Knowledge Mobilization Summer Institute, August 17-19, 2015

What is the KMb Summer Institute?
Three days of learning and skill development in the field of knowledge mobilization.  Hands-on workshops and networking with professionals will provide a unique opportunity for early career  KMb individuals to develop a solid foundation of understanding of the key principles of KMb, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and evaluation.

Who should attend? 
Early career professionals working in the area of Knowledge Mobilization or Knowledge Translation and Transfer; this includes researchers, knowledge brokers, research facilitators, and graduate students.  Participants will come from a broad cross-section of organizations such as universities, not-for-profit organizations, research institutions, government agencies, National Centres of Excellence, and industry.

Where will the KMb Summer Institute take place?
In 2015, we are pleased to offer this institute at the University of Guelph in Ontario (approximately 1 hour west of Toronto).  Accommodations will be available on campus or at nearby hotels and food will be provided by the award-winning U of G Food Services.

Cost: $400 + HST = $452.00

Includes three days of:

  • instruction from leading Knowledge Mobilization practitioners and scholars
  • support materials
  • expert keynote speaker
  • dinner on Tuesday evening
  • breakfast
  • break snacks
  • lunch

When?
Monday, August 17, 2015 at 8:45 EDT to Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 16:00 EDT

Where?
University of Guelph
50 Stone Rd E,
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

For more information and to register, visit http://conta.cc/1IoumDH

Two York Research Administrators Receive National Awards

Congratulations to David Phipps (RIR-York) on receiving the Research Management Excellence Award from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA). This story was first published on YFile on May 26, 2015 and is reposted here with permission. 

David Phipps and Angela Zeno

David Phipps and Angela Zeno

The Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) has recognized the accomplishments of two of York’s senior research administrators with national awards. Angela Zeno, manager, research accounting, received the Community Builder Award. David Phipps, executive director, research & innovation services, received the Research Management Excellence Award.

The Community Builder Award is presented to a passionate leader in the CARA community whose efforts have strengthened the community through membership engagement efforts, welcoming and facilitating the integration of newcomers or other forms of leadership specifically advantageous to helping members connect to the broader CARA community. An advocate of CARA, Zeno regularly attends meetings and conferences, both regionally and nationally. She was responsible for the development and delivery of the Research Accounting workshop at CARA National for many years and is currently a key part of a team focused on revamping the finance workshops for CARA into a case-based, full-day workshop.

According to her nominators, Zeno has dedicated her efforts and those of her team to the implementation of “best practices” in post-award research administration at York University. “Within the Canadian research administration community, York is held in high esteem due to their work in this area,” says Trudy Pound-Curtis, AVP finance and CFO. “ I am very proud of Angela and her significant contribution to research grant administration in Canada.”

The Research Management Excellence Award is presented to an exceptional research manager who has made outstanding contributions to the profession, both nationally and internationally, through innovation, creativity, hard work and dedication. Phipps is being recognized for his leadership in two emerging areas of research management: knowledge mobilization that seeks to maximize impacts of research beyond the academy; and implementation of Canada’s controlled goods legislation that implements security assessments to safeguard controlled goods and/or technologies within Canada.

“David’s work across Canada in these two distinct areas has helped to increase York’s international recognition for innovation in research services,” says Robert Haché, vice-president research and innovation. “David is most deserving of this award from Canada’s research administration community.”

The awards were presented at a special celebration on May 25 at the CARA 2015 Annual Conference in Toronto. Haché was also featured on the conference’s opening panel discussing the topic “The Future of Research in Canada.” He spoke about the importance of investing in basic research that deepens our understanding of people and the world around us, as well as investing in knowledge mobilization, entrepreneurship and industry liaison to help maximize the social, economic and environmental impacts of university research.

CARA is a national voice for research administrators in Canada. With almost 1,000 members, the professional organization’s strength is in its diversity and comprehensive approach to research administration. CARA provides a critical interface between all stakeholders in the management of the research enterprise.

