ResearchImpact visits the Community-Campus Partnership Program (CUPP), University of Brighton

In September 2008, UVic knowledge broker Laura Milne visited the University of Brighton while on a vacation in the UK. The University of Brighton is the home of the Community-Campus Partnership Program (CUPP), which is an organization that builds collaborative relationships between the university and its surrounding community. Given the similarities in mandate between CUPP and ResearchImpact, Laura Milne was invited to attend several meetings and give a brief presentation to the researchers and administrators involved in CUPP.

The University of Victoria and the University of Brighton both operate a “Research Help Desk”, which aims to match up research needs identified by community groups with researchers at the university. By exchanging ideas, models, and experiences from operating the “Research Help Desks”, both institutions were able to examine their efforts and reflect on new approaches.

The model that UVic’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has used to create Interdisciplinary Graduate Courses that respond to needs in the community was of particular interest to CUPP and the Research Help Desk operator. After Laura Milne gave a brief presentation on the model and structure of these courses (known as GS 500 at UVic), further discussion and ideas about the benefits of engaging not only faculty, but also graduate students in Knowledge Mobilization were constructive and educational for all in attendance.

As the fields of Knowledge Mobilization and Community-Based Research continue to grow, the value of these exchanges and meetings cannot be understated. The University of Brighton and CUPP are hosting a conference on April 2nd and 3rd 2009, which will bring together community members, academics, students, administrators, policy-makers, and funders to discuss the importance, relevance, and utility of community-university partnerships.

Networking and Strategy Session on Housing and Homelessness hosted by UVic

On October 30th, UVic hosted a Networking and Strategy Session on Housing and Homelessness. This event was intended to create dialogue around the various issues related to housing and homelessness in Victoria, and to broker connections between academics, policy makers, and community members. Over 50 people from various non-profit organizations, government branches, local businesses, and faculties attended. Representatives from the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness shared their research objectives with the group, and BC Government official spoke about the provincial government’s perspective on the issues. Success stories were emphasized, as the group discussed the need to support models that are already working, and to share ideas, visions, and resources in order to solve the problems associated with homelessness and lack of housing.

This was also an excellent opportunity for researchers to talk about their work in this area, not only to other researchers, but also to the community and key government officials.

Sponsored by the UVic faculty of Human and Social Development, the Office of Community Based Research, and the United Way of Greater Victoria, this event was a wonderful success. A second event, focused on Housing Policy and Politics, is being planned for spring 2009.

How do immigrants overcome “No Canadian Work Experience challenges”? survey

The Work Skills Centre (WSC), a community-based, non-profit organization that supports immigrants, has developed a survey for their research project which aims at answering the important policy question: How do immigrants overcome “No Canadian Work Experience challenges”? The survey is a research initiative of WSC to understand the challenges faced by immigrants and they are interested in learning about the perceptions and difficulties immigrants faced in getting Canadian work experience upon arrival in Canada.

Click here to learn more and participate in the survey. The survey will remain open until December 6th.

Meet a Mobilizer – Laura Milne, University of Victoria

My name is Laura Milne. I grew up in Calgary Alberta, but moved to BC 10 years ago to go to the University of Victoria. After graduating in 2003 with a double major in Sociology and Anthropology, I worked a research assistant in Social Psychology for a while, waitressed on the weekends, and then somewhat spontaneously moved to Xi’an, China in 2006 to spend a year teaching at an English College. Upon returning to Canada in 2007, I stumbled upon the fascinating world of Knowledge Mobilization and Community Based Research, and was offered a job as Coordinator of Knowledge Mobilization here at UVic. The best part of my job is the challenge of coordinating the research needs of various stakeholders and encouraging and supporting collaboration. I also get great satisfaction of seeing how the experiences of individuals and communities can both influence research as well as impact policy.

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, gardening, reading, attempting to surf, travelling as much as possible, and good, strong coffee. When I am not in my office, I am rarely seen without my dog, Parker. Parker and I really enjoy the active lifestyle and mild climate here on beautiful Vancouver Island, and spend a lot of time hiking and camping with friends. I love music and collecting CDs and vinyl, and I can often be spotted with friends checking out live bands in Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle.

Laura and Parker

Laura and Parker


Laura Milne

KM Highlighted in York University President’s Report to the Community and “hold the date” for KM Expo 2009

York University President Mamdouh Shoukri recently released his 2008 Report to the Community outlining accomplishments made during his first year as President. Reflecting on York’s University Academic Plan President Shoukri states that the UAP “sets the intensification and expansion of research as the paramount objective”. Included in the intensification of the research enterprise is Knowledge Mobilization. President Shoukri used York’s KM Unit as an example of “showcasing collaboration between York University and York Region partners through the Knowledge Mobilization Expo”. On January 9-10, 2008 York’s KM Unit welcomed York Region and Ontario Public Service partners, York faculty and graduate students and special guests, Gisèle Yasmeen (VP SSHRC), Sharon Manson Singer (President & CEO, Canadian Policy Research Networks) and Budd Hall (Director, Office of Community Based Research, University of Victoria). The KM Expo was a chance to provide a retrospective of 2007 and a look forward to 2008.

Be sure to join York University and our local KM partners for KM Expo 2009 on February 6, 2009. It’s About Partnerships – while a simple and possibly obvious theme, we will be unpacking this easy concept, looking at barriers and success factors and imagining a new way of doing business between universities and research stakeholders from community and government. Check for announcements about the upcoming KM Expo 2009.

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 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:

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

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 ( or Krista Jensen (, or visit

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.