#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.

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #3: Engaged Scholarship NOT Knowledge Transfer / Les idées de David sur l’impact, no 3 : On parle d’érudition engagée, pas de transfert de connaissances

David Phipps is writing about his lessons after more than a decade of impact. This third post encourages us to engage end users/beneficiaries as we move from knowledge transfer to engaged scholarship.

David Phipps partage les leçons qu’il a apprises en plus de dix ans dans le milieu de l’impact. Ce troisième billet nous incite à faire participer activement les utilisateurs finaux ou les bénéficiaires au mouvement, ce qui nous fait passer du simple transfert des connaissances à l’érudition véritablement engagée. Les détails à #ShitDavidSays About Impact.

Cambridge College

This is a picture of a college at the University of Cambridge. This image recapitulates the traditional scholarly orientation where knowledge (and power) is kept within the university and is disconnected from the external world. There is a single door way and gate that separates those who have knowledge and those who don’t (see the previous post about the knowledge of our non-academic partners). If we wanted to share information it would have to be translated and/or transferred to those who don’t have this knowledge. And for 600 years we have been working this business model.

But it needs to change.

I have heard from colleagues at the Rick Hansen Institute (spinal cord injury research) that when the Institute was being established they asked stakeholders about their priorities. Clinicians prioritized biomarkers and neuroimaging. People living with spinal cord injury and their families prioritized bladder control and erectile dysfunction.

If we’re not talking to those directly affected by the research then we are producing research knowledge that won’t be used (and that’s ok for basic/fundamental research). This includes talking to end users who use the research evidence for new products, policies and services and those end beneficiaries who will benefit from them. Bowan and Graham wrote in 2013 that the failure to bridge the knowledge to action gap was not a failure of knowledge transfer but a failure of knowledge production.

Let me say that again….it is not a failure of knowledge transfer but a failure of knowledge production. We need to stop trying to transfer knowledge end users/beneficiaries don’t want and start working on research they do want by practicing engaged scholarship.

This means that if we want our research to be used to inform products, policies and services we need to engage non-academic stakeholders at least to inform the research but also as collaborators as we seek to co-produce research evidence with them. Engagement is a necessary precursor to impact. You can engage without having impact but you can’t have impact without engaging. However, metrics of engagement are not a proxy for impact – think about that Australia as you run your Engagement and Impact Assessment pilot.

And one final critical piece that derives from the PARIHS framework. We know that making evidence accessible (i.e. on a website) is necessary but not sufficient to inform change (thank you Sandra Nutley). If you want your research evidence to be used you have to facilitate the uptake of the evidence in the context of its use. Once you have practiced engaged scholarship to produce your useful evidence don’t just send it to end users. Go to end users and actively facilitate the uptake of the evidence in the context of the end users. You can do this by giving a workshop with end users and/or by training end users in your new method/tool.

Get out of your academic research spaces and listen to end users/beneficiaries. Collaborate with them along the way. And then return to them and facilitate the uptake of evidence in their contexts.

That’s engaged scholarship not knowledge transfer.

Stay tuned as these seven posts about #ShitDavidSays about impact roll out. And if you want to see a webinar on #ShitDavidSays about Impact you can pay to attend a webinar sponsored by the Canadian Association of Research Administrators at noon Eastern on November 10, 2017. More info available here.

#ShitDavidSays About Impact #2: It’s Not About Supply and Demand / Les idées de David sur l’impact, no 2 : Ce n’est pas une question d’offre et de demande

David Phipps is writing about his lessons after more than a decade of impact. This second post recognizes that academics aren’t the only ones who do research. Knowledge mobilization isn’t about supply and demand of knowledge, it’s about finding complementary expertise.

David Phipps partage les leçons qu’il a apprises en plus de dix ans dans le milieu de l’impact. Dans ce deuxième billet, il reconnait que les universitaires ne sont pas les seuls à faire de la recherche. Mais la mobilisation des connaissances ne concerne pas l’offre et la demande en matière de connaissances – il s’agit en fait d’apparier des expertises complémentaires. Les détails à #ShitDavidSays About Impact.

"Community research is a mile wide and an inch deep while academic research is an inch wide and a mile deep" David PhippsThe first grant application that seeded the York U-UVic knowledge mobilization partnership on was written as a technology transfer application geared to the social sciences. All we needed to do was package up the excellent research at our universities, send it out and magically someone would use it. We had lots of dissemination strategies all predicated on universities having knowledge that someone else could use.

It never occurred to us that they might not want it. It never occurred to us to ask them what they wanted. We had the knowledge supply and they had a demand for our knowledge.


In fact, within months our community partners, York Region District School and the Human Services Planning Board of York Region, asked us to stop pushing our research on them. After a few more conversations we needed to move to a “pull” model where we responded to the needs of our non-academic partners.