First Knowledge Synthesis Grants Workshop, May 2015

On May 5, 2015 SSHRC hosted a meeting of knowledge synthesis grant recipients. Knowledge synthesis grants fund researchers and their teams to assesses and communicate the state of the art of knowledge on particular topics of relevance to public policy. Holding a meeting of researchers isn’t new for SSHRC. What is different is SSHRC invited participants from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to begin the process of knowledge mobilization even before the knowledge synthesis had begun. Welcome to the world of knowledge brokering, SSHRC. The ResearchImpact network is here to help support your connections between knowledge production and its use.

 

SSHRC-CRSH logo

 

On May 5, 2015, SSHRC hosted the start-up workshop for the first in a series of Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions linked to the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative.

The Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions on future challenges areas are key to SSHRC achieving the broader goals of the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. This initiative seeks to position the social sciences and humanities as essential in addressing complex societal challenges facing Canadians, to the greater benefit of Canada and the world.

The day-long workshop focused on the future challenge area “What new ways of learning, particularly in higher education, will Canadians need to thrive in an evolving society and labour market?

The event brought together 60 participants, including the 20 Knowledge Synthesis Grant award holders; representatives from government, industry, academia, not-for-profit and community sectors; and SSHRC staff. The funded projects span the scope of themes identified in the funding opportunity description.

Project overviews addressed topics ranging from experiential learning and the needs of Aboriginal learners, to digital literacy skills, STEM curriculum and the development of soft skills, among others.

Workshop discussions focussed on a number of themes, including emerging trends and implications for policy and teaching, among other areas. An intersectoral panel shed light on research, training and labour market needs, with panelists including Marie Audette, president, Canadian Association for Graduate Studies; John Baker, president and CEO, Desire2Learn and member of SSHRC’s governing council; Don Klinger, president, Canadian Society for the Study of Education; and Jonathan Will, director general of economic policy at Employment and Social Development Canada.

One researcher summed up the event this way:

“The opportunity to collaborate, exchange and build on knowledge with colleagues from across the country allows for richer analysis for our own initiatives and opportunities for future partnerships within and across sectors.”

Knowledge Synthesis Grant award holders will submit their final reports in October 2015. All participants will be invited to SSHRC’s next annual Imagining Canada’s Future Forum, November 16, 2015. There, they will present results and continue to engage with representatives from various sectors.

SSHRC will, over the next three years, hold five more Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions related to the five other future challenge areas.

The next call for proposals will be launched in early June 2015 and will address the challenge area “What effects will the quest for energy and natural resources have on our society and our position on the world stage?

Subventions de synthèse des connaissances : premier atelier tenu en mai 2015

Le 5 mai 2015, le CRSH organisait une rencontre pour les lauréats de ses subventions de synthèse des connaissances. Ces subventions permettent aux chercheurs et à leurs équipes de faire le point sur les connaissances dans certains domaines précis qui intéressent les politiques publiques, et de les diffuser. L’organisation d’une réunion de chercheurs n’est rien de nouveau pour le CRSH. Ce qui l’est, c’est l’intégration de participants issus du secteur public, du secteur privé et d’organismes à but non lucratif, dans le but de lancer le processus de mobilisation des connaissances avant même que la synthèse soit amorcée. Bienvenue dans le monde du courtage de connaissances, CRSH! Le Réseau Impact Recherche est là pour vous aider à renforcer vos liens avec la production du savoir comme avec ses usages.

 

SSHRC-CRSH logo

 

Le 5 mai 2015, le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) a accueilli l’atelier de démarrage organisé dans la foulée du premier d’une série de concours visant l’attribution de subventions de synthèse des connaissances liées à l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada.

Ces concours, qui portent sur les domaines des défis de demain, revêtent une importance considérable pour l’atteinte des grands objectifs que le CRSH s’est fixés dans le cadre de l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada. Cette initiative fait ressortir le rôle crucial qu’ont à jouer les sciences humaines pour aider les Canadiens à relever les défis sociétaux complexes auxquels ils font face, et ce, d’une manière qui soit la plus avantageuse possible pour le Canada et le reste du monde.

L’atelier d’une journée avait trait au défi de demain suivant : « quelles sont les nouvelles méthodes d’apprentissage dont les Canadiens auront besoin, en particulier dans l’enseignement supérieur, pour réussir dans la société et sur le marché du travail de demain? »

En tout, 60 personnes ont participé à l’atelier, notamment les détenteurs des subventions de synthèse des connaissances, des représentants du gouvernement, de l’industrie, du monde universitaire, du secteur sans but lucratif et du milieu communautaire, ainsi que des membres du personnel du CRSH. Les 20 projets financés traitent de thèmes figurant dans la description de l’occasion de financement.

