Fall 2013 York KMb Learning Events / Les activités d’apprentissage offertes par York MdC en automne 2013

York KMb is offering sessions for researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development.

York MdC offre des séances de formation à l’attention des professeurs, du personnel et des étudiants gradués afin de les aider à accroître la pertinence de leurs recherches sur le plan de la pratique professionnelle et du développement de politiques.

For Fall 2013, the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York will be offering the following learning sessions:

Social Media

Social Media for Research 101 – This lunch hour session will provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects. September 9 noon-1:00; November 12 noon-1:00 Register now!

Social Media for Research 201 – This session will provide more detailed information on the strategies and tools for social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects, such as analytics and partnering strategies. October 9 9:30-noon Register now!

Social Media Strategy Building  – Want to start using social media tools but don’t want to fall victim to “shiny object syndrome”? This hands on session will focus on getting a plan together and planning steps to implement it. September 16 9:30-noon; November 18 9:30-noon Register now!

Facebook – Join us for this hands on session and learn how to set up a facebook page for your KMb efforts, and keep it separate from your personal account. October 3 1:30-4:00 Register now!

Twitter – A 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research. October 30 1:30-4:00 Register now!

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!) November 27 9:30-noon Register now!

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts. September 24 1:30-4:00 Register now!

Knowledge Mobilization

Effective Community Engagement – What are successful practices in engaging community around research? What needs to be considered to effectively engage, build relationships and strong partnerships outside of the university? This 2.5 hour workshop will introduce values, examples of good practices and allow for dialogue to enhance your engagement efforts. September 19 1:30-4:00 Register now!

Good Practices in KMb – Learn from examples at York U and across Canada. What practices seem to work effectively? How can we determine effectiveness? How can I connect need to practice? This 2.5 hour workshop will engage participants in the context of their own research projects. November 20 1:30-4:00 Register now!

KMb and Communications – What are the intersections and where do these two diverge? This 2.5 hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization; explore the relationships between the two and share examples on how they can complement one another and how they are unique. October 8 9:30-noon; November 28 9:30-noon Register now!

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy. September 10 9:30-noon; October 10 1:30-4:00 Register now!

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences. October 25 9:00-noon Register now!

To register for any of the sessions, please visit http://bit.ly/1fjASJn or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at kejensen@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext 88847

Slowing Down for Speed Bumps: Reflecting on a Knowledge Mobilization Metaphor / Ralentir à cause des dos d’âne : réflexion sur une métaphore de la mobilisation des connaissances

Anne Bergen, RIR – University of Guelph

This post is a reflection on the metaphor of “speed bumps” in knowledge mobilization, and was the product of several over-lappng KMb networks. That is, I wrote the post immediately after the June 2013 Knowledge Mobilization Forum, as part of my participation in the KMb Hub of the Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project. This post originally appeared on the “CFICE To Say” blog.

Ce billet est une réflexion sur la métaphore des dos d’âne dans la mobilisation des connaissances. Il est le produit du chevauchement de plusieurs réseaux de MdC. Je l’ai écrit tout juste après le Forum 2013 sur la mobilisation des connaissances comme une contribution au regroupement pour la MdC du projet Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE). Ce billet a été publié originalement sur le blogue “CFICE To Say“.

Sign saying Speed Bump AheadIt’s conference season, which means that it’s time to learn new practices and reflect on old practices. After one day meeting with the @ResearchImpact collaboration (http://www.researchimpact.ca/) and two days thinking about knowledge mobilization at the 2013 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (#ckf13; http://www.knowledgemobilization.net/), I’m still going through an internal process of synthesizing and contextualizing the things I’ve learned.