Non-academic organizations do research. Industry does applied research to turn ideas into products. Governments do research so policy decisions are based (in part) on evidence. Community organizations do research to understand their communities so that services are aligned with the needs of citizens.

Knowledge mobilization isn’t about supply and demand. It is less about transferring knowledge (although this is also important) and more about understanding needs to enable co-producing collaborations based on complementary expertise.

One of the first conversations we have at KMb York when we are seeking a researcher to speak with a non-academic partner is, “remember, you don’t know it all”. Academic researchers have one type of knowledge. It is valuable. But so is the knowledge and expertise in community, industry, governments, and especially in those with lived experience.

If an academic researcher can’t appreciate the value of other forms of knowledge and expertise we will celebrate and support their excellent academic scholarship. But that doesn’t make them an excellent partner for a knowledge mobilization opportunity.

There are three conditions that need to be satisfied to make a good knowledge mobilization opportunity:

1- When the research is “right”: when the research has the potential to have a life inside a company making a product, a government making a policy or a community organization delivering a service.

2- When the researcher is “right”: we are not only seeking an excellent researcher but an excellent researcher who appreciates s/he doesn’t know it all.

3- When the partner has the capacity to participate authentically: Industry (usually if a large corporation) and government (often) have embedded research capacity. Community organizations do research but on a very tight budget (time, money, other resources). How can we in the academy help build capacity (i.e. make time) for our partners to participate in an authentic manner.

Knowledge mobilization is facilitated when these three conditions are met.

Stay tuned as these seven posts about #ShitDavidSays about impact roll out. And if you want to see a webinar on #ShitDavidSays about Impact you can pay to attend a webinar sponsored by the Canadian Association of Research Administrators at noon Eastern on November 10, 2017. More info available here.

Canada’s Impact Agenda is Everyone’s Agenda

This week’s guest post was first published on October 7, 2017 on the Canadian Science Policy Centre’s website. It is reposted here with permission.

Research Impact Canada will be featured in two sessions at the Canadian Science Policy Conference Nov 1-3, 2017. Robert Hache and David Phipps (York), Bill McKenzie (UNB) and Cathey Edwards (Carleton) will speak along with Matthew McKean, from Conference Board of Canada, an RIC partner.

Robert Hache and David Phipps
October 7, 2017

By: Robert Haché and David Phipps

Vice-President Research & Innovation
York University

Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services
York University

Canada’s impact agenda is everyone’s agenda

Academic research delivers economic, cultural, social, health and environmental impact. This fact was highlighted in the final report from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review (“the Review”), chapter two. However, the Review was silent on a consistent and proven way to ensure this impact occurs – more specifically, how to create impact – and a way to measure the impact.

There is a new forum for these vital discussions: This year, the 2017 Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) is creating new spaces to discuss impact. In this conference, York University and Research Impact Canada are participating in two key panels the common goal of which is to unpack precisely how impact is created, with special attention on the science-policy interface and the challenge of assessing impact.

Where does Canada fit in internationally?

Unlike the United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands, which have centralized impact assessment systems, Canada does not yet have an impact agenda. No one is debating the need for one. The time is now, as both Federal and Provincial governments are starting to require an impact component in funding. Proposed research, in today’s context, requires this vital component as well as the ability to measure it.

CSPC is aligned with this pressing necessity. Its impact agenda includes “measuring what difference science makes,” which clearly speaks to the value of science, and “creating the conditions for impact.”

Academic research provides foundation for impact

Partnerships are essential to maximizing impact. Academic research can’t operate in a vacuum when it comes to impact – a reality that was hinted at in the Review. Research needs to work in conjunction with policies that government develops guided by research and evidence; social services that non-profit organizations, including the health and education sector, deliver, bolstered by research; and products that industry builds, again based on the evidence provided by research. This is an ecosystem in which research provides the foundation. Only by working in collaboration with partners from the private, public and non-profit sectors will academic institutions create the conditions to maximize the impact of research.

This does not mean that all research must be applied. On the contrary, the roles of basic research, academic scholarship and artistic creation are evermore important. Fundamental research provides a base from which evidence-based policies, services and products can emerge.

Impact has almost limitless breadth

Far-reaching impact crosses disciplines and countries. For example, climate change is not merely a natural science occurring in one country; Indigenous issues are not confined to social science; and mental illness is just a health science.

Due to this remarkable breadth, which clearly speaks to many kinds of impact, to maximize research-borne impact, we need policy and institutional frameworks that acknowledge the following: science is more than science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); partnerships are more than industry; and impact is more than commercialization.