Ces projets, qui ont été présentés dans leurs grandes lignes, portent sur un vaste éventail de sujets allant de l’apprentissage par l’expérience et des besoins des apprenants autochtones à la culture numérique, aux programmes d’études en sciences, technologie, génie et mathématiques (STGM) et à l’acquisition de compétences non techniques, entre autres.

Au cours de l’atelier, divers thèmes ont été abordés, dont les nouvelles tendances et leurs répercussions sur les politiques et l’enseignement. Un débat d’experts intersectoriel a permis de cerner les besoins en matière de recherche et de formation découlant des besoins du marché du travail. Y ont notamment participé Marie Audette, présidente, Association canadienne pour les études supérieures; John Baker, président et directeur général, Desire2Learn et membre du conseil d’administration du CRSH; Don Klinger, président, Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’éducation; Jonathan Will, directeur général, Direction de la politique économique, Emploi et Développement social Canada.

Un chercheur a résumé l’atelier de la façon suivante :

« En collaborant et en échangeant avec des collègues des quatre coins du pays, et en tirant parti de leurs connaissances, nous pouvons arriver à une analyse plus complète de nos propres initiatives et mieux apprécier les occasions de partenariat qui existent dans notre secteur et au-delà. »

Les détenteurs des subventions de synthèse des connaissances remettront leur rapport final en octobre 2015. Ils seront tous invités au prochain forum annuel Imaginer l’avenir du Canada organisé par le CRSH le 16 novembre 2015. Ils y présenteront leurs résultats et pourront, là aussi, échanger avec des représentants de divers secteurs.

Au cours des trois prochaines années, le CRSH organisera cinq autres concours visant l’attribution de subventions de synthèse des connaissances, lesquels porteront sur les cinq autres domaines des défis de demain.

Le prochain appel à propositions sera lancé au début de juin 2015 et portera sur le défi suivant : « quels effets la quête de ressources naturelles et d’énergie aura-t-elle sur la société canadienne et la place qu’occupe le Canada à l’échelle mondiale? »

Students Serving / Servir les étudiants

At the University of Victoria, the Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit (RPKM) is a campus and community-wide portal to support the development of transformative research. We bring outstanding researchers together with community partners to co-create knowledge for action –knowledge that is mobilized to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of communities throughout our region and around the globe. Here’s a look at some of our projects with community partners in 2014.

À l’Université de Victoria, l’unité Partenariats en recherche et Mobilisation des connaissances (Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit, RPKM) est un portail ouvert aux gens du campus et de la communauté, destiné à soutenir et à renforcer la recherche transformatrice. Nous réunissons des chercheurs exceptionnels et des partenaires de la communauté afin qu’ils créent ensemble un savoir en action – un savoir mobilisé dans le but d’améliorer le bien-être social, culturel et économique des collectivités de notre région et du monde entier. Voici quelques-uns des projets en cours en 2014.

Our Place volunteers

UVic students preparing and serving food during an Our Place breakfast

UVic business students help Our Place serve Victoria’s most vulnerable.

It isn’t easy serving over 1,200 meals per day on a tight budget. This is the dilemma that the Our Place Society finds itself in as it reaches out to Victoria’s most vulnerable.

This fall, Our Place contacted UVic for assistance and RPKM connected them with Heather Ranson, Associate Teaching Professor at the Gustavson School of Business and Associate Director at UVic’s Centre for Social & Sustainable Innovation (CSSI). Ranson’s service management students were ready and eager to help Our Place make the most of its resources. Using skills and training acquired during their education at UVic, these students examined different areas of the Our Place experience and formulated reports on how these areas could be improved.

“The students were very professional,” says Le-Ann Dolan, Director of Operations at Our Place. “Actually, they came in to sponsor and serve a breakfast themselves and got first-hand experience with the work we do before they began their research. We’ve never had that happen before.”