One of the most salient themes that I’ve taken away from these three days of learning is that barriers to effective knowledge mobilization can often be better conceptualized as speed bumps[1]. Thinking through this metaphor, speed bumps force you to slow down, but speed bumps are necessary for improved practice (i.e., safe driving/effective knowledge mobilization). That is, “speed bumps” on the way to institutional and organizational culture change, building new relationships, and finding better ways to share and act upon knowledge promote mindful and intentional action: if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to get a surprise. Speed bumps give you a jolt – and force you to change your behaviour. In the field of knowledge mobilization, we need to create new pathways and strengthen old pathways between and within networks.

At the same time, we must remain mindful of the capacity of the neighbourhood for new traffic. Building four lanes of information into the heart of a community is not a helpful form of knowledge dissemination and exchange. Rather, we must think about the needs of end users (and co-creaters) of knowledge, and proceed carefully to minimize the impact of speed bumps.

To push the metaphor further, speed bumps are easier to navigate if we have a co-pilot. We shouldn’t be trying to solve knowledge mobilization problems by ourselves, because knowledge mobilization problems are not individual difficulties. Working within multiple interlinked networks, building trusting relationships, and learning to work with multiple and diverse stakeholders helps us map the road ahead so we can start to predict speed bumps, slow down, and glide over what could have been a barrier.

[1] Thanks for this wording to Kelly Warmington, Knowledge Translation Specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children & Sacha Geer,  Knowledge Translation Specialist for the Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance

Knowledge Mobilization and Communications / La mobilisation des connaissances et la communication

Michael Johnny, RIR-York

There is a relationship between knowledge mobilization and communications but it is unclear and is highly contextual.  Within the last month there has been much discussion on this.

Il y a un lien entre la mobilisation des connaissances et la communication, mais il n’est pas clair et hautement influencé par le contexte. Au cours du dernier mois, il y a eu beaucoup de discussion à ce sujet.

Picture of message bubblesApril 16, 2013.  For me, it was one of the most nerve-wracking presentations I have ever given.  I was speaking to a room full of communications professionals at York University about the intersections of Knowledge Mobilization and Communications.  There are two reasons why I was feeling nervous: first, it is awkward to talk to professionals about their work when you’re not intimately familiar with it, and second, I had some very direct and constructive criticism for both our offices.  The talk opened up new opportunities for collaboration and engagement and was the spark of new interesting developments around two interesting professionals and concepts.

Rewind the calendar a few days.  It was on April 12 that our office hosted one of our traditional KM in the AM events with the topic of discussion being The Role of Knowledge Brokers.  It was a great event, well represented from members of the KTECoP.  An interesting question was raised from the audience, “what are the differences between knowledge mobilization and communications”.  Well, the conversation was suddenly co-opted by a spirited debate on the two terms and the two roles.  York’s David Phipps took to LinkedIn to continue and fuel the conversation and it has remained a lively one.  So lively, (24 responses to date), that we’re going to host a dedicated KM in the AM on this topic later this spring or summer (date TBD).

The impetus for the April 16 presentation was to solicit feedback on a presentation I would like to make to York faculty around the two terms, as there is some confusion on roles and activity.  Melanie Barwick, Research Scientist from Hospital for Sick Kids provided an explanation on the LinkedIn conversation which I quite like. She explains, and I agree, that the two terms are both misunderstood and have points of convergence, but some divergence as well.  The presentation I am looking to refine is part of a York Learning Series which we’re offering to York researchers to help build capacity in KMb across campus.

In closing, taking an honest and respectful approach to let colleagues – many whom I have never met – know that the work we are doing has had some limitations went well.  And the reason for that is I offered to be part of the solution.  When KMb and Communications offices can align their services and co-exist, both can flourish!  Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University would know this though.  She is a broker with a background (actually, an MA) in communications.  She walks the talk.  I would like to hear what you think about the relationship between KMb and Communications… based on the engagement around this I am confident you have an opinion!

KMbuddies for Life / Des amis mobilisés pour la vie

Michael Johnny, RIR YorkU

Michael Johnny reflects on his seven year working relationship in knowledge mobilization with Joaquin Trapero from University of Victoria.

