ce 7e et dernier billet de la série, David parle de l’importance d’évaluer les impacts : comment prouver la valeur des recherches aux utilisateurs finaux si l’on n’a rien mesuré ? Il souligne aussi l’ironie qu’il y a à demander aux chercheurs de faire état des impacts dans leurs rapports finaux.


In Canada, we are developing a culture of creating impacts. This is evident through grant applications that require a knowledge translation (CIHR, health charities), knowledge mobilization (SSHRC) or commercialization (NSERC) strategy. SSHRC also requires an outcomes statement that is a prediction of the difference the funded project will make on Canadians. As identified by the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences, this could be an impact on scholarship and training as well as an impact on the economy, society and culture or public policy.

But if we don’t assess the impacts beyond scholarship and training how can we fulfil these obligations in our grant applications?

The UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 collected 6,679 case studies of research impact and assessed them by panels of academic and non-academic experts in 36 Units of Assessment (i.e. examples of impact arising from history were not compared to impacts arising from chemistry). Research on the REF identified 3,709 unique pathways to impact.


Let me say that again. 6,679 stories of impact and 3,709 different ways to make impact.

That’s right. There is no cookie cutter approach to either creating or assessing impact. In my closing address to C2UExpo 2017, I pointed out how hard it is not only to plan for impact but also to assess impact but being hard was no excuse not to do either. I observed that we didn’t give researchers tenure so they could do something easy.

Get out there an assess the impact of your research because if you don’t then did you ever make a difference to anyone other than your academic colleagues? The UK has done it for the whole post secondary system, surely there’s something we can do in Canada?

Well yes there is, thank you for asking.

If you are effectively planning your impact strategy you are therefore also planning your impact assessment. Knowledge translation planning is ex ante research impact assessment. If you plan your impact you are inherently identifying the processes needed to move from research to impact including the indicators and data sources that will be the evidence of impact. Adapting a generic logic model of research impact (like the co produced pathway to impact) to your specific case will help guide your efforts for impact planning and impact assessment.

Research Impact Canada (RIC) is piloting a research impact assessment tool adapted from the REF. This tool provides a semi structured interview guide that creates consistency for collecting the evidence of impact and a case study template to create consistency for expressing the evidence of impact.

But here’s the thing about impact assessment…recall who is actually making the impact? SSHRC’s 2013 evaluation of their knowledge mobilization programs showed that it was primarily the partners of SSHRC funded projects that had the evidence of impact, not the researchers. This makes sense since it is the partners, not the researchers, who are making the products (industry), developing the policies (government) or delivering the social services (community) that have an impact on local and global citizens.

You need to use the interview guide in the RIC tool to gather the evidence of impact from partners and end users. And you need to do that long after the project has finished since the impact hasn’t usually happened within the course of a funded research project.

HEY FUNDERS…if we need to collect the evidence of impact from partners long after the project has ended why do you always ask researchers to report on impacts in their end of grant reports?

To return to the question in the title of this post, if a partner uses the evidence produced in a research project to help make impact but no one was there to collect the evidence of impact long after the grant ended then did anything ever really happen?

Go into the forest and see if that tree really did fall.

Job Opportunity – Senior Scientific Lead, Knowledge Mobilization – Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Please see Canadian Partnership Against Cancer website for full details

Position: Senior Scientific Lead, Knowledge Mobilization
Reports to: Vice-President, Strategy
Location: Toronto (Downtown)
Status: Part-Time
Posting date: November 3, 2017

Overview of Role:

The Senior Scientific Lead, Knowledge Mobilization will report to the Vice-President, Strategy and provide advice and expertise on evidence-based policy and implementation practices, with a view to provide the necessary supports with partners across the country to adopt proven practices that have resulted in successful change and have sustainable impact. Working closely with the Director, Knowledge Mobilization, the Senior Scientific Lead will help guide the Knowledge Mobilization team’s approaches for increasing capacity to mobilize evidence into action, which also includes driving enhanced use of the Partnership’s digital ecosystem.


