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.

Post Cards From Congress – Day 2

Congress Day 2Day 2: BC. Ontario. Alberta. Manitoba. Quebec. Nova Scotia. Texas. Copenhagen. Ukraine. USA.

We chatted with people from across Canada and around the world. Again today we had another non-profit organization interested in partnering with academic researchers. Yesterday we spoke to an organization seeking information and expertise to help inform a curriculum for micro-finance in developing countries using a gender and sustainability lens. Today we spoke to a organization promoting education for students with disabilities.

It is interesting that we have had conversations with non-academic partner organizations. It might be this Congress and its location in downtown Toronto that attracts more non-profit organizations. Or it might be the increasing focus on collaborative research that brings non-profits to a traditionally scholarly space.

Either way it’s great to see organizations who want to work with academic researchers (faculty and students) coming to Congress to seek out potential research partners. That’s a new and welcome conversation at Congress.

Post Cards From Congress – Day 1

Congress Day 1Day 1: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto. The sight of Stanley Cup wins (well, not since 1967), boxing championships and concerts. And now the Congress of the Sciences and Humanities. Research Impact Canada is hanging out right next to our SSHRC friends. Day 1 saw a total of 40 conversations about knowledge mobilization and impacts of research. Among those 40 were two conversations with non profit organizations seeking to work with academic researchers…enter knowledge mobilization.

That’s what we do. We help researchers, students and non academic partners work together. As a community of practice with 12 university members we share tools and services so we can all improve our own practices. At our booth we have tools to help develop knowledge mobilization strategies in grant applications that are in good demand.

If you’re at Congress swing by booth 15 and come mobilize some knowledge.

David

Barriers and Facilitators of Networks / Réseaux bloqués, réseaux fluides

At the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (CKF), fifteen attendees sat in a circle and discussed their experiences with in person and online networks. The wisdom in the room brought forward lots of ways to enhance participation both online and in real life.

À l’occasion du Forum canadien sur la mobilisation des connaissances, quinze intervenants ont formé, littéralement, un cercle de discussion sur leur expérience de réseautage en ligne et en personne. La sagesse de ce groupe a permis de mettre au jour de nombreux moyens d’activer la participation, en ligne et en vrai.

CKF is not your usual conference. OK, there isn’t the drumming and singing of C2UExpo (and why not???) but the Forum is not dominated by talking heads where three “experts” speak “to” an audience (who often know as much or more about the topic) often elevated on a stage to reflect their status as expert and always separated from the audience by a table.

At CKF there are far more interactive sessions including hands on workshops, artistic presentations and roundtable discussions. The latter was the format we employed to draw the wisdom from participants who were active in networks (that’s almost everyone, by the way). The roundtable (we sat in a circle to encourage equal participation and discourage anyone being perceived as an “expert”) was co-facilitated by Travis Steinhart (Gambling Research Exchange Ontario), Vicky Ward (Leeds University, UK and the international Knowledge into Practice Learning Network), Oludurotimi Adetunji (Brown University, USA and the National Alliance for Broader Impacts) and me representing Research Impact Canada. We had provincial, national, national US and international networks represented with Research Impact Canada being the oldest (+11 years) and KIPL Network the youngest (<1 year); however, it was the contributions of the participants that helped us populate the chart with barriers and facilitators of networks. Networks barriers enablers CKF17

You can read the suggestions in the picture, but it is interesting that the group spent the most time on facilitators of online networks almost to the exclusion of in person networks and barriers to online networks. This suggests that while many of us claim to struggle with participation in online networks we have also devised many strategies to facilitate our participation. A couple of comments on the suggestions:

• RCT: Randomised Coffee Trial. Members of an online network get randomly assigned to pairs of people who don’t know each other and you schedule a 20 minute skype call over coffee. I had a delightful 20 minute chat with a broker from a UK based international NGO and we found many common threads.

• Paid Supports: everyone agreed that having a dedicated, paid person to support the online group was a great facilitator. As keen as volunteers are it often falls to the edge of the desk.

1-9-90: draws from the observation that in many online spaces 90% of the members are actively consuming content but are invisible whereas 9% are commenting and only 1% are creating content. The barrier is that one cannot determine network participation when the 90% consuming are invisible to the network.

• Bloody Minded: another term for persistent. Don’t give up either in person or online.

