Knowledge Translation is like Cellophane

This week's blog first appeared on the NeuroDevNet Blog on October 9, 2014 and is reposted here with permission. Knowledge translation catalyzes the movement of research evidence into impacts on policy and practice. We see the research. We see the impacts. We don’t notice the knowledge translation. Knowledge translation is like

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KT Post Cards from #BRAIN2013 – Day 0 (by the numbers)

By David Phipps (RIR-York, writing as NeuroDevNet KT Core Lead) On August 19,2013 York University announced that York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit was hosting the Knowledge Translation Core of NeuroDevNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence supporting research, training and KT for childhood neurodevelopmental disorders (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder,

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Work Harder to be More Effective / Travailler plus fort pour être plus efficace

David Phipps, RIR-York Knowledge mobilization is harder than translation or transfer or even exchange. But it is more effective. Yet we continue to invest so much effort in less effective strategies to promote research utilization. La mobilisation des connaissances est plus difficile que l’adaptation ou même l’échange de connaissances. Mais elle est

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Public Benefits from Public Research

David Phipps (RIR – York) wrote this guest post for KTExchange.org.  It was originally published on August 3, 2011 and is cross posted here with permission.

I have been invited by the University of Texas School of Public Health, Research Into Action project, to the Centers for Disease Control National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media to debate the position that Canada has a knowledge translation secret. I look forward to this discussion with Stephen Linder (The University of Texas School of Public Health), Pimjai Sudsawad (Knowledge Translation Program Coordinator, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research), and Rick Austin (Research Into Action project), because I get to brag about Canada and our KT successes.

We’ll start from the (debatable) position that Canada has a KT secret. There is an evidence gap here. There are also excellent examples of KT from around the world. Nonetheless, there is a widely held perception that our KT secret has resulted from (or resulted in) public investments in national KT institutions like the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Canadian Partnerships Against Cancer, Mental Health Commission of Canada, and Canadian Council on Learning, all with a KT mandate. Canada also has ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR), the only national network of university knowledge mobilization units in the world (to our knowledge).

For argument’s sake, let’s accept that Canada has a KT secret – the question becomes why? Canada has a strong history of public institutions. Compared to the US, Canada has less private health care and fewer private options for education from K-12 to higher education. Using General Expenditures in R&D (GERD) as a metric, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has shown that Canada’s public sector invests relatively more in R&D than does Canada’s private sector. On June 28, 2011 Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council released its report on Canada’s innovation performance in 2010.  The report recognizes that “Canada’s overall business expenditures on R&D lag behind international innovation leaders. These numbers are trending down when they should be trending up.”

Since Canadians invest proportionally more public funding in R&D and likewise have fewer private options in health care and education, I propose that Canadians expect a return on their investments in public research so that research benefits policy and practice in health and education as well as in other sectors. That’s the Canadian socially democratic model.

If this is true, so what? How can we translate this to other jurisdictions? How can other countries create an expectation of public return for public investments in research?

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Michael’s ‘Aha Moment’!

I am flattered to know someone asked for a blog based on a Tweet I contributed on the ResearchImpact Twitter feed.  First, a few observations and disclaimers.  I am glad blog posts do not mirror dissertations in rigour or length.  Next, I do not claim to be an authority on

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