York Community Data Sharing Symposium I

On Friday November 14, the KM Unit at York University co-hosted a York Community Data Sharing Symposium, with the objective of supporting community capacity-building in utilizing data. The Symposium also introduced the York Children’s Services Data Station, a web-based portal which houses child-relevant data to help inform service-based decision-making.

75 attendees participated in the day-long event that was broadcast live across three separate sites (Georgina Trade Training Inc., Bill Crothers S.S. in Markham and York University). Diane Patychuk from Ottawa shared her experiences using data in program development in a spirited keynote opening. There were two panels in the morning, with practitioners and researchers sharing their experiences using data to inform their practice. In the afternoon there was an opportunity for participants to demo the Children’s Data Station. And the day closed with a plenary session that paved the way for subsequent symposia to support the ongoing challenges of capacity building in data utilization.

The success of this event was the strong leadership demonstrated by several community agencies in York Region in conceptualizing and delivering on this initiative. The complete symposium will be made available for viewing on the ResearchImpact website early in 2009.

RE$EARCH MONEY publishes on Knowledge Mobilization

RE$EARCH MONEY recently published an article by David Phipps. The article provides a brief theoretical framework for KM and illustrates KM activities with examples of how KM can create value for faculty, graduate students and research users. The article makes a distinction between project based KM and institutional KM services such as those supported by York and UVic. In addition the article ends with a call to action.

“To sustain [KM] activities, research funding organizations need to invest in KM through institutional programs such as Intellectual Property Mobilization (IPM) and Knowledge Impact in Society (KIS). Foundations need to look to social innovation as a target area for support and institutions need to invest in institutional KM practices as they currently do for technology transfer.” Read the full article here….

RE$EARCH MONEY is Canada’s premier source of intelligence on research and development, science and technology and innovation. See www.researchmoneyinc.com for more information.

AUCC Releases 2008 Report on University Research and KM

The following media release, which references ResearchImpact partners YorkU and UVic, was taken from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s Web site. You can view the original article here.

AUCC report shows universities are major contributors to Canada’s economy and quality of life

Ottawa, October 21, 2008 — The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has launched a report on the state of Canadian research and development (R&D), with a particular emphasis on university research, at an event that included partners from government, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector.

The report, entitled Momentum: The 2008 report on university research and knowledge mobilization, shows universities are major players in R&D in Canada, performing more than one-third of the country’s research and contributing at least $60 billion to the economy in 2007. However, analysts agree that the world competition for talent, knowledge and innovation is fierce and Canada cannot be complacent with its accomplishments.

“The rest of the world is not standing still and the global race for research talent is becoming more and more intense,” says AUCC chair Tom Traves, president of Dalhousie University. “We expect this report to stimulate public debate on the required level and mix of support for university research in Canada.”

“This is a time when we cannot afford to cut back on public investment, but should instead see the potential for stimulating economic growth at the local and the national level by investing in people and knowledge. Having a highly skilled labour force is undeniably a major asset for any country,” notes AUCC president and CEO Claire Morris. “In these uncertain economic times, Canada must continue to improve its innovative capacity to ensure long-term prosperity,” she adds.

Momentum 2008 focuses on the importance of partnerships in university research and looks at the variety of forms collaboration takes – from university partnerships with private companies to research projects with governments, communities, the not-for-profit sector and international partners. It provides a comprehensive account of Canadian R&D, particularly the activities of the university sector and the resulting progress achieved. It also presents detailed research and analysis of national and international trends that will drive changes in university research and the Canadian R&D landscape in the future.

Momentum 2008 documents the wide range of benefits to Canadians such as new products, services, processes, policies and new ways of understanding society.

This is the second edition of Momentum produced by AUCC. The first was produced in 2005 as a way of providing information to decision makers and policy-makers about the benefits from investments made in university research.

The Momentum report is available online. Download the report.

Meet a Mobilizer – Krista Jensen, York University

Greetings! I’m Krista Jensen, the Knowledge Mobilization Officer at York University. I have been with the KM Unit here at York since April of 2006. Before that I was in the non-profit, special library world. I have a Master of Information Studies with a specialization in Library Studies from the University of Toronto and a BA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University. Moving from the library world into the world of KM has been a great opportunity for me to use my information services skills in new and innovative ways.