• British (as a barrier): This was the view of one British participant who viewed Canada as a far more enabling environment for knowledge mobilization.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this session. If you are a member of a network look through this list and pick out something to try if you are feeling that you want to enhance your network activity. Try the Randomised Coffee Trial in your network. It’s easy and as you will see from the KIPL Linked In group we all enjoyed our conversations and only invested 20 minutes over coffee.

Research Impact Canada wins Directors’ Award from CARA

This post was first published on May 8, 2017 in YFile, York University’s News. It is reposted here with permission.

York University, on behalf of Research Impact Canada (formerly the ResearchImpact network), was awarded the Directors’ Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA), at the CARA national meeting in Winnipeg. The award was announced May 8.

David PhippsDavid Phipps, executive director, Research & Innovation Services, accepted the award for his work, alongside others, in Research Impact Canada. For a decade now, this network — a group of 12 universities across the country — has been engaged in knowledge mobilization with measurable impacts. It is committed to maximizing the impact of academic research for social, economic, environmental and health benefits.

“The CARA awards recognize excellence in research management and administration in Canada. Research Impact Canada has broken down barriers to collaboration across Canada and its members have demonstrated leadership and creativity in working collaboratively and effectively to create new knowledge mobilization tools and practices that maximize the impact of university research. We are delighted to recognize them with this award,” says Frances Chandler, CARA president.

Robert Hache“We believe that new knowledge, often developed through community-based partnerships, makes a real difference in society and leads to more informed decision-making for public policy, professional practice and social programs,” says Vice-President Research & Innovation, Robert Haché.

In this award, CARA recognizes Research Impact Canada’s remarkable contribution to inter-institutional collaboration and sharing, including developing knowledge mobilization tools that are adopted beyond the network, engaging in joint ventures and hosting major events that facilitate collaboration. This group embodies leadership and creativity in working collaboratively and effectively to achieve a shared goal in research management.
York University continues for a second and final term as the lead institution in Research Impact Canada for 2017-20.

For more information, visit the Research Impact Canada website.

Social Media & Research Unconference: What works? What’s next?

UnconferenceWhen is the Unconference?: Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (day before the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum #CKF17)

Where is the Unconference?: Four-Points by Sheraton Gatineau-Ottawa

Will there be food? Yes! Refreshments (coffee/tea/juice/snacks) and lunch are provided.

Who should attend? People interested in learning and sharing about social media and research. You might be a researcher, a student, a social media coordinator, or a knowledge broker.

More specifically, this event is for people who are interested in using social media for research, for knowledge mobilization, or who are researching social media. The important part is that you want to learn from others in the field and share your own knowledge and experiences.

What is an Unconference?: Good question! An unconference is a loosely structured conference where active participation, collaboration with peers, and idea sharing are essential. The program for this event will be set by you – the attendees – first thing in the morning on 16th of May. We’ll fit your ideas into some fun methods to support conversation and learning. Attendees are encouraged to give presentations, pitch topics of discussion, and actively participate in the conversations. With the assistance of a facilitator, a program will be created. In an unconference, the program is fluid and can change throughout the day as conversations continue and new ideas develop. To learn more about unconferences and how to prepare for them, click here.

Attendees are encouraged to think about what topics they could contribute the Social Media & Research Unconference in advance. Possible topics may include:

    What are best practices in using social media (SM) for knowledge mobilization (KMb) and stakeholder engagement
    How do best practices and uptake of social media differ across sectors and disciplines?
    What are great examples of social media in the research process: For example: as a method for network analysis, dissemination channel, engagement strategy.
    Where has social media not worked well in the research process?
    Where is more research needed about the use of social media for KMb?
    What are the best SM platforms for KMb work?
    What are some of the innovative projects that have used SM for KMb work?
    What do researchers and students need to know about building a digital identity?
    Where can SM fit in the life cycle of a research project?
    What social media tools are new and exciting (live streaming, participant recruitment, etc.)

-*We’re using the term “Knowledge Mobilization” to include knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, etc.

Cost: $80.00 (includes lunch)

To register: Click this link

Hotel: If you’re joining us from out of town, there is a discounted hotel rate ($164/night) available for those participating in the #CKF17 and the SM Unconference. Just mention the Forum when booking at the Sheraton Four-Points Gatineau. The rate can be extended from Friday, May 12th to Monday, May 22nd.

