Stephen MacGregor & David Phipps. (2020). How a Networked Approach to Building Capacity in Knowledge Mobilization Supports Research Impact. International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership 16(5). URL: http://journals.sfu.ca/ijepl/index.php/ijepl/article/view/949. doi: https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2020v16n6a949
In 2019, Research Impact Canada (RIC) underwent an evaluation of
the network’s progress towards their ultimate goal (vision) of being, “A globally leading
network which supports researchers, students and their partners to demonstrate
the contribution to and impact of research excellence.” To evaluate the
network’s progress towards this goal, this first phase of the RIC evaluation
gathered initial data on the Governance Committee’s perspectives about the usefulness and use of RIC’s knowledge mobilization (KMb) capacity-building
activities. Two questions framed the
- To what extent did
target audiences experience RIC’s KMb activities as useful?
- To what extent did
RIC’s KMb activities increase use of KMb concepts in practice, in terms of
increasing collaboration between researchers and research users?
This study explored the perceptions
held by 16 leaders of RIC, representing 14 networked universities. The data was
collected using a mixed-methods survey design and a summary of the key
takeaways can be found below:
primary motivation for members’ engagement with RIC has been the sharing,
use, and evaluation of KMb tools, resources, and best practices. However,
it appears members are desiring new ways of engaging. Several members felt
it could be helpful to explore more focused practice areas in sub-groups
that later convene and share. Such an approach may promote alignment with
the network’s diverse needs.
is strong evidence that RIC’s capacity-building activities have positively
influenced its membership. Furthermore, it appears this influence is
related with at least three factors: duration of formal membership with RIC,
duration of current institutional role, and the degree to which knowledge broker describes the
institutional role. Phase 2 will seek to examine these factors in greater
including new members whose response was “too soon to tell,” 12 out of 14
members felt the benefits of participation in RIC were equal to or greater
than associated costs (e.g., increased institutional time constraints) and
12 out of 13 members agreed that membership with RIC has positively
influenced their KMb practice. Furthermore, a precondition to those
benefits and positive influences appears to be members actively engaging
with the membership.
possesses a strong climate of trust and effective leadership, yet several
members were struggling with how to manage institutional limitations
(e.g., time) and turnover. A suggested remedy was to explore new ways of
supporting members to bolster institutional capacity (e.g., campus
As a follow-up to this evaluation, a Phase II evaluation has been completed and is currently in the report writing stage. While Phase I used electronic survey to examine the usefulness of Network activities, Phase II used in depth interviews to examine how these activities were actually used to create benefits for Network members. Stay tuned for these results, the Phase II report will be released in Spring 2021.