Some of my favourite things to do when I’m not mobilizing knowledge are- reading, I especially enjoy mysteries and graphic novels; listening to music, my partner Neil and I have well over 400 CDs from pretty much every musical genre; going to the ballet, opera, live theatre and concerts; and one of my biggest passions in life is traveling. Neil and I just got back from a 2 week stay in Italy, where we visited Venice (you can see us having a very expensive lunch on the Canale dei Greci below), Florence, Lucca, the Cinque Terre and Tuscany, where we stayed on a farm where they grew their own grapes and olives. Not sure where we’ll be going next but I enjoy the planning almost as much as the trip itself so I’ll have lots of fun dreaming of possibilities.

Neil and Krista

Neil and Krista in Venice

Krista Bowling

Krista Bowling

MITACS Skills Enhancement Program

MITACS will be hosting the following 3 professional development events in November:

Brush up your technical writing skills! Thursday, November 6, 2008
Event registration and information here

Become an entrepreneur with Sean Wise! Thursday, November 13, 2008
Event registration and information here

IP: Learn what’s in it for you! Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Event registration and information here

All events will be held at:

University of Toronto
89 Chestnut Street
3rd floor – St Patrick’s Room

For more information contact Cecilia Ronderos Call: 416-650-8441 Email: cronderos@mitacs.ca

ResearchImpact invited to consult on KM strategies

On October 23rd, 2008, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (CPAC) Knowledge Management Division hosted a one-day forum with experts from across Canada in knowledge management, information management and analytics, and technology and eHealth innovation to obtain advice on: a vision for knowledge management in cancer control; novel and creative approaches to advancing and sustaining knowledge management in the Canadian cancer control community; the essential elements of a focused and innovative, multi-year knowledge management strategy for CPAC; critical success factors for the impact and sustainability of CPAC’s knowledge management strategy. David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York University) was invited to participate in the discussions and provide input into developing a KM strategy for CPAC.

The one day session featured more discussion than presentation and CPAC did more listening than talking. An aside… as a note to all those planning a consultation – this opportunity for 2 way exchange is far more important than creating an opportunity for one way transfer (good KM strategy). Experts in a variety of cancer strategies and KM practices from Canada and the US were present and it is safe to say the invited attendees got as much out of the session as did CPAC. Some of the take home messages included using technology as a tool, keeping people at the centre of KM, understanding your audiences (their needs and wants) and having a robust evaluation strategy. As usual we raised more questions than answers as many of us are struggling with similar issues.

ResearchImpact was pleased to be invited to participate and we look forward to future opportunities to share our experiences.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) is an independent organization funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for all Canadians. CPAC’s mission is to bring together cancer experts, charitable organizations, governments, patients and survivors to bring change to the cancer control domain. CPAC works together with its partners to stimulate generation of new knowledge and accelerate the implementation of existing knowledge about cancer control across Canada. Visit them at www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.

KM Intern secures $130,000 Trillium Grant for Community Outreach/Education at Peterborough Youth Shelter

Naomi Nichols is a PhD Candidate at the York Faculty of Education who was a KM Summer Intern in 2007. Naomi’s placement was with the Youth Emergency Shelter (YES) in Peterborough.   She began her work at YES as a participant observer: helping in the recreation program; and the Children’s Aid Society day program; attending appointments with shelter residents as an advocate; and helping shelter staff. She conducted preliminary case-file analysis, creating a data-base that points to the various agencies/services YES clients are using. She also conducted interviews with shelter staff, other social service professionals and shelter residents. This fieldwork informed her development of a life-skills/transitioning program for shelter users. The KM Unit’s support of Naomi’s work with YES helped her secure a $130,000 grant for YES to develop a Community Outreach and Education program for their clients. The program includes services like Transitioning Life-Skills, where “[a] coordinator leads a team of one-on-one workers who pair up with and mentor individual young people. Each young person and his or her mentor enact a “transitioning plan” based on an individual’s lived experiences and goals” (Nichols, 15). The plan is meant to help the young person develop greater autonomy and gradually transition to independent housing, employment, and health management (Nichols, 15). Thanks to Naomi’s work, the Trillium grant continues to enhance the delivery of social services by YES to marginalized youth who often face difficulties accessing the available resources.



Nichols, Naomi. (2008). Walking the line: Doing community-situated institutional ethnography. A paper presented at the Society for Social Problems Annual Meeting, Boston, USA.