Michael Johnny témoigne de sept années de travail en mobilisation des connaissances en collaboration avec Joaquin Trapero de l’Université de Victoria.

I had to look back to see, but the first communication was an email on February 16, 2006.  It was an introductory email from Joaquin Trapero, the new Knowledge Transfer Specialist at the University of Victoria.  So it makes his career in KMb span over seven years.  And now because of the formal launch of the Research Partnership and Knowledge Mobilization (RPKM) office at the University of Victoria, Dr. Joaquin Trapero no longer has KMb within his portfolio of responsibility.  It has been a few years since he has worked as a KT Specialist, moving on to manage the Institutional Portfolio program.  Now this is his full-time responsibility.

Picture of prairie dogs at the University of Saskatchewan

I had wanted to write this blog for almost four days now, and even now while I write, I am staring at the screen looking for words to capture my feelings.  I remember very clearly the early days of this journey and our work together where we’d meet four times a year– twice here in Toronto and twice in Victoria.  Our Intellectual Property Mobilization grant supported this initial ‘experiment’ of institutional knowledge mobilization services.  Capably led by Dr. Richard Keeler (former AVP Research, University of Victoria) and Dr. David Phipps (Executive Director, Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, York University), Joaquin and I were exploring what it meant to be knowledge brokers and helping lead the development of a national network.

So many memories poured back over the past few days while reflecting back on seven years:  our first Congress at University of Saskatchewan back in 2007 (which was the source of infamous beer, pizza and KMb planning talks); one of Joaquin’s first trips to Toronto to visit with us (where we naively planned a day-long event which began with a breakfast at 7:30 am EST… that’s 4:30 PST… oops); a decision to leave the KTS portfolio to take on UVic’s Institutional Portfolio (but fortunately allowed him to retain working responsibilities in KMb); and the success of KMb within our institutions which has helped enable the growth of ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche.

Congress this year is going to be held in Victoria.  How fitting!  While Joaquin will not be involved in the RIR booth at the book fair, David Phipps and I are going to make sure we meet up for one last beer, pizza and KMb planning talks!  And with that to look forward to, I am happy to share how I am feeling now and that is grateful.  What I have learned from Joaquin over these seven years?  Sharing a commitment to develop strong KMb programs and support RIR, attention to detail and planning, shared values around processes for successful KMb, and having fun along the way!

Joaquin, my friend, I appreciate all you’ve done to make this work in KMb a success and a pleasure.   I wish you success and happiness!  Thanks for a great seven years!

Picture of Joaquin Trapero, David Phipps and Michael Johnny

Joaquin Trapero, David Phipps and Michael Johnny

2013 York KMb Learning Events / Les activités d’apprentissage offertes par York MdC en 2013

York KMb is offering sessions for researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development.

York MdC offre des séances de formation à l’attention des professeurs, du personnel et des étudiants gradués afin de les aider à accroître la pertinence de leurs recherches sur le plan de la pratique professionnelle et du développement de politiques.

For Winter 2013, the KMb Unit at York will be offering the following learning sessions:

LearnSocial Media 101 – This lunch hour session will provide an overview of social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects.  January 16th 12:00-1:00 York Lanes 280A; March 4th 12:00-1:00 York Lanes 280A

Social Media 201 – This session will provide more detailed information on the strategies and tools for social media tools and their relevance to collaborative research projects, such as analytics and partnering strategies.   March 13th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Social Media Strategy Building – Want to start using social media tools but don’t want to fall victim to “shiny object syndrome”? This hands on session will focus on getting a plan together and planning steps to implement it.  February 20th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A; April 18th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

Twitter – A 2.5 hour hands-on session where Twitter is introduced within a research context. Participants can set up an account and learn about practical applications for their research. February 12th 1:30-4:00 York Research Tower 519

O3 – O3 is an online collaborative tool for available free to researchers, which can facilitate effective and efficient collaboration (without flooding your email inbox!)  April 25th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

