By David Phipps (RIR-York)
Having just returned from a Caribbean cruise where he mobilized little more than wine and food, David Phipps (RIR-York) reflects on a year of mobilizing knowledge. Making local investments in knowledge mobilization has made Canada a global leader in making academic research accessible to decision makers.
Tout juste de retour d’une croisière dans les Caraïbes où il a surtout mobilisé vin et nourriture, David Phipps (RIR-York) réfléchit à l’année passée à mobiliser des connaissances. Les investissements locaux en matière de mobilisation des connaissances ont fait du Canada un leader mondial sur le plan de l’accessibilité de la recherche universitaire pour les décideurs.
From 2005 to 2008, York and UVic started building KMb Units thanks to funding from CIHR and SSHRC. 2009-2010 were the years we grew to ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR), Canada’s knowledge mobilization (KMb) network. With the local RIR units each building their local capacitates to support KMb, 2011 allowed York to focus on our own local efforts as well as connect to like-minded international initiatives.
Welcome Jane Wedlock. In May 2011, we learned that York and our KMb partner, United Way of York Region (UWYR), were awarded a $93,000 CIHR KT Supplement grant. This funding allowed us to place a knowledge broker at UWYR and explore KMb from the community’s perspective. We welcomed Jane on September as our community-based knowledge broker. Jane has already made an impact upon our work. Michael Johnny (Manager, KMb) is busier than ever fielding requests for collaboration from the community – thank you Jane!
Welcome new leadership. York’s new VP Research & Innovation joined us in July 2011. Robert Haché brings with him a commitment to connecting York’s research to partners from the public, private and community sectors. Robert is a strong advocate for KMb and the ability of KMb to support social innovations – watch a video of Robert and Daniele Zanotti speaking about York’s KMb services. We also welcomed Lisa Philipps as Associate VP Research who includes KMb in her portfolio. Lisa was Director of the York Centre for Public Policy and Law which has a single mandate to support interdisciplinary research into the role and impact of law in the formation and expression of public policy. Very KMb!
We also expanded our ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary series announcing collaborations with our RIR partners at the University of Guelph as well as with the Knowledge Network for Applied Education and Research and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
York was joined by RIR colleagues at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators, Community-University Expo and Congress. Michael Johnny blogged about these trips and it allowed us to publish on our KMb structures and tools inFrench and inEnglish. I also had the privilege of being named Canada’s most influential knowledge broker on September 26. Thank you to Peter Levesque at Knowledge Mobilization Works for sponsoring this survey.
York was pleased to host Sarah Morton, Co-Director (Communication and Knowledge Exchange) of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh. For two weeks during the summer she visited to continue her research on contribution analysis, a method to evaluate the contribution research makes to policy decisions. While here she and I started work on our presentation at the ESRC Knowledge Broker’s Forum. While in the UK in December I visited Angie Hart and Dave Wolff at the Community University Partnership Program at the University of Brighton. You can view a video of my presentation and also read my opening address to a local community organization with over 600 member agencies. Sarah Morton also invited me to address the CRFR 10th Anniversary conference “Influencing Society – the role of social research” where I was privileged to share the podium with Sandra Nutley of the Research Unit for Research Utilization at U. Edinburgh.
Back in North America I finally had a chance to meet fellow tweep Richard Austin (@KTExchange). We grew from tweeting to guest blogging to speaking together at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media in Atlanta in August.
This international perspective (England, Scotland, US, Canada) allowed me to write two blogs (October 7and November 24) reflecting on the diversity of approaches to KMb in different countries. Increasingly conferences and courses around the world are discussing the impact of research which is maximized through KMb efforts. For the first time SSHRC required that all Insight Grants include a KMb Strategy and articulate the anticipated outcomes of research. There is a growing interest in KMb national and after my travels in 2011 I am pleased to say that Canada is seen as an international KMb leader.
By David Phipps (RIR-York)