“The reports are fantastic,” adds Dolan. “Some of the report is so valuable we’ve applied for a summer student to come work at Our Place and implement some of these changes.”

For more information on the Our Place Society, click here.

For more information on the CSSI, click here.

This post was first published on March 13, 2015 on the University of Victoria’s Community Current blog.

Post Cards from Congress – Day 6

Oh The Places You Will Go

It’s not the first time we’ve borrowed from Dr. Seuss.  As Congress is winding down and there are some quieter moments for reflection, it is nice to look back on the week that was and this eighth year for RIR at Congress which is soon to pass.

This year, Congress was in Ottawa.  O-Town (the city, not the boy band) has been a wonderful place to meet with academics, colleagues and interested parties in knowledge mobilization.  And to the University of Ottawa, you have opened yourself up to over 8000 academics and showed yourself very well.  This is my first visit to U of O and I’ve enjoyed the experience.

Let again, we site the insightful Dr. Seuss in our work in knowledge mobilization

Yet again, we site the insightful Dr. Seuss in our work in knowledge mobilization

Next year, Congress will be at the University of Calgary.  The city and the university help to shape and define Congress in a very important way.  I’ve attended the past eight in whole or in part.  All have some memorable moments, both within and beyond the workday.

Congress is an important place for RIR to showcase our strengths and leadership in knowledge mobilization across the country.  I recall that first year at University of Saskatchewan where it was just York University and the University of Victoria and we were so new in this work.  The tone and breadth of conversation has changed over the years and the leadership which SSHRC and CIHR have demonstrated to KMb (and KT) has been very enabling for our work.  RIR members have also had chances to showcase themselves.  In addition to University of Saskatchewan, Congress has taken place at University of Victoria, Carleton and at Laurier over my tenure as a knowledge broker.

This year, RIR enjoyed rich conversations with Mitacs, SSHRC, Research Matters  and The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.  We had our usual inquiries about our work, some academics from partner institutions who took business cards of their broker colleagues and some international interests from Africa.  I look forward to some worthwhile follow up.

Congress is unique each and every year.  As Dr. Seuss so aptly penned, Oh The Places You Will Go.  Yes indeed, see you next year in Calgary!

 

Post Cards from Congress – Day 5

Being Ubiquitous

u•biq•ui•tous
yo͞oˈbikwədəs/
adjective
adjective: ubiquitous

• present, appearing, or found everywhere.
• “his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family”
synonyms: omnipresent, ever-present, everywhere, all over the place, pervasive, universal, worldwide, global; (source: Google)

I was struck by the words of our friend and partner in KMb at the United Way York Region, CEO, Daniele Zanotti. It was an evening community consultation many years ago now when I showed up and sat near the back of the room. His words resonate still as he noticed me after, and I’m paraphrasing here, “You guys in KMb are ubiquitous”.

Relationships take time and relationships matter in this work and our presence at Congress for 8 years now reflect our ongoing commitment to meet and interact with faculty from across Canada about how important knowledge mobilization is. Over the years, and these last five days, we have spoken with researchers from across the country – both within and outside of the ResearchImpact/ReseauImpactRecherche network. The discussions vary; some are introductory and some much deeper. All reflect the value we place on this work around making research relevant to society in Canada.

So if you’re around drop by. We’ll be here. We have been for 8 years and look forward to many more years of discussion and the exploration of collaborative opportunity in knowledge mobilization.

Post Cards from Congress – Day 4

Congress is the fourth conference I have attended this season and being here at the booth has made me think about the importance of the spaces that conferences create.

Just like our KMb events, conferences provide spaces outside our day to day life to come together to share ideas, knowledge and expertise. They offer us a chance to get to know new people and reconnect with old friends.

For me, it has been a great way to meet new people interested in knowledge mobilization and a chance to spend time with some folks I don’t often see, like our RIR colleagues, and even colleagues at York that I don’t see as much as I would like.

It has also been an opportunity to share updates on our work at York and within the RIR network and to learn about knowledge mobilization efforts from across the country. I have welcomed the time to learn from others, reflect on our practice, and gather ideas.