Gathering my Thoughts for the C2UExpo Gatherings

This week’s guest post was originally posted on the C2UExpo 2017 blog on April 29, 2017. It is reposted here with permission.

With C2UExpo 2017 beginning in a couple short days, we can’t wait to delve right into some of the themes each of our Gatherings will be addressing.

Let’s see what Trail Blazer– David J. Phipps, Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services at York University had to say about the following questions!

1. What does community-campus partnerships mean to you? Why should we care?

The key for me is the word partnership. Partners come together around a shared interest. If it’s not a shared interest, if there isn’t equal passion and valued contributions from both (or more) partners then you might as well secure the help of a consultant (no offence to the many excellent consultants out there…and see a very old post I did about consultants vs knowledge brokers). At York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit 70% of the partnerships we support are driven by the needs of the community partner. This is one of the ways we strive to balance power in a demand driven (or community “pull”) method. The life skills mentoring program that researchers from our Faculty of Education co developed with the Youth Emergency Shelter of Peterborough was a result of the shelter seeking to understand recidivism in their client population and asked York if we could help. See this video for more on this example.

Why should we care? Universities are bound by a social contract. We are invested in by the public. And while the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and understanding is a legitimate goal there is an opportunity to create a broader return on the public’s investment in universities by connecting our research activities to organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors so that our research and expertise can have an impact on the lives of local and global citizens.

We don’t do this because we are mandated to do so. We do this because we want to make a difference. And that difference is magnified when we do it in partnership with organizations that can make the products, develop the policies and deliver the services that have an impact on citizens.

2. Defining and measuring the impact of our work. Can it be done? If we don’t then what?

Yes. And since the first answer is yes then the second question is moot.

In the Research Impact Canada network we have taken the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) as the starting point. The REF is a centralized research impact assessment exercise that evaluates all UK universities on the impact their research has had beyond the academy (on culture, society, health, economy, environment etc.). So not only can it be done it is being done on a national, system wide level. The Research Impact Canada network has adapted the REF impact assessment guidelines and template to fit our Canadian context. York University is piloting this tool on a community-campus collaboration that evaluated a hub of domestic violence shelters. The Knowledge Mobilization Unit brokered this collaboration. Once we have assessed the pilot we will adjust the tool and roll out in a more systematic fashion.

This makes the second question less urgent. But if you don’t assess your impact then you will never be able to report on your successes. You will lack the evidence to make the case that your work is vital. You will not be able to create a sustainable model for supporting community campus collaborations without the evidence of success.

If we expect community campus collaborations to create evidence that informs decisions about policies, practices and services then we need to apply that same rigour to our own operations.

I am sharing the stage for the Final Gathering with Jacline Nyman, Am Johal, Annalee Yassi, Derek Gent and William Lindsay. What a great group presenting in front of a great (and hopefully engaged) audience to kick at these very important and timely questions. See you in British Columbia!

Arts Based Translation of Health Research / Application par les arts de la recherche en santé

By day David Phipps (@researchimpact ; @mobilemobilizer) is a knowledge mobilization professional. In the evenings and weekends David is a student in the adult program of Canada’s National Ballet School (@DavidBallet). On April 20, those two identities collided when Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) hosted a knowledge translation workshop http://www.nbs-enb.ca/Sharing-Dance/Sharing-Dance-Programs/Dance-Classes-for-People-with-Parkinson-s/Translating-Knowledge-Into-Action focused on Dance for Parkinson’s Disease.

Le jour, David Phipps (@researchimpact ; @mobilemobilizer) est un professionnel de la mobilisation des connaissances. Le soir et les weekends, David est inscrit au programme pour adultes de l’ÉNB, l’École nationale de ballet du Canada (@DavidBallet). Ces deux identités se sont télescopées le 20 avril, jour où l’ÉNB accueillait un atelier d’application des connaissances, dans son volet Dansons ensemble pour les ainés atteints de Parkinson.

Many of us have used arts based methods for knowledge translation. At the KMb Unit at York Univeristy, we have supported theatre and poetry. The KT Core of Kids Brian Health Network (hosted at KMb York) has supported theatre – check out the short video of a play called Jacob’s Story about FASD. But we have never worked with dance as a KT method. That’s one reason the event about KT and Dance for Parkinson’s was so interesting to me.