– Contribute broad, new thinking and, through connections with other senior cancer control leaders across Canada and internationally, inform the Partnership’s strategic direction to influence policy and to scale up successful implementation practices that are developed and tested in one part of the country and spread across the system to bring about real change at an organizational, community or system level.

– Provide strategic advice and expert counsel to the Partnership’s advisory committees and leadership team to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of knowledge mobilization initiatives to impact target system outcomes

– Support the Partnership’s senior leadership team to deliver on Board-approved plans in the area of developing a more sustainable cancer system and working to embed more sustainable knowledge mobilization practices in the work of the broader Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control Work across the organization with other Senior Scientific and Expert Leads to identify synergies across program of work initiatives

– Keep up to date on best practices in policy change, dissemination, implementation and evaluation strategies and keep the VP Strategy, Director of Knowledge Mobilization and other Partnership staff apprised of new developments that may affect knowledge mobilization practices

– Be an external ambassador for the organization, specifically on issues related to knowledge mobilization in cancer control, and providing expert opinions and advice on behalf of the Partnership

– Direct and participate in the development of strategies to enhance awareness of the Partnership’s strategic direction in the scientific, academic and medical communities nationally and internationally

– Participate as a member or co-chair of the Knowledge Mobilization Steering Committee

– Participate as a member of the Partnership’s Cancer Control Council to achieve the Partnership’s 2017–22 Strategic Plan commitments

– Provide leadership in coordinating, managing and participating in conferences and events to support and promote the strategic direction of the Partnership

For further details on this position, please see the full job description in the link below:
Senior Scientific Lead, Knowledge Mobilization

To apply, please forward your CV and cover letter to

For additional information, please visit our website at

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer thanks all applicants; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer.

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #6: Impact Is Measured at the Level of the User / #ShitDavidSays About Impact, no 6 : l’impact se mesure chez l’utilisateur

Probably the most important thing David says. Researchers don’t make impact, partners do. So why do we ask researchers to report on impact?

C’est sans doute la chose la plus importante que dit David. L’impact ne se produit pas au départ, chez les chercheurs, mais à l’arrivée, chez les partenaires. Pourquoi, dans ce cas, demandons-nous aux chercheurs d’évaluer l’impact ?

beneficiaryWait…what…researchers don’t make any impact? Of course they do. Researchers publish papers and build capacity by graduating students. Isn’t’ that impact? According to the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences report on assessing impacts, research can contribute to building knowledge and building capacity but it can also contribute to cultural, economic, policy and social impact. It’s these latter impacts, those beyond the academy that are of interest to knowledge mobilization. But who really creates those impacts?

Not researchers.

Researchers don’t make products, industry does. Researchers don’t develop public policy, government does. And researchers don’t deliver social services, community organizations do. So if we want research to have an impact on local and global citizens we do so by supporting researchers collaborating with partners from private, public and non-profit sectors.

Think about it…it’s not researchers making those impacts.

“Now hold on, just a minute there…what about clinical research?” Sure, your research in a medical clinic, in a classroom or in a social work setting will definitely benefit those patients, students or clients. But the challenge of research in practice based settings is to scale it beyond your clinic or your classroom. How can your research based intervention scale through your district, province, country or globally? Whose job is that? Again, probably not the researcher who published the paper. That’s where school boards, clinical practice associations, colleges regulating professional practice and even unions play a role.

SSHRC found this in their 2013 evaluation of their knowledge mobilization funding programs. SSHRC wanted to collect the evidence of impact of the projects they funded. They had three data sources:

1. End of grant reports: no evidence of impact since the impacts usually hadn’t happened
2. Interviews with researchers: few had any knowledge of impact since they weren’t the one’s making it
3. Interview with partners: only when SSHRC interview partners did they find the evidence of impact

In one case, provincial tax law changed because of a SSHRC funded collaboration between a researcher and a policy maker but the researcher knew nothing about the impact beyond the scholarly publications and the graduated students. Because it wasn’t the researcher who was making tax law, it was the government partner.

