Knowledge mobilization in French in Canada: Portrait of Équipe RENARD

Written by Louis Melançon, Research Assistant at Research Impact Canada

Here we publish the first in a series of portraits on different French-speaking groups and organizations working in the field of knowledge mobilization and transfer in Canada. Today, we introduce Équipe RENARD, affiliate of the Université de Montréal in Quebec.


Équipe RENARD (Recherche sur les Effets Non-Académiques de la Recherche et ses Déterminants) [Research on the Non-Academic effects of research and its Determinants], founded in 2009 at Université de Montréal [University of Montréal], is the “first interdisciplinary group in Quebec dedicated to knowledge transfer research in the field of social interventions”. Headed by Professor Christian Dagenais, who has been its principal researcher since the beginning, the team is made up of over 40 members, including researchers and students, from universities and organization in Quebec involved in knowledge transfer (KT). It is, in fact, the expression “knowledge transfer” that the team retains – rather than “mobilization”, “sharing” or “application” – because it is also commonly used and encompasses all the facets of the transfer process, “from the production of research up to its usage”. Équipe RENARD works to address two two challenges simultaneously: to drive forward the science of knowledge transfer, and to support and improve its partners’ KT practices. Équipe is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC) [Quebec Research Funding – Society and culture] .

Since 2012, Équipe RENARD has been a collaborative platform that enables its members and partners to undertake or collaborate on joint projects, enriching them with a mutually beneficial KT perspective. Its website features no less than 17 research projects currently underway, in fields as diverse as the prevention of anxiety disorders in high school students, COVID-19 public health measures and the use of artificial intelligence to support students with autism spectrum disorder. The organization’s research program hinges on four main axes:

  1. The processes by which the effects of KT strategies are produced
  2. Measuring the effects of various KT mechanisms
  3. The development of approaches and methods to asses KT
  4. Building capacity in KT and its assessment

Équipe’s website also hosts a knowledge transfer research watch that keeps an inventory of scientific articles and gray literature published in the last 6 months in the fields of health, international development, education, management, and social sciences.

Finally, Équipe RENARD also publishes its research results on its website in a wide range of accessible formats, applying its own principles of sharing and dissemination that it promotes. It publishes coups d’œil sur la recherche, which are summary documents inspired by York University’s “research snapshots”. These short documents summarize the main ideas of a research project in a few lines, answering questions such as “what was the study’s objective? ” and “how can the results be used?”. The website also boasts numerous infographics and video presentations that illustrate the latest research by its team members. In addition, since 2016, RENARD has been publishing the Revue francophone de recherche sur le transfert et l’utilisation des connaissances (TUC) [Francophone research journal on knowledge transfer and utilization (KTU)] , the first peer-reviewed Francophone journal focused exclusively on knowledge transfer research in the social sphere. Équipe also offers an online course (MOOC) on knowledge transfer, which as of October 2022 is already in its third version.