WordPress – Blogging is emerging as a popular medium to share information and express ideas. Researchers are finding interesting uses for blogs to complement their scholarship. Join us and learn what blogging can do to enhance your KMb efforts. January 28th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A; March 26th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Effective Community Engagement – What are successful practices in engaging community around research?  What needs to be considered to effectively engage, build relationships and strong partnerships outside of the university?  This 2.5 hour workshop will introduce values, examples of good practices and allow for dialogue to enhance your engagement efforts. April 2nd 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Good Practices in KMb – Learn from examples at York U and across Canada.  What practices seem to work effectively?  How can we determine effectiveness?  How can I connect need to practice?  This 2.5 hour workshop will engage participants in the context of their own research projects. April 24th 9:30-12:00 York Lanes 280A

KMb and Communications – What are the intersections and where do these two diverge?  This 2.5 hour session will introduce you to knowledge mobilization; explore the relationships between the two and share examples on how they can complement one another and how they are unique.  February 7th 9:30-12:00 York Research Tower 519

KMb Strategy Building – Granting councils are asking more and more for research teams to identify their KMb strategy. In this hands on session, learn about strategic elements, create a draft strategy for your project, and tips on how to present your strategy. April 30th 1:30-4:00 York Lanes 280A

Clear Language Writing and Design – Sessions designed to introduce the principles and practical tips on writing for the reader, including diverse audiences.  May 13th 1:00-4:00 York Lanes 280A

 

To register for any of the sessions, please visit http://bit.ly/KMbYorkLearning or contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer, at kejensen@yorku.ca or ext 88847

Quantitative Evaluation (and a little shameless self-promotion) / Évaluation quantitative (et un peu d’autopromotion éhontée)

By David Phipps, RIR-York

Amanda Cooper (@ACooperKMb) recently released her evaluation of 44 Canadian Research Brokering Organizations. She presents a quantitative method for evaluating the effort of a system of knowledge mobilization.

Amanda Cooper (@ACooperKMb) a récemment dévoilé son évaluation de 44 organisations canadiennes de courtage de recherche. Elle présente une méthode d’évaluation quantitative visant à mesurer les efforts d’un système de mobilisation des connaissances.

Knowledge mobilization struggles with evaluation.  Evaluating an individual instance of knowledge mobilization is feasible with the right base line and pre/post intervention metrics. But rolling that up and evaluating a system of knowledge mobilization (like any one of the knowledge mobilization units in the ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche network) has so far proven challenging.

So thank you, Amanda Cooper (Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario). Amanda recently posted a report titled “Knowledge mobilization in education: A cross-case analysis of 44 research brokering organizations across Canada”. Amanda developed a quantitative methodology to evaluate the efforts of Canadian research brokering organizations (RBOs). The methodology is based on the evidence about research utilization. We know that people centred methods encourage greater research use than do those based solely on making package knowledge accessible to decision makers. In the words of Sandra Nutley and her colleagues in Using Evidence, “[p]ersonal contact is crucial … studies suggest that it is face-to-face interactions that are most likely to encourage policy and practice uses of research” (page 74).  In Amanda’s methodology points are assigned depending on how the RBO employs products (12 points), events (20 points) and networks (20 points) as well as overall features (20 points). You can see that more points are assigned to people centred methods (events and networks) than are assigned to purely product based methods. How points are assigned is detailed in Appendix B of her report.

Amanda used RBO’s web sites as the data source and scored each of the 44 RBOs on a scale out of 100. Amanda cites ResearchImpact as one of the RBOs but the data she used pulled from York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. The Harris Centre, another RIR member, is also included separately as one of the 44 RBOs.

Key Point #1: This is a quantitative methodology that is reliable and reproducible citing satisfaction with the inter-rater reliability testing of the tool and the average intra-class correlation coefficient.

Key Point #2: This method evaluates a system of knowledge mobilization not the efficacy of an individual knowledge mobilization intervention.