April 20, 2017 was the launch of the Dance for Parkinson’s Network Canada. The launch coincided with a workshop presenting research from Rachel Bar, a graduate of the National Ballet School and a PhD student at Ryerson University, researching the health benefits of dance for people living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Rachel has combined those two identities as the Manager, Health and Research Initiatives for NBS. The workshop featured very accessible posters describing work to date and some implications of the work for stakeholders (see below). We also did a dance class with dancers from the NBS Parkinson’s program. This class was led by David Leventhal, co-Founder of Dance for PD® and a former dancer with the Mark Morris dance group in New York. We danced seated in a chair, accompanied by live piano. What made it dance and not just movement to music was the imagery David used as we were dancing whether it was running our hand across water, mimicking rain fall, swinging a baseball bat or waving at someone every movement was an image.

Dance for Parkinsons

Next, Rachel moderated a panel discussion with a David Leventhala clinical neurologist, a dancer from the Parkinson’s program and a researcher (Joe DeSouza, York University). The panel was an example of KT in action when lived experience is joined with research and clinical practice. This was backed by some of Rachel’s work showing the literature underpinning the effects of dance in PD which included original peer reviewed papers, randomized controlled trials and literature reviews.

Rachel also presented implications for stakeholders including patients, family members, clinicians and researchers. And here’s where I hope to help. I observed to Rachel and to NBS that there are policy implications of this research including ministries of health, seniors and heritage. Dipikia Damerla (@DipikaDamerla), Ontario Minister for Seniors Affairs, provided remarks at the event so there is already a doorway into provincial policy makers. Joe DeSouza is one of York’s researchers. I am dancing at NBS. I hope to join my profession and my passion by exploring how I can help bring this important research and amazing PD program to the attention of the right policy makers. I hope to help Rachel as well as her research and dance colleagues to engage in good KT planning to identify goals, partners, activities and evaluation of their KT plan. For more on how we support KT planning at KMb York and Kids Brain Health Network see our recent paper about KT planning in grant applications.

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?

Fast Track Impact logoMore from the world of impact in the UK, this time a reflection on a post by Mark Reed and Sarah Buckmaster from February 2016. Sarah and Mark compared the impact pathways from research teams who had been awarded the highest scores for impact in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. For more on REF 2014, see this journal club and last week’s post.

The seven studies presented span health, social sciences and humanities with impacts on policy, professional practice and culture – this diversity suggests the 10 common elements of impact pathways are not unique to any discipline or sector. The 10 common elements are: clear connectivity from overall vision to objectives and impact; specificity; tailor made impact; build in flexibility; assign responsibility – name names; demonstrate demand; highlight collaborative partnerships; don’t ignore sensitivities; think long term; record everything.

I’m not going to go into detail in each of these because Mark and Sarah have done that in their post.

ARMA logoWhat I will reflect on is the role of the university helping researchers craft these specific impact pathways in their applications. ARMA – the association supporting university research administrators (those people who are hired to help you craft your grant applications) – has a specific group interested in impact. It is not just the job of the grant applicant to ensure impact strategies incorporate these 10 key success elements. It is also the job of institutions to support researchers crafting their grant applications. How many ARMA members receive specific training not only as REF officers collecting the evidence of impact but also in supporting impact strategies in grant applications? This list of 10 key success elements could form a checklist for ARMA members to use to not only assess strategies at application review before submission but also to build capacity of researchers before they start writing the application (a new product idea for Fast Track Impact – you can thank me later, Mark).

At York University (Toronto, Canada), we have published on our process for supporting impact in grant applications. We also lead Research Impact Canada, a network of 12 universities building capacity to support impacts of research. We don’t have a formal impact assessment process like the REF but most Canadian funding programs require the equivalent of impact pathways. Because of this requirement we are sharing tools and building expertise to support impact at the institutional level. This is only now coming onto the radar of CARA (the Canadian ARMA) with an impact planning and assessment workshop I am delivering on May 7 at the CARA annual conference.