Rideau Canal at night

Rideau Canal at night

 

Post Cards from Congress – Day 3

The benefit of being at Congress, aside from the rich conversations about knowledge mobilization which we’re fortunate to engage in, is the chance to attend some interesting and informative lectures and talks.  Today, Michael Johnny was able to attend the Big Thinking Speaker Series talk by His Excellency, Governor General David Johnston on the topic of Innovation and Learning.

The Governor General of Canada; His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

The Governor General of Canada; His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

I have had the pleasure of listening to His Excellence speak in the past and he is a very dynamic and inspirational speaker.  It was a pleasure to hear him graciously acknowledge the leadership of Dr. Chad Gaffield, one of Canada’s leading historians and thinkers, who helped contribute to his talk today.  Dr. Gaffield is also the former President of The Federation of the Social Sciences and Humanities; the group which facilitates Congress each spring.

His Excellence wove in the dichotomy of teaching and research as part of learning and there was a significant focus on Neurodevelopmental advancements in Canada (which will be of interest to our NCE friends at NeuroDevNet).

Most notably, I’d like to focus on three points he made in closing, his call to action:

1. Take advantage of new technologies to speak past jargon and language barriers across disciplines – Aside from the fact this ‘translation’ work is central to a knowledge broker, it is important to acknowledge the powerful tool which Memorial University knowledge mobilization utilize within the Harris Centre.  www.yaffle.ca is a great resource to support collaboration across geographic, discipline and sectoral boundaries.  Brokers at Memorial help support the two-way exchange process but with a robust technological tool in place, brokers are well positioned to use technology effectively in support of making research relevant to society.

2. Let’s gather around knowledge – creating a diplomacy of knowledge – in knowledge mobilization circles, a field which is relatively new and not always intuitive, we are now able to meet annually to learn, share and debate around our work.  The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum is important learning space and while it creates a diplomacy of knowledge, it is more around knowledge mobilization.  Still, it is safe to say that knowledge brokers understand the need to meet and interact.

3. Finally, let’s take the best of other disciplines and apply them to our own thinking – this is another area in which we’re advancing our practices and thinking of our work.  Whether it is disciplines like education, health, agriculture or any others, knowledge brokers are assembling communities of practice to share good (and bad) practices.  Further, we look across geographical boundaries to inform our work.  Canadian knowledge brokers are connected to networks in the UK, Europe, Africa and the United States.  This global network helps ensure that innovation supports our learning.

And that is a good place to close.  Knowledge brokers are doing very well in incorporating innovation in our learning.  Reflecting on the messages of His Excellency are very affirming around our direction in knowledge mobilization in Canada.

Post Cards from Congress – Day 2

Today was a day of international connections at the ResearchImpact booth. We met a group funded by the European Union that networks university researchers around knowledge exchange activities. Many of these activities are in KESS Seminars or supporting students working on knowledge exchange projects.

We also had a very engaging conversation with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Their Humanities Division has a particular interest in knowledge utilization. From their website: “To strengthen this development it is important that humanities researchers participate in and help to shape the debate about societal, cultural and scientific developments. Furthermore, researchers should actively engage in discussions with parties that use humanities research.”

On their website are stories of best practices and a manual titled “Knowledge Utilization in the Humanities” giving practical advice for humanities researchers seeking to engage their scholarship beyond the academy.

It was exciting to have two conversations about international knowledge mobilization activities on the same day at Congress 2016.

Day 3 will have some big KMboots to fill.

Krista Jensen (York U) at the RIR Booth, Congress 2015

Krista Jensen (York U) at the RIR Booth, Congress 2015

Post Card From Congress – Day 1

It’s Opening Day of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities here at University of Ottawa but for the KMb Unit crew from York it is Day 6 of a 12 day conference marathon.  Following the successes of the CARA and C2U Expo were settled in for a week of networking, engagement and conversation about KMb across Canada

We set up our booth Friday afternoon, right after the C2U Expo was completed.   Ottawa is a wonderful location to meet and network with national organizations, fellow exhibitors who we now consider friends and new leaders in KMb and Engaged Scholarship.

For ResearchImpact this is our 8th Congress now.  We are pleased to share both introductory information about our network and services along with more sophisticated messages like published papers and stories of success throughout the network.

Drop by for a visit.  It promises to be an interesting week and we’re excited for its potential.

Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, York Unviersity

Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, York University

Mobilizing Hope / Mobiliser l’espoir

At the University of Victoria, the Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit (RPKM) is a campus and community-wide portal to support the development of transformative research. We bring outstanding researchers together with community partners to co-create knowledge for action –knowledge that is mobilized to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of communities throughout our region and around the globe. Here’s a look at some of our projects with community partners in 2014.

À l’Université de Victoria, l’unité Partenariats en recherche et Mobilisation des connaissances (Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit, RPKM) est un portail ouvert aux gens du campus et de la communauté, destiné à soutenir et à renforcer la recherche transformatrice. Nous réunissons des chercheurs exceptionnels et des partenaires de la communauté afin qu’ils créent ensemble un savoir en action – un savoir mobilisé dans le but d’améliorer le bien-être social, culturel et économique des collectivités de notre région et du monde entier. Voici quelques-uns des projets en cours en 2014.

linked hands showing collaboration

Research searches for improved ways to reintegrate youth in custody back into society.

Sometimes one mistake can throw your entire life off track. For youth in custody, the challenge of recovering and moving forward is especially difficult. To help BC youth transition from custody back into their communities, Dr. Anne Marshall and a team at UVic’s Centre for Youth and Society (CYS) recently completed a study that explored the question: “What do youth identify as being most important to their past youth justice system success and re-integration?”

This is one of 250 research questions that community agencies, scholars, and BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) agree are vital to the well-being of our province’s youth and families. Assembled in MCFD’s Shared Research Agenda, some of these questions are being explored as joint initiatives between UVic and MCFD.

Building on previous research with the Victoria Youth Custody Centre, Dr. Marshall and her team interviewed both youth and custody professionals to explore supports and barriers to successful transitions.

The team’s findings were presented to MCFD executives and staff across BC in November 2014, underscoring the importance of transition plans that incorporate these youths’ own goals, capacities, and supportive community connections.

For more CYS research, click here.

This post was first published on March 13, 2015 on the University of Victoria’s Community Current blog.

CARA-ACAAR Webinar – Enhancing Research Impact / Webinaire CARA-ACAAR – Renforcer l’impact de la recherche

Alison Ariss of the University of British Columbia (UBC) led a recent webinar for research administrators.  Covering the topic of research impact, she shared insights from a pilot project at UBC on this topic.

Alison Ariss de l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique (UBC) a dirigé récemment un webinaire destiné aux administrateurs de recherche. Elle y a fait connaître les enseignements à tirer d’un projet pilote qui s’est déroulé à l’UBC et dont le sujet était l’impact de la recherche.

CARA logoOn April 13, CARA (Canadian Association of Research Administrators) hosted a webinar on Enhancing Research Impact.  This session was led by Alison Ariss, Associate Director, Research Development Officer, Office of the VP Research and International at the University of British Columbia.  This session was open to CARA members and York KMb hosted and had 10 research administrative staff in attendance.  The objective of the session was to create more of a clear and common understanding of what is meant by this term and to explore how research administrators working with researchers can enhance their capacity to build greater impact into projects.  Alison also shared tools that research administrators can use that will support what is impact and what is not?

The session was informed by a case study at UBC, their Research Metrics and Impact project.  Alison made many clear points, sharing what impacts are not when focusing on the inputs and outputs of a research project.  For example, funding and infrastructure (inputs) along with publications and bibliometrics (outputs) are not impacts.  Having an understanding of what is not considered ‘impact’ is very important.

Alison also shared examples of work taking place in other jurisdictions such as the UK.  One interesting point, which I feel has validity, is that the collection of impact data is its own research; to capture what a research team did and how it was helpful are important processes that have a foundation in research.  I would like to express thanks to Alison for her acknowledgement of the leadership of the ResearchImpact network and York University in exploring aspects of impact in research.   Sessions like this, which culminated with sharing of a two-page template which UBC has created that explores – who are you; affiliations; impact summary; funding sources; additional information; and, types of impact – provide additional information and resources for research administrators and knowledge brokers in helping support the increasingly important process of determining impact from publicly funded research.