KM in the AM – Collaborative Planning and Partnership Building

On September 30, 2008, the York University KM Unit held its first KM in the AM for the 2008-2009 academic year. KM in the AM is our flagship event: a thematic breakfast that provides space for community and government agencies to meet and interact with York faculty and graduate students. The KM Unit has been holding these breakfasts regularly since 2006, and our September 30 event was one of our most successful yet.

This month’s theme was Collaborative Planning and Partnership Building, featuring a panel of five experts sharing their own experiences and research findings.

– Prof. Debra Pepler of the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence & Conflict Resolution
– Jane Wedlock of the York Region Alliance to End Homelessness
– Prof. Celia Haig-Brown of the York University Faculty of Education
– Susan Taylor Simpson of ProAct Ideas
– Prof. Uzo Anucha of the York University School of Social Work

Each panelist gave a thorough and illuminating presentation, outlining their organizations’ histories, successes, collaborative projects, and challenges.

Prof. Pepler explained the four strategy pillars used by her organization, PREVNet, to build relationships with other organizations. Jane Wedlock discussed the infrastructure challenges facing her organization, and explained how these were overcome via collaboration with another organization. Prof. Haig-Brown’s presentation revolved around on her work in the Aboriginal community, and the importance of working to maintain relationships. Susan Taylor Simpson discussed the importance of leadership to collaboration. Prof. Anucha focused on the need for trust and community dialogue in order to achieve a successful collaboration.

The panelists then took questions from the other attendees on various topics, including the advancing use of technology to facilitate collaborations, the need for catalytic leadership, and the need for someone to “own” any project.

Using our unvalidated but objective measure of engagement, one community partner stayed chatting GIS mapping with a graduate student for 3 hours after the session – that’s A LOT of mobilization!

If you are interested in learning more about any of these panelists’ work, or about future KM in the AM breakfasts, please contact Michael Johnny (mjohnny@yorku.ca) or Krista Jensen (kejensen@yorku.ca), or visit www.researchimpact.ca

Knowledge Mobilization and Technology Transfer– chapter 2

Last time in KM and TT- Chapter 1, I described how KM and technology transfer are frequently compared as analogous services offered to our faculty. I also described how they are similar. This blog entry describes how they are different. To recap, since the passage of the U.S. Bayh Dole Act enacted on December 12, 1980, (P.L. 96-517, Patent and Trademark Act Amendments of 1980) academic institutions have increasingly supported university-industry partnerships through technology transfer (TT). An entire university-based industry with professional associations has grown world wide including the Association of University Technology Managers and the Alliance for the Commercialization of Canadian Technology. TT seeks to commercialize the results of (mainly) science & technology research that can be patented, licensed to a company and brought to the market in the form of new products and services. In turn the successful company pays the university back in the form of royalties (cash) and equity (in the case of a new company). Assuming readers have a base knowledge of KM (or else why read this blog) I am not going to review KM but suggest you watch our KM presentation here.

The table below shows the differences in almost every aspect between KM and TT. This in part reflects the different stages of development of KM and TT as professions but also reflects the fundamental differences in their audiences, processes and objectives. TT is a monetized transaction using a producer push method to find a licensee in a linear process: invention disclosure, due diligence, patenting, technology marketing, license negotiations, license agreement, product development, product marketing, product sales, and royalty payments to university. KM is an iterative process that creates sustained relationships between researchers and research users so that research and evidence can be available to inform decisions. There are no formal tools, formal training nor professional associations for KM (yet).

There is a role for the commercialization of (i.e. making money from) social sciences products such as survey instruments and the commercialization of humanities products such as books and films but this is not knowledge mobilization.

Stay tuned to this blog for the final entry in this series that discusses a better science & technology analogy for KM.

Meet a Mobilizer – Andrei Sedoff, York University

My name is Andrei Sedoff and I am a third year York University student pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Criminology. I had the great privilege to join the KM team through the RAY (Research at York) program in May of 2008 as a Research Translation Assistant. I spent this summer working closely with Jason Guriel to prepare research summaries of some of the finest social science research conducted at York. My career aspirations are to one day get my PhD and become a university Professor. It was hence a great privilege to become part of KM, where I experienced daily interaction with academics and analyzed their research on subjects as diverse as homelessness, immigration, and healthcare for marginalized populations. The RAY program gave me a fantastic opportunity to test-drive the world of social science research and helped sharpen my career goals. I am grateful to stay on as part of the KM team into the school year. KM has also been a unique social experience for me. It was great to always feel included in a team where I had the least experience and education. I think that the most important quality for knowledge mobilizers is to be a team player, since KM is about collaborating to make knowledge accessible and useful to all parties involved. I am grateful that my university experience has included KM and I look forward to continuing my work with the project.