Key Point #3: This method measures the efforts of Canadian RBOs. It does not measure impact of the RBOs efforts. That more effective RBO efforts will result in greater impact of those efforts is a testable hypothesis, but it makes sense that this would be the case.

Key Point #4 (shameless self-promotion alert): RIR-York achieved the highest score in this study.

Each with a score of 81%, RIR-York tied with the Fraser Institute and Canadian Education Association as the top performing RBOs. Fraser Institute achieved this score with a budget of $12.8M. CEA achieved this score with a budget of $2M. York’s budget for knowledge mobilization is approximately $250,000. RIR-York accomplished the same effort on a fraction of the budget. The data from the top nine ranked RBOs is presented below.

Rank

 

Organization

 

 

 

Type*

 

 

 

Size (FTE)

Operating

Expenditures

Score on KMb Matrix (%)

1

1.2.1 RI

NfP, university research centre

 

 

Small (3)

$250 000

81

1.2.4 Fraser

NfP, think tank

 

Large (60)

$12,808,690

81

1.4.2 CEA

Memb, network

 

Small (9)

$2,044,892

81

2

1.2.4 AIMS

NfP, think tank

 

Small (5)

$872 234

78

3

1.2.0 CCL

NfP, general

 

Large (77)

$20,583,490

76

1.2.3 The Centre

NfP, issue-based

 

Large (25)

$5,685,000

76

4

1.2.0 TLP

NfP, general

 

Large (74)

$5,293,039

75

1.2.1 HC

NfP university research centre

 

 

Med (11)

75

5

1.2.0 CCBR

NfP, general

 

Med (12)

74

6

1.1.2 E-BEST

Gov, district level

 

Small (6.5)

72

7

1.2.1 CEECD

NfP, university research centre

 

 

Small (9)

69

1.2.2 P4E

NfP, advocacy

 

Small (9)

$537,806

69

1.2.3 LEARN

NfP, issue-based

 

Large (33)

$3,000,000

69

8

1.2.1 HELP

NfP, university research centre

 

 

Large (50)

$7,200,200

67

9

1.1.3 CSC

Gov, standards

 

Large (20)

$3,849,254

65

We need more research like this into the processes of knowledge mobilization, engaged scholarship and community based research. Much of what we know comes from individual studies of individual instances of knowledge mobilization. As these activities become more embedded in institutions and systems we will increasingly need research on these systems and how they create infrastructure to support the individual instances. You can read more on other methods for evaluating the impact of research like Payback and Productive Interactions in a 2011 Special Edition (Volume 20, Number 3) of the journal, Research Evaluation.

Thank you to Amanda for your important contributions to this emerging field.

Knowledge Mobilisers: Putting Research into Practice (and Policy)

The following was originally posted on The Guardian’s Higher Education Network blog on October 9, 2012 and is reposted here with permission.

Maximising the impact of research on society depends on universities brokering the right partnerships with public policy, says David Phipps – and Canada is leading the way.

Good research should have a ripple effect on society and knowledge mobilisation can push it out.

Earlier this year on the Higher Education Network, I introduced knowledge mobilisation as a university-based process that connects academic social sciences and humanities research to non-academic decision makers to inform decisions about public policy and professional practice, enhance social innovation and develop sustainable solutions to social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges.

I then reflected on its past – the roots of knowledge mobilisation as we now understand it. In this third installment, I return to the present to see how York University in Toronto is supporting collaborations between researchers and partner to maximise the impact of research on society.

We started York University’s knowledge mobilisation practice by trying to push out existing research results to find “receptors” and soon realised that we needed more interactive methods of closing the gap that exists between research within a higher education context and the policy and practice which could use it. Researchers and their partners need to find a middle ground in which to collaborate so that research not only meets the academic standards of scholarship but is also relevant to non-academic partners.