It would be interesting to ask the authors of these highly successful impact strategies what support they received from their institution during the grant application process. This would demonstrate if there is existing impact expertise in research administrators or if there is a skills gap and an opportunity for institutions to invest in capacity building to support impact which, in turn, will support success in the REF. It is a little late to start to build capacity to support impact in an application that won’t be funded until 2018 at the earliest and therefore won’t likely contribute to impacts in REF 2021. But Mark and Sarah advocate thinking long term. REF 2026 is just around the corner, at least in terms of impact which can take years after the funded grant project to manifest.

And don’t forget to call Canada. We are happy to share our supports for impact in grant applications and look forward to learning from UK experts as well. CARA and ARMA are already collaborating on accreditation for research administrators. Maybe impact could be part of this exchange. Just ask @JulieEBayley.

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.

For 10 years Research Impact Canada (RIC) has been leading the development of institutional knowledge mobilization practices that create the conditions to maximize the social, economic and/or environmental impacts of university research. Our vision statement is:

We will maximize the impact of university research for the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and health benefits across local and global communities.

If we say we will maximize impact we needed to figure out a way to assess the impact of the research we were helping to mobilize. We looked to the UK Research Excellence Framework for inspiration (for more on REF and why it is important see this recent journal club entry). The REF required all UK universities to articulate the impacts of research using guidelines (page 26 here) and completing an impact case study template. There is much (not all) good about the REF. But there is much in the work of RIC that is not captured in the narrowly construed REF definitions of research and of impact. There is also a decoupling of the efforts made by institutions (as reported in the environment data) to support impact and the impact cases themselves.

The Evaluation Committee of Research Impact Canada did a deep dive into the REF and developed our own adaptation of the REF impact assessment guidelines and case study template. The major changes are summarized in the table below:

Changes between REF and RIC impact assessment table

View this table as a PDF

That’s what we have done. What are we doing?

We are piloting the RIC research impact assessment guidelines and impact case study template on one example from York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. We have also delivered our first impact assessment workshop to scientists and knowledge brokers at the research-policy interface at Eawag, the Swiss water research institute. We received good feedback from them and will be incorporating this into successive iterations of the guidelines and template. Ultimately we will roll this out through RIC member universities and beyond to provide a tool for researchers and institutions to collect the evidence of impact and inform different means of disseminating stories of impact so our various stakeholders (funders, partners, governments, and the public) can see the difference that universities make on society, the economy and/or the environment.

Our work in Canada is timely as HEFCE reports it has just finished consultations on REF 2021 and are about to review and analyze over 370 responses. We can continue to learn from each other. The Canadian and UK contexts are different. The main difference is the driver. We don’t have a REF in Canada so we have greater leeway to construct research impact assessment tools that work in our contexts. But our contexts are also not really that different. UK and Canadian funders require grant applicants to express the potential impacts of their research and the plans (and budgets) for creating those impacts. Now Canada also has a mechanism to facilitate the collection and reporting on the evidence of impact that was inspired by the REF but adapted to meet the needs of the Research Impact Canada network.

Give us a call, HEFCE. We’re happy to share as you pour through those 370 responses!

Event: March 29: The Australian KT Experience and Our Move to the Impact Agenda

The Knoweldge Mobilization Unit at York University looks forward to welcoming Tamika Heiden to YorkU for a talk this Wednesday. Please join us if you are in the area!

The Australian KT Experience and Our Move to the Impact Agenda

March 29, 2017

Tamika Heiden, Knowledge Translation Australia

Tamika HeidenThis talk has been organized by the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University. Knowledge mobilization
helps turn research into action.

Tamika Heiden, of Knowledge Translation Australia, has been driving change, advocating for Knowledge Translation (KT), and training researchers and research support staff in KT processes for the past three years. In a country yet to embrace KT and Impact, Tamika has been preparing for the inevitable change to research funding and reward. In 2017, the Australian government is undertaking its first Engagement and Impact Assessment Pilot, with the view to ongoing impact assessment beginning in 2018.

Join Tamika as she shares the KT practices that are happening in Australia and gives insights into the current research impact and engagement evaluation landscape. This conversational style session will look at Tamika’s entrepreneurial approach to KT, examine current KT roles and activities, and discuss the role of KT in the Australian Impact and Engagement agenda moving forward.

Date:
Wednesday, March 29

Time:
1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location:
Room 519, Kaneff Tower
York University, Keele Campus
4700 Keele Street, Toronto