Leading the charge in impact maximization

Innovation York, York University’s innovation Office, leads the University’s efforts to maximize the impacts of our research. Innovation York has diversified beyond commercialization to include entrepreneurship, industry liaison and knowledge mobilization that has helped to create impact. Examples include services for at-risk youth in Peterborough, shelters for victims of domestic violence in Ontario, services for immigrant settlement in York Region and bullying prevention services reaching over 400,000 children across Canada every year.

These are just a few examples from York. Thirteen other Canadian universities have joined York working collectively as Research Impact Canada to develop and share the best methods of creating and measuring impact. Launched by York and the University of Victoria in 2006, Research Impact Canada now includes universities that span the spectrum from those with a polytechnic tradition, such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University, to U15 universities such as UBC, Western, McMaster, Saskatchewan and Université de Montréal.

With this shared goal around impact, these universities are developing institutional supports for knowledge mobilization that include undergraduate service learning, graduate student internships, collaborative research, public engagement and science Communications strategies for dissemination of information that spurs engagement with audiences, stakeholders and influencers. All efforts are designed to connect sciences to the private, public and non-profit organizations.

Impact truly is everyone’s job.

Learn more about Canada’s emerging impact agenda

Join us at Research Impact Canada on these dates:
Thursday, November 2, 3:30 pm: Mobilizing research for policy impact (Panel #304)
Friday, November 3, 1 pm: Realizing the impact chain (Panel #409)

To learn more about Research Impact Canada, visit the website. For more information on Innovation York, visit the website or watch the video.

#ShitDavidSays About Impact: A 7-Part Blog Series / #ShitDavidSays About Impact : Un miniblogue en 7 billets pour savoir ce qu’en dit David

After more than a decade of building systems of research impact at York University and across Canada with the Research Impact Canada network David Phipps has learned a thing or two (actually…six things) about impact. Each form a fundamental of impact. Put them together and this is some of the #ShitDavidSays about impact

Après avoir passé plus de dix ans à mettre sur pied des systèmes d’amplification de l’impact de la recherche, à l’Université York et dans tout le Canada avec le Réseau Impact Recherche, David Phipps a appris une ou deux petites choses (six, en fait) sur le sujet. Chacune est fondamentale pour l’impact de la recherche. Prises ensemble, ça donne euh… les idées de David sur l’impact, pour le dire gentiment. Vous les trouverez ici : #ShitDavidSays.

I was recently invited to open the New Zealand Rehabilitation Conference where the theme was the impact rehab research can have on rehab practice. I have no expertise in rehab research, practice or impact so I needed to keep the story high level but make it relevant to the NZ rehab context. I needed to share some big concepts and illustrate them with examples from practice. I was inspired by an amazing talk given by Dr. Mae Jemison who spoke at the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) annual conference in Washington DC in August 2017. Dr. Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. Her talk was great, but her presentation was my inspiration. She showed a single picture with a single quote or statement and then spoke about that slide.

Pictures. Few words. Lots of stories.

That’s what I imagined as I reflected on my decade plus work in impact [sidebar: actually, I have been involved in impact since the mid-1990s when we identified a possible marker of HIV infection during my post doctoral research. I learned the craft of technology commercialization and joined the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation.] As I developed my slides “After a decade of impact…” I realized I was going a very long way for this talk, so why not make it even more memorable.

I asked conference chair Nicola Kayes if I had to be terribly serious as I opened her conference. After consulting with her program committee, I got permission to change the title to “#ShitDavidSays about Impact”.

In the next six posts of this series I will present some themes that have permeated my work over the years. The headlines for each post are:

• It’s not about supply and demand: Who has what knowledge and the importance of acknowledging power in our research collaborations

• Engaged scholarship NOT knowledge transfer: Dissemination is necessary but not sufficient to create change

• Impact frameworks are like toothbrushes: What are the important elements of any impact framework and how to adapt them to your context

• We are all knowledge hypocrites: There is a science underpinning knowledge mobilization and impact and how are we (or aren’t we) using it?

• Impact is measured at the level of the user: Who really makes impact and where/when do we measure it?

• If impact occurred but no one was there to measure it…: the importance of impact assessment and some stuff related to the UK Research Excellence Framework

Stay tuned as these roll out for details on these six themes. And if you want to see a webinar on #ShitDavidSays about Impact you can pay to attend a webinar sponsored by the Canadian Association of Research Administrators at noon Eastern on November 10, 2017. More info available here.

Living Knowledge 8 Call for Proposals

This post first appeared on the Living Knowledge website at http://www.livingknowledge.org/lk8/cfp/


Call for Proposals

The 2018 edition of the Living Knowledge Conference will be hosted by the Corvinus Business School, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, from 30th May to 1st June. On 28th and 29th May pre-conference events and an accredited summer school are welcoming you.

The LK8 Conference is inviting academics, practitioners, activists, social innovators, research funders, science educators and communicators, citizen scientists, policy-makers, non-governmental organisations, artists, interested community groups and citizens to share their views and experience on innovative activities at the science-society interface.