So if funders want evidence of impact why do they continue to ask researchers to complete impact assessment reports? According to their website, Researchfish is “leading the world in research impact assessment”. “Over 100K researchers report to their funders the outcomes, outputs and impact of their research into Researchfish” Why? If researchers are not making impact why are they the ones reporting on it?

Impact needs to be measured at the level of the end user. Go ahead and ask a researcher what s/he thinks happened. But don’t forget to also ask the partner organization.

Intrinsically linked to this is the way academic research funding traditionally is managed. Academic research funding seeks to create impact beyond the academy. If we accept that it is our partners making the ultimate impact, then why must most academic research funding be managed by the academic institution of the principle investigator? By holding onto money academic institutions hold onto power in the research to impact collaboration.

It gets even more perverse when we require our non-academic partners to commit cash and in-kind resources to the project. Not only do we need you to make the impact and we can’t pay you for your role but we expect you to pay your own way while the funder pays for my participation.

Not an equitable partnership at all.

In a SSHRC world a researcher can share funding with a non-academic partner but only if s/he is made a co-applicant instead of being relegated to a second-class partner or collaborator status. However, to be a co-applicant the partner needs a SSHRC or Canadian Common CV.

If an academic researcher wants to create an authentic (i.e. equitable) partnership (that isn’t about supply and demand of knowledge) with a non-academic partner then help the partner make a CV and make them a co-applicant. That’s what we did in KMb York when we partnered with United Way York Region on a CIHR KT grant and a SSHRC Public Outreach Grant. We transferred 75% of the funding to UWYR and they hired the project coordinator and directed the project because we made a CV for the CEO UWYR.

Share money. Share power. Make authentic partnerships that will fund activities from research to impact.

Creating Public Value Through Networked Governance: 5 Lessons From NBSPRN

This week’s guest post first appeared on Medium and is reposted here with permission. Nick (Executive Director, Open Government and Innovation, Government of New Brunswick) was active in Research Impact Canada (RIC) when he was Executive Director of the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NB SPRN). He recently joined an RIC panel at the Canadian Science Policy Research Network to discuss the research to policy interface using NB SPRN as a case study. He shares what he has learned working in this space.

Networked governance is an approach to problem solving that integrates the external capacities of organizations and individuals with government. In this sense, smart governments pull in the knowledge and experience of citizens to inform decision making and work with external actors to create value.

How networked governance and knowledge mobilization support a shift to an open government paradigm

How networked governance and knowledge mobilization support a shift to an open government paradigm

For over four years I developed and managed an organization dedicated to advancing a networked governance approach to policy development. As more and more organizations begin to take this approach I thought it useful to share some of our lessons learned. I hope this helps others accelerate their development.

If we knew then what we know now

1- We would have worked with government actors sooner to identify, prioritize, and frame the problems they want to solve; the problems requiring further research and engagement. Team role: government relations, strategic partnerships;

2- We would have invested in membership development, management, and engagement. As a member organization with a CRM tool you can position yourself to connect the right people, at the right time with the right projects. Developing a membership registration process that collects needed information and an orientation plan for new members is critical. Team role: outreach, engagement, member relations;

3- We would have built a knowledge translation and mobilization practice. Knowledge mobilization and brokering was identified early on as a strategic role of our network, however we did not invest in building the capabilities soon enough, nor in training our members. Joining Research Impact Canada really helped catalyze our thinking and capacity for knowledge mobilization. Team role: research, design, communications, digital media;

4- We would have developed a strong facilitation practice sooner. Bringing together diverse audiences and having them collaborate is no easy feat. It takes a special skill and intentionality to do this well. We invested in training our staff and partnering with outside facilitators to do this. Anyone who has been to a poorly chaired meeting knows how unproductive and frustrating they can be. It’s many times worse with larger groups of folks from a multitude of backgrounds. Team role: citizen engagement, facilitation, art of hosting;

5- We would have spent less time being transactional, chasing projects that would contribute to overly simplistic financial metrics. In an environment driven by financial contraints and crude success measures like return on investment, we spent a lot of time focusing on grant applications. This meant that rather than building infrastructure and systems that would meet the mission of advancing evidence-based policy development, we were focused on simply getting grant applications in. Success, especially into the long-term depends on far more than financial ROI. Investing in such infrastructure will actually contribute to a greater success rate in grants. Team role: systems thinking, strategic thinking, organizational design, network leadership.

