Plan for knowledge mobilization to increase your research impact!

As part of its Knowledge Mobilization Institutional Strategy, the Office of the Vice-President, Research (OVPR) aims to better support researchers in planning knowledge mobilization activities and assessing their research impact. This article is meant to guide your knowledge mobilization planning when developing a research proposal for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Table 1 provides examples of knowledge mobilization strategies and indicators that may be relevant to your research.

In general, SSHRC recommends that your knowledge mobilization plan address the following elements:

For whom?

Identify knowledge users who will benefit from your research results and the role users will play in the research project and knowledge mobilization, if applicable.

Why?

Describe the needs of knowledge users and what your research results might change for them.

What? When? How?

Identify and describe the knowledge mobilization strategies that will support these changes and explain when and how they will be achieved.

What is success?

Identify indicators or other ways to assess whether your knowledge mobilization strategies have had the anticipated outcomes.  

Table 1: Examples of knowledge mobilization strategies and indicators

KMb Objectives

KMb Strategies

Indicators to Assess KMb Outcomes

To advance knowledge

Products

  • Open access publications or products
  • Sharing research data

Events and networking

  • Conferences
  • Social media
  • Access to information (distribution, requests, views, read/browsed downloads)
  • Participation, people reached
  • Citations and other bibliometric indicators (altmetrics)

To inform, share or raise awareness

Products

  • Summary
  • Website/web page
  • Newsletter
  • Press release
  • Videos/podcasts/artistic productions

Events and networking

  • Conferences, workshops
  • Social media
  • Participation
  • Satisfaction
  • Access to information (requests, views, read/browsed downloads)
  • Reactions to information (shares, questions, comments)

To promote a change of attitude

Products

  • Videos/podcasts/artistic productions

Events and networking

  • Discussions and debates
  • Committees
  • Champions
  • Networking activities
  • Social media
  • Participation
  • Satisfaction
  • Access to information (requests, views, read/browed downloads)
  • New knowledge acquired
  • Changes in public opinion

To mobilize or create engagement

Events, networking and capacity building

  • Public consultations
  • Committees
  • Consultation tables
  • Workshops/fora
  • Networking activities
  • Co-construction/co-creation
  • Participation
  • Satisfaction
  • Access to information (views, downloads)
  • Requests for expertise
  • Creation of partnerships and collaborations

To influence a decision or policy or defend a position

Events, networking and capacity building

  • Public consultations
  • Committees
  • Consultation tables
  • Workshops/fora
  • Consultancies
  • Networking activities
  • Co-construction/cocreation
  • Participation
  • Satisfaction
  • Access to information (views, downloads)
  • New knowledge acquired
  • Requests for expertise
  • Mentions/citations
  • Results used to support or justify a decision
  • Legislative, political, health system, economic changes
  • Empowerment or capacity building

To improve practices or promote behavioural change

Products

  • Practical guidelines
  • Teaching material
  • Manual
  • Toolkit

Events, networking and capacity building

  • Continuing education
  • Workshops/fora/training
  • Committees
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Communities of practice
  • Co-construction/co-creation
  • Results used to support or justify a decision
  • Legislative, political or economic changes
  • Empowerment or capacity building
  • Improvement in self-efficacy and skills
  • Changes of attitude
  • Creation of conditions to support change
  • Changes in process and service delivery
  • Health system improvements
  • Improvement of patients’ conditions
Best practices

If you are doing research in the social sciences or humanities, you can consult the SSHRC knowledge mobilization guidelines. Recommendations include:

  • Planning meetings with your knowledge users at the project planning stage

CIHR has also developed a Knowledge Translation Planning Guide for Health Research.

Several other tools and templates are available to help you develop your knowledge mobilization plan. Two of note include:

Finally, the OVPR has recently developed a checklist to assist researchers in developing your knowledge mobilization plans for SSHRC and CIHR applications.

 

References

Barwick, M. A. (2008, 2013, 2019). Knowledge translation planning template. Ontario: The Hospital for Sick Children. Retrieved December 9, 2020 from https://www.sickkids.ca/en/learning/continuing-professional-development/knowledge-translation-training/knowledge-translation-planning-template-form/.

Gervais, M.-J., Souffez, K., & Ziam, S. (2016). « Quel impact avons-nous ? Vers l’élaboration d’un cadre pour rendre visibles les retombées du transfert des connaissances ». Revue francophone de recherche sur le transfert et l’utilisation des connaissances, 1(2), 21. doi: 10.18166/tuc.2016.1.02

Guidelines for effective knowledge mobilization. (2019, June 17). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Retrieved December 9, 2020 from https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/policies-politiques/knowledge_mobilisation-mobilisation_des_connaissances-eng.aspx.

Guide to knowledge translation planning at CIHR: Integrated and end-of-grant approaches. (2015, March 19). Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Retrieved December 9, 2020 from https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/45321.html.

Morton, S. (2015). “Progressing research impact assessment: A ‘contributions’ approach.’” Research Evaluation, 24(4), 405–19. doi:10.1093/reseval/rvv016.

 

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