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

To receive all news and updates, please visit the LK8 Facebook event. Format related guidelines are in the Proposal Guide.

The Theme of LK8

Enriching Science and Community Engagement

In order to build on and enhance the public engagement in research practices, the conference would like to bring together the existing networks of action research and action learning, citizen science, community-based research, engaged scholarship, open science, science shops, participatory action research, participatory governance, RRI (responsible research and innovation), and social innovation. Different communities often use such umbrella terms inside and outside science and research encompassing various transdisciplinary and public engagement practices. Even though these practices meet renewed societal interest in Europe and attract considerable acknowledgement from a range of disciplines and research cultures, in most societies, such democratic spaces remain only rare exceptions.

In recent years such participatory arrangements have run parallel and become pervasive in science-society interactions. In fact, they are regarded almost a compulsory step in the promotional cycle of scientific production. Does this help a true engagement with science and communities? This question warrants the need to revisit opportunities of renewal that these different approaches can offer in the changing landscapes of scientific culture in Enriching Science and Community Engagement. In general, they all aim to let citizens, policymakers, industry and the education community catch a glimpse of magic behind the research scenes; imply an evolving role of “society in science” and “science in society”, and share a focus on a shift in how knowledge becomes legitimised in society. Nonetheless, their interactions have been limited to date. The conference would like to contribute to a wider learning across silos and will offer active and interactive spaces to build on the potential synergies between these community-based approaches and facilitate transposition or convergence of emerging participative and inclusive solutions.

Participants are invited to critically reflect on public engagement challenges, on the complex impacts of their science-community partnerships, on social acceptance of research and innovation processes. E.g.

How can science shops better connect with civil society?

How to move beyond the existing practices to engage all RRI stakeholders and also marginalized groups and communities?

How citizen science could truly involve people to live up to the expectations of scientific citizenship and empowerment?

How could action research and participatory methods contribute to the shaping of responsible research and innovation agendas?

What is the epistemological importance of science and community engagement activities?

How can researchers live up to the societal expectations in community engagement settings? What are the long-term and real benefits?

How do researchers lower the barriers to participation or build trust among participants with different worldviews?

What new arrangements, governance models exist or can be created/practised addressing the instrumentalisation of these practices at the personal, organisational, and funding levels?

The LK8 programming is facilitated by the Steering Committee members and representatives of conference Local Organising Committee (LOC). If you are unsure how to start, please read our Proposal Guide first. To get the feeling, please watch the videos recorded in and programmes of previous Living Knowledge conferences, see below.

7th Living Knowledge Conference 2016 in Dublin (Video)
6th Living Knowledge Conference 2014 in Copenhagen (Video)
5th Living Knowledge Conference 2012 in Bonn (Video)
4th Living Knowledge Conference 2009 in Belfast (Video)
3rd Living Knowledge Conference 2007 in Paris (Video)
2nd Living Knowledge Conference 2005 in Seville (Proceedings)
1st Living Knowledge Conference 2001 in Leuven (Project Output)

Be prepared to contribute and debate in interactive and hands-on sessions, workshops and other types of activities. Get in contact with the LOC members to assist you in joining a proposal team or write to the Steering Committee members for assistance, advice and direction or the LK national contact points for finding partners to your session idea!

If you are not part of an academic organisation that is capable of funding your participation, we will do our best to assist you. The LOC is working on sponsoring opportunities and will offer partly funded passes to speakers bringing new ideas or perspectives especially from civil society.
Key dates

Deadline for contributions: 5 January 2018
Deadline for summer school applications: 2 February 2018
Notification of acceptance/rejection of contributions and summer school applications: 23 February 2018
Online registration opens: 23 February 2018
Early bird rate by 30 March 2018

Further information:

Proposal guide
LK8 Facebook event

UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum – Call for Content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

2018 submission form

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

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

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

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

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

New Members Bring Unique Expertise

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

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

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

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

Benefits to Joining

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Les nouveaux membres apportent une expertise unique

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

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

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

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

Avantages de devenir membre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download the presentation slides:

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

Watch the webinar recording

Description of the Research Study

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

About the Presenters

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

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

Reimagining the Concept of a Commonwealth University

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

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

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

Budd Hall

Author: Budd Hall

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

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

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


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

Systems of Engagement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dissemination is necessary but not sufficient to support impact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s mobilizing knowledge about knowledge mobilization.

Mobilizing Knowledge: Memorial Recognized for Inter-Institutional Collaboration

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

By Zaren Healey White

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Research Impact Canada here.

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

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

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

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

The chosen theme is “Enriching Science and Community Engagement”

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

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

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

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

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

• How to assess impacts in science-community partnerships?

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

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

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

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

Contact: Réka Matulay