Supporting knowledge mobilization and research impact strategies in grant applications

The Network for Advancing and Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science (AESIS Network) published their first newsletter of June with a focus on ‘Impact in Funding Applications’. David Phipps, PhD., MBA, Assistant VP Research Strategy & Impact, York University and Network Director, Research Impact Canada, contributed an article for their newsletter.

York University (Toronto, Canada) launched its Knowledge Mobilization Unit (KMb York) in 2006 to support knowledge mobilization and research impact in all disciplines. Established under the Vice President of Research & Innovation and housed in the Office of Research Services, KMb York is a service unit and provides support to grant applicants seeking to develop a knowledge mobilization and/or research impact strategy in grant applications. Over the years, KMb York has supported grant applications that have helped secure $99M in external research funding for projects that are engaged with the community and/or government partners. KMb York also hosted the Knowledge Translation Core Facility for Kids Brain Health Network from 2013-2018.

In 2017, we reflected on the different ways that grants can be supported and published our reflections in the Journal of Research Administration[1]. While methods might differ slightly, KMb York and the KT Core advise that impact strategies need 5 elements:

  1. Partners: stakeholders, research users, co-producers
  2. Impact Goal: should be co-constructed with partners
  3. Knowledge mobilization activities specific to each partner
  4. Evaluation: what is the evidence you need to show your activities with your partners achieved your goals?
  5. Budget: salaries and operations (include detail in budget justification)

For additional help on planning impact strategies please consult the Research Impact Canada resources page including specific impact planning tools here and here and here.

[1] Phipps, D.J., Jensen, K.E., Johnny, M., Poetz, A. (2017) Supporting knowledge mobilization and research impact strategies in grant applications. Journal of Research Administration. 47(2):49-67.