Today York University’s knowledge mobilisation unit uses a suite of services available to faculty and students from all disciplines across the university. Our knowledge mobilisation staff help faculty and partners identify and develop research collaborations through meetings support, student interns and the use of social media as a connecting channel. We have recently published a report on our full range of services.

Continue reading

Outreach to Promote Knowledge Mobilization / La sensibilisation afin de promouvoir la mobilisation des connaissances

David Phipps, RIR – York

In addition to using social media to spread the word about knowledge mobilization and social innovation, the knowledge mobilization staff at York University have been busy speaking in real life.  It takes a lot of work and we are successful but it certainly hasn’t been overnight.

En plus de faire appel aux médias sociaux dans le but faire connaître la mobilisation des connaissances et l’innovation sociale, le personnel travaillant à la mobilisation des connaissances à l’Université York en a beaucoup parlé dans la vraie vie. Cela demande beaucoup d’efforts et nous connaissons du succès. Toutefois, cela ne s’est pas produit du jour au lendemain.

Crusaders. Evangelists. Missionaries. Entrepreneurs. Whatever your analogy it takes a lot of work to become an overnight success. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been successful in creating institutional services that support collaborations between researchers/students and non-academic partners from the government and community sectors. And since we’ve been planning this since 2004 and doing this since 2006, it’s certainly not been overnight.

And yet we continue to be knowledge mobilization evangelists spreading the good word about the value of knowledge mobilization to university and community and government agencies.

In the 10 weeks between April 15 and June 30, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit made 19 presentations to audiences totaling more than 700. Most of the audiences were Canadian but we were also seen by over 60 people from five continents at the K* conference. We have spoken to community members and have taken our message all the way to the Governor General with help from our colleagues at SSHRC and United Way Centraide Canada.

From Manitoba to Charlottetown; in Hamilton and Ottawa; and many locations in between in the GTA- Mississauga, Newmarket, Toronto and lots on campus, of course. It is through this effort that we are creating a culture of knowledge mobilization on campus as previously mentioned in this blog. But we are also hoping to create a culture of knowledge mobilization for our partners as well.

Continue reading

Collaborate Collaborate Collaborate

The following was first published on ORION’s blog ORIONxchange and is reposted here with permission.

Collaboration has emerged as a key feature of many research programs. ORION’s O3 system and York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit are a perfect combination to support research collaborations to maximize the impact of research on society.

By David Phipps, York University

It used to be location location location for real estate. Then content was king. I have heard Peter Levesque (@KMbW_Updates) say that sharing is the new selfish….I think he means that sharing has replaced selfish (“knowledge is power”) as a new paradigm for work and life.

We recently published a knowledge synthesis exploring how to leverage investments in higher education research & development. Our paper titled Knowledge Mobilization and Social Innovation are Integral Components of Innovation Strategies to Leverage Investments in Higher Education concluded that “central to each section of this report is the pressing need for improved collaboration among Canada’s higher education institutions, governments, industry and community organizations.” Building on Peter’s sharing is the new selfish, the key to turning research into action for economic, social and environmental benefits is to collaborate.

Collaborate Collaborate Collaborate.

That is the message behind the Governor General’s Community Campus Collaboration (CCC) Initiative. In his opening addressto Congress 2012 he said that the Community-Campus Collaborations Initiative “is quite simply a superb initiative. It will help us ensure that social innovation is a key component of Canada’s innovation landscape. This initiative also provides us with a catalytic vehicle to apply knowledge and develop experiential learning”. It is the message behind York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides a suite of services to support collaboration between researchers/students and their research partners from the (mainly) public and community sectors.

Collaboration is why York University uses ORION’s O3 system as their on line collaboration tool. There has been a recent discussion on the Canadian Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Community of Practice list about collaboration platforms. Basecamp. Sharepoint. Drupal. Drop box etc. etc. etc. and we promoted O3. We use O3 as an intranet to manage the business of York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit as well as the operations of ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR), Canada’s knowledge mobilization network. With the introduction of 4 new RIR universities a couple of years ago we are already in the position of needing to go in and reorganize/rationalize our naming conventions and file/folder structures. That’s what happens when more and more people start to use a system that evolved more than it was planned.