Andrei Sedoff

Andrei Sedoff

Collaborative Planning and Partnership Building KM in the AM

The YorkU KM Unit will be hosting its first KM of the AM event of 2008-2009 on Tuesday, September 30th, at York’s Keele Campus. The topic of the event will focus on collaborative planning and partnership building, with a panel of York University researchers and community agency representatives, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Panelists:
– Prof. Uzo Anucha, School of Social Work, Atkinson
– Prof. Celia Haig-Brown, Faculty of Education
– Prof. Debra Pepler, Lamarsh Centre for Research on Violence & Conflict Resolution
– Jane Wedlock, York Region Alliance to End Homelessness
– Additional panelist to be confirmed

Date: Tuesday, September 30

Time: 8:45 to 10:45 am. Breakfast will be served at 8:45. The meeting will start at 9:00.

Location: 280J York Lanes
York University, Keele Campus
4700 Keele Street, North York
Map to Location (York Lanes is #24 on the map)

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

Scholarship in action: Knowledge mobilization and the academic process

KM and practice of connecting academic research with the Canadian public was the topic of a recent article in Dialogue, an online publication produced by SSHRC, featuring ResearchImpact’s own David Phipps:

“Knowledge mobilization is not new to researchers,” says David Phipps, who is the director of the office of research services at York University and whose work is funded in part through a SSHRC Knowledge Impact in Society grant. “What’s new is that we’re developing the institutional capacity to support these activities.” Read the full article…

Knowledge Mobilization and Technology Transfer– chapter 1

Every public research institution in the country has a technology transfer (TT) office or is a member in a technology commercialization network that provides services (commercialization, due diligence, patenting, licensing and company creation) to researchers seeking to connect their research with the private sector to bring new products and services to the benefit of consumers. Knowledge mobilization is a novel service being offered by York and UVic to researchers seeking to connect their research to research users so that academic research can inform decisions about public policy and professional practice. KM is often referred to as a service analogous to technology transfer. While there may be analogies the two services are sufficiently different to warrant critical separation of the two concepts. In a series of brief blog postings, ResearchImpact will differentiate the services offered by technology transfer and knowledge mobilization.

Let’s start with the similarities- KM and TT managers both act as brokers between research/researchers and research users. The audiences may differ (TT speaks primarily to the private sector and KM to the public and voluntary sectors) but the role of brokering relationships between the academy and non-academic audiences is similar. The TT and the KM manager seek “receptors” for academic research (in part) through a producer push methodology [see John Lavis, Suzanne Ross, Christopher McLeod and Alina Gildner (2003) Measuring the impact of health research: assessment and accountability in the health sector. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 8(3): 165–170] and seek to forge sustainable relationships between researchers and research users; however, the form of these relationships and the means to sustain them differ.

Furthermore, locating TT and KM within research projects or research units (i.e. TT only for the life sciences or KM only for immigration and settlement) fails to maximize the economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts of academic research. KM and TT need to be developed at the institutional level.

Stay tuned to this blog for more musings about TT and KM.

Student Led Research Grant Announcement from UVic

The UVic Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Unit is pleased to announce an excellent funding opportunity that will allow Graduate and Undergraduate students at UVic to participate in KM.

The “Student Led Research Grants” initiative connects the B.C. Government with university students and their professors to conduct research that addresses public policy issues. It provides students with unique opportunities to apply their research skills to challenges faced by government and society.
To support the implementation and development of the research projects cross government, the BC Government is providing a one time funding grant to the University of Victoria to support student led research. The intent of the grant is to promote partnerships with post secondary institutions and to facilitate student research. The research generated from these grants will be used to aid in decision making and policy formation in various Ministries across the BC Government.

The funding available is up to $1500 per student, and may be used by the student to support new or ongoing research projects. To be eligible, students must receive written support from a supervising faculty member. The UVic KM Unit will be responsible for allocating and administering the student grants. The funding is provided directly to students in the form of honorariums, or in the form of travel and education grants to attend and present research at conferences.

The grant guidelines include a document from the BC Government outlining the current areas of research interest in the various Ministries. Students are encouraged to read through this document to see if their research is eligible for funding.

To view these grant guidelines, application forms, and support forms, go to:


The deadline for proposals is October 3rd, 2008