A map of the networked governance ecosystem in New Brunswick

A map of the networked governance ecosystem in New Brunswick

One thing we did well from the beginning is collaborate generously. The Network’s founder once said: the only way to counter ego is to not have ego, and the only way to counter territorialism is to not be territorial. Our small fledgling team alone could not possibly build an ecosystem to change centuries old institutions. Everything we did required collaboration with others or facilitating collaboration between others. Networked governance means leading and working in unfamiliar, non-traditional ways. It means you cannot expect to fully own anything nor fully take the credit for anything. It means sharing or giving credit generously. It means your focal point remains on your transformative purpose, not small “p” politics, or personal glory.

In times of rapid change no one organization or government has the research and development capacity needed to be responsive. Investing in networks and the ability to work with actors from across sectors is a requirement to creating public value in the 21st century, not a nice to have.

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #5: Knowledge Hypocrites / Les idées de David sur l’impact, no 5 : l’hypocrisie en MdC

On February 1, 2012, David first wrote about knowledge hypocrites. The challenge that we are all knowledge hypocrites is as true today as it was almost 6 years ago.

Le 1er février 2012, David signait un billet au sujet de l’hypocrisie en mobilisation des connaissances. Presque six ans plus tard, son énoncé provocant selon lequel nous sommes tous des hypocrites de la MdC est toujours aussi vrai.

GoGo the cat sitting on a copy of the book Using Evidence


We are all knowledge hypocrites. I am a knowledge hypocrite. You probably are one also.

There is an evidence base to knowledge mobilization but are you reading it? Are you using it? Sandra Nutley (recently retired from the Research Unit for Research Utilisation at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland) wrote Using Evidence with her colleagues Huw Davies and Isabel Walters in 2007. For me this is a foundation text providing a deep and wide ranging review of the literature on how research is used to inform public services.

And it is still relevant today…because let’s face it…there really are no “eureka” moments in our field. We have learned much in the last 10 years but it is built on a foundation largely crafted by Sandra and her colleagues that she built on a foundation of pioneers in the field.

Have you read Evidence & Policy? You should. Sandra, Huw and their colleague Alison Powell told you so this year in a paper in Evidence & Policy (vol 13, no. 2: 201-213) titled “Missing in Action: the role of knowledge mobilisation literature in knowledge mobilisation practice”. They surveyed knowledge intermediary organizations to see who is basing their practice on the literature. They found we aren’t. We continue to be knowledge hypocrites.

What I mean by this is that KT/KMb researchers advocate that researchers make their research accessible in different formats and to actively facilitate the uptake of evidence in the context of its use…but they don’t (usually). There are few incentives and rewards for KT/KMb researchers to come to York’s KMb Unit and help us use their evidence in our practice. I recall one conversation I had with a KMb researcher in education. She never considered me an end user of her research even though I read all her work. She only thought that teachers were her end users.

But practitioners are also knowledge hypocrites. We tell policy and practice partners to engage with the evidence and reach out for research expertise in their field….but we don’t (usually). We often have neither the skills nor the time to read academic papers on KT/KMb. I try to give my KMb team one day/month to sit in the library but it always falls off their agenda because they are busy getting the job done. At performance review I don’t measure them on the number of articles they have read. I have not created incentives or rewards for them. I am a knowledge hypocrite.

That was the driver behind the Knowledge Mobilization Journal Club. In July 2011, I started a monthly on line journal club where I would post a summary of an academic article and make observations about the implications for knowledge mobilization practice. There are currently 67 journal club posts. It is a small attempt to close the loop between the scholarship and the practice of knowledge mobilization.