TIP #1: Be conscious about your plan to use collaboration software but be open to modifying that plan as more users come on board.

Continue reading

York University and United Way York Region Receive Funding for Knowledge Mobilization / L’Université York et United Way de la Région de York reçoivent du financement pour la mobilisation des connaissances

By David Phipps, RIR-York

United Way York Region and York University can build on their 5 year knowledge mobilization collaboration thanks to new funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This funding will allow them to support collaborations on income and housing vulnerability.

United Way de la Région de York et l’Université York peuvent poursuivre le travail collaboratif en matière de mobilisation des connaissances qu’ils ont entrepris il y a 5 ans, et ce, grâce au financement reçu par le Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines du Canada. Ces fonds leur permettront de travailler en collaboration sur le thème du revenu et de la vulnérabilité relative au logement.

In June the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council announced a grant to York University and United Way York Region of $141,798 to invest in knowledge mobilization focused on income and housing vulnerability.  The grant is lead jointly by Daniele Zanotti (CEO, United Way York Region), David Phipps (Director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange) and Steven Gaetz (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education), as well as Michaela Hynie (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Program Evaluation Unit in the York Institute for Health Research). There is an urgent need for research and evidence to inform effective community responses, programs and services for housing and income vulnerability. Building on their five year knowledge mobilization partnership, York University and United Way York Region will implement a community-campus knowledge mobilization strategy based on best practices so that York housing and income vulnerability research and expertise is accessible to community partners. This grant builds on the CIHR funded Knowledge Translation supplement awarded to the partners in 2011 that funds knowledge mobilization activities focused on social determinants of health. Steven Gaetz, who also sits on the York Region Human Services Planning Board, says, “Knowledge mobilization has become very important in Canada. My area of research is homelessness and one of our key beliefs is that we have to figure out ways to mobilize homelessness research so that it can have a bigger impact on policy and practice. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been a big support in this effort.”

While both the SSHRC and CIHR grants support a suite of services as recently described by York’s Knowledge mobilization Unit (see the knowledge mobilization blog post on Mobilize This!), at the core of these activities is funding for a community-based knowledge broker. While many university-based research programs and research units have staff who act as knowledge brokers only the six universities in the York-led ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche knowledge mobilization network have invested in knowledge brokers with a pan-university mandate. And of those six York is the only university to collaborate with their local partner to place a knowledge broker in the community. Jane Wedlock, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at United Way York Region, seeks to build capacity for community members to become partners in collaborative research projects and to work with Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization at York University, to identify and support collaborations between university and community experts in housing and income vulnerability.

These collaborations will include graduate student interns (Summer 2013) and will be informed by more than 25 ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries being developed from York University research articles over the summer of 2012.

“York University has transformed our work in the community” says Daniele Zanotti. “It has opened up the richness of community.

SSHRC handed out  95 grants in the October 2011 Public Outreach Grant competition. The York University/United Way York Region grant received the third highest funding of all grants and the highest amount of funding of those grants that had a community partner as a full co-applicant.United Way York Region is stronger because of that relationship and the university is stronger, with deeper roots in the community and greater opportunities to apply research to real lived experience.”

“York continues to build on and strengthen its commitment to community engagement, as identified in the Provostial White Paper,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation.  “York’s researchers continue to share and co-create knowledge with the broader community, as exemplified by the success of our researchers in the receipt of funding for engaged scholarship through SSHRC’s Public Outreach grants program and the work of our researchers and Knowledge Mobilization Unit in further developing partnerships with community organizations, such as the United Way York Region.”

York University and United Way York Region have recently released a video speaking about the mutual value gained when they jointly invest in knowledge mobilization.