Creating space for reflection and conversations around this topic are very important.  Thanks to CARA and to Alison for their time and for sharing her experiences and findings to date.  As Alison articulated, there are many challenges to measuring impact of research but along with that there is an increasing opportunity and growing responsibility.  Learning from good practices like this are important.  Creating the space to discuss this is essential.

 

The Advantages of Live Tweeting a Research Talk

This week’s guest post comes from Dr. Allison McDonald, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. This post first appeared on her DoctorAl blog on April 14, 2015 and is reposted here with permission.

twitter birdLast week the undergraduate and graduate students in our department delivered 15-20 minute research talks at our departmental colloquium. The person who administers our departmental Twitter account @LaurierBiology asked if I would live tweet the talks occurring on the second morning of the colloquium. I agreed and wasn’t sure how this experiment would turn out.

I was a relatively late adopter of Twitter. I’ve only had an account since December 2013 and while I post to Twitter @AEMcDonaldWLU regularly to advertise my blog posts I am certainly not using it to the full extent of the platform’s capabilities. I am slowly mastering the art of the hashtag. I went into the experience of live Tweeting fully expecting that I would be distracted and therefore wouldn’t take in most of the content of the talks.

You can therefore imagine my surprise at how helpful it was to live Tweet a research talk. It forced me to pay attention to the speaker and their content, but it also required me to synthesize and report the major points of their talk in a succinct manner. There is nothing like being limited to 140 characters to force you to be brief and to the point.

I can’t say that I will always live Tweet talks from now on, but I will certainly consider the idea moving forward. I used to assume that people who were using Twitter during research talks at conferences were being rude and not paying attention. Now I know that a fraction of those people are very actively engaged with the speaker, but in a non-traditional way.

Anyone else want to share their experiences with live Tweeting a research talk? Any other benefits or drawbacks that I’ve missed here?

A Driving Need / Un besoin très moteur

At the University of Victoria, the Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit (RPKM) is a campus and community-wide portal to support the development of transformative research. We bring outstanding researchers together with community partners to co-create knowledge for action –knowledge that is mobilized to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of communities throughout our region and around the globe. Here’s a look at some of our projects with community partners in 2014.

À l’Université de Victoria, l’unité Partenariats en recherche et Mobilisation des connaissances (Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization unit, RPKM) est un portail ouvert aux gens du campus et de la communauté, destiné à soutenir et à renforcer la recherche transformatrice. Nous réunissons des chercheurs exceptionnels et des partenaires de la communauté afin qu’ils créent ensemble un savoir en action – un savoir mobilisé dans le but d’améliorer le bien-être social, culturel et économique des collectivités de notre région et du monde entier. Voici quelques-uns des projets en cours en 2014.

Dr. Holly Tuokko

Dr. Holly Tuokko worked with the James Bay Community Project to identify better ways to recruit volunteer drivers

Study searching for ways to connect Victoria seniors with much-needed transport.

For seniors who are no longer able to drive, there remain few viable options for transportation. And while the James Bay Community Project (JBCP) is trying to help by offering free rides to important medical appointments, there currently aren’t enough volunteer drivers to meet the community’s high demand.

This issue is the driving force behind the partnership between the JBCP and UVic’s Centre on Aging (COAG).

Aiming to identify the best ways to recruit volunteer drivers, Dr. Holly Tuokko, professor of psychology at UVic, is working with the JBCP’s current volunteer drivers to explore what aspects of the experience they enjoy or find rewarding, as well as parts of the program that could be improved.

The JBCP is hoping to use the results of this study to better reflect incentives for joining in their recruitment strategies, and to improve the program itself.

Finding new ways to recruit volunteer drivers is a pursuit that goes beyond mere transportation. The study found that while volunteer drivers are a vital part of keeping Victoria seniors physically healthy, they also play an important role in maintaining our elders’ emotional well-being. “Sometimes these volunteers are the seniors’ only form of social contact,” says Dr. Vincenza Gruppuso, research coordinator at COAG. “They’re more than just drivers.”

Other organizations, such as Capital City Volunteers and Saanich Volunteer Services, have also taken an interest and contributed to the study, hoping to use the results to bolster their own volunteer recruitment.

For information on COAG’s research, click here.

Interested in volunteering for the JBCP? Click here.

This post was first published on March 13, 2015 on the University of Victoria’s Community Current blog.