When we evaluated the journal club in 2016, we found it was highly valued by readers (“please keep it going even if we have to clone David”.

To over come the shame of being a knowledge hypocrite we need to build our skills for knowledge mobilization. My colleague Julie Bayley (@JulieEBayley) and I have recently published a competency framework for practitioners of research impact. Building our skills in both creating impacts (“how”) and in assessing impacts (“what”) will help us all build our research impact literacy, a concept that Julie and I are also building (see below).

So here’s my question: how will you build your impact literacy to avoid being a knowledge hypocrite?

Impact Literacy diagram

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #4: Impact Frameworks Are Like Toothbrushes… / Les idées de David sur l’impact, no 4 : les cadres d’évaluation de l’impact sont comme les brosses à dents…

With thanks to Karen Ritchie, Head of Knowledge and Information, Health Improvement Scotland, who first coined this phrase. This post examines the plethora of impact frameworks and their – usually inappropriate – use.

Merci à Karen Ritchie, chef du service des connaissances et de l’information de l’organisme écossais Health Improvement, qui a forgé cette métaphore. Ce blogue s’intéresse à la pléthore de cadres, structures et méthodes d’évaluation de l’impact et à l’usage – généralement inadéquat – qui en est fait.

“Impact frameworks are like toothbrushes. Everyone has one and no one wants to use anyone else’s”.

Co-Produced Pathway to Impact

Co-Produced Pathway to Impact

“Impact frameworks are like toothbrushes. Everyone has one and no one wants to use anyone else’s”.

Knowledge to Action Cycle, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Impact Assessment Framework, Payback method, Co-produced pathway to impact (CPPI), SPIRIT Action Framework, etc., etc., etc.

See a recent review of the strengths and weaknesses of some of these models here.

In Canada, the KTA Cycle dominates. Many networks, programs and projects cite the KTA Cycle as their framework without knowing that the KTA authors themselves never expected It to be used in whole by any single organization. In a review of papers citing KTA, only 10/146 actually implemented a portion of it and only one employed KT methods to move from one stage to the next.

No pathway is perfect which is why everyone creates a new pathway or new modification to a pathway to solve the one thing that doesn’t work for them despite the many things that do work.


But with a plethora of pathways – a veritable plentiful profusion of pathways – how does one go about choosing a pathway that’s right for your research to impact project? NIHR asked me this in 2016 and I came up with the following five criteria for impact pathway assessment (as published in this blog on May 5, 2016).. Does the pathway:

1. Accommodate and enable collection of evidence for patient benefit?

2. Support engagement of end users (incl. patients, policy, service providers) throughout?

3. Work at the level of the project, the program, the organization, the system?

4. Enable planning by providing general logic informing specific adaptation?

5. Drive uptake/adoption?

In the May 5, 2016 post, I reviewed three pathways: KTA, Payback and the CPPI. Acknowledging bias as I am the author of CPPI (yes, even I made another damn framework!), the CPPI came out on top on these five criteria.

But here’s the thing about any pathway. It is at best generic. No framework can be specific to every project implementing the framework. The CPPI can be used to monitor the progress from biomarker identification to successful clinical microarray test as it can be used to monitor the progress from understanding needs of at risk youth to successful implementation of a life skills training program. Clearly these two pathways will be very different. At York in 2016 we had supported 121 large scale grant applications of which 42 (35%) had been successful attracting $47M in external research income. Each one had a different pathway to impact.

Of the 6,679 impact case studies in the UK Research Excellence Framework there were 3,709 unique pathways to impact (see here).

With this diversity, clearly even the best impact frameworks can only be generic. The best advice any funder can give is generic (for example the guidance on knowledge mobilization strategies from SSHRC). It is up to the researchers, partners and the research impact practitioners who support them to use planning tools to develop a specific (or bespoke as @JulieEBayley likes to say) impact pathway for every research to impact project.

Since almost all grant applications require some form of impact pathway seek out your local research impact practitioner to help secure your next research grant.