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.

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