RIR Brokers – Sharing Stories / Courtiers RIR – Partage Histoires!

A recent Skype teleconference allowed brokers of ResearchImpact – RèsearcuImpactRecherche to share and exchange stories of engagement events, showing we have much in common!

Une récente téléconférence Skype permis courtiers de ResearchImpact – RèsearcuImpactRecherche de partager et échanger des histoires d’événements d’engagement, montrant nous avons beaucoup en commun!

 

The technology worked well and six RIR brokers were able to convene to share and exchange stories of recent events our offices hosted. The purpose of the conversation was to listen to Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, Bojan Fürst, of Memorial University, share details of the highly successful MUNbuttoned events last fall which saw three back-to-back-to-back evenings hosted in St.John’s around topics of natural sciences, social and economic research, and arts and heritage.  Based on activities and projects supported by KMb at MUN, researchers engaged with the public in quick roundtable presentations in a beautiful community space in St. John’s.   The real success, as shared by Bojan, was engagement and allowing MUN researchers a chance to talk about their research off campus.  The creative use of space – the events took place in open community space above a bakery in St. John’s – which allowed for inclusive participation from community members and is a critical consideration for any successful KMb event.  The team at the Harris Centre provided excellent support to help make the evenings a success and now part of regular annual service by KMb at MUN.  With this fall being the 10th Anniversary of KMb at MUN, there promises to be more exciting events!

Having RIR Brokers meet on Skype allowed for questions and chances to learn good practices in KMb. Several brokers have less than two years’ experience in their role and this regular conversation space allows for dialogue on issues which are important to us in supporting KMb within our respective institutions.  The success of Memorial’s MUNbuttoned event provided us all an opportunity to share recent outreach and engagement successes.  University of Victoria knowledge broker Tara Todesco share of her work in leading IDEAfest which had 58 separate activities taking place across campus over the course of a week.   For the Ontario RIR brokers who were on Skype, we shared our recent SSHRC supported Pecha Kucha-style events which were supported under the Imagining Canada’s Future events which SSHRC recently released.

The conversation flowed freely and there were several questions which people had throughout our hour long talk. We have agreed to share and exchange workplans and lessons learned from this work.  The opportunity to help each other and provide ongoing and active support in our roles as knowledge brokers is the essence of the RIR network.   On April 30, Anne Bergen from University of Guelph will lead the next conversation where she will provide an overview of her work at Guelph which – like all of us – has unique local and institutional elements which shape the development and delivery of KMb services.

Post Cards from Congress – Day 4

Traffic at the ResearchImpact/RéseauImpactRechereche (RIR) booth has been steady and we have engaged with researchers from universities across Canada who have expressed interest in knowledge mobilization (KMb) and the RIR network.  And while our pens (thanks, York Research), luggage tags (thanks, Memorial University’s yaffle project) and our candy have been popular swag, it has been our recipe book which has been our best seller!

Allow us to explain.  No, we’re not publishers, so we’re really not ‘selling’ anything.  And ‘recipe book’ is how we’re referring to a peer reviewed article which David Phipps has published in 2011, titled A Report Detailing the Development of a University-Based Knowledge Mobilization Unit that Enhances Research Outreach and Engagement (accurate, but you see how ‘recipe book’ rolls off the tongue a little easier!).  At our booth we have an assortment of materials for delegates to take to inform them of our network, our programs and services, and how their institution can get involved in RIR.

Of all these items, it is the ‘recipe book’ that has been the most popular.  So popular, in fact, that we have had to print off additional copies and we’re only half way through Congress!  We’re excited and proud that academics, as well as community-based researchers, are so interested in the details of how York has developed and delivered institutional KMb.  This represents a significant step in our engagement with researchers at Congress.  And we are hopeful this interest will result in future growth for RIR!

Memorial is missing a mobilizer

The last time we ran into David Yetman he was Manager of Knowledge Mobilization for the Harris Centre which provides KMb services to Memorial and its local communities.  We blogged about him last October as Memorial and York demonstrated KMb leadership at SSHRC’s KIS/Clusters meeting.  David and the Harris Centre are known nationally for yaffle which has also graced this blog. Yaffle is a tool that has profiles and projects of Memorial faculty and local community and seeks to broker relationships between the two… kind of like Lava Life for research (thank you Kathleen Bloom).

Now David has moved to Toronto to become the Director, Programs and Knowledge Transfer for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. CIFAR “incubates ideas that revolutionize the international research community and change the lives of people all over the world. Through its research programs, CIFAR provides leading scholars with the time, direction, freedom and inspiration to pursue fundamental questions concerning society, technology, and the very nature of humanity and the universe.” Watch their video here.  Last year CIFAR started thinking about developing a KMb strategy and recruited David Yetman to be the inaugural Director for this strategy.

While exploring their second home town, David and his wife Corina met with ResearchImpact York’s David Phipps (the other David from the KIS/Cluster meeting) took them out for brunch.  Their visit included the Jersey Boys, The Leafs, the Royal York, St. Lawrence Market and a whole lot of Toronto.

Q. What do you like most about Toronto?
Corina (quoted with permission): “I loves a lots a shoppin'”
David: the entertainment, the quality of shows and sports

Q. What’s the one thing you wish you knew about Toronto
Corina: where the safest places in Toronto are (Corina grew up in a Newfoundland town of 250 people)
David: where are the good neighbourhoods (to live, to visit)

Q. What concerns you most about this change in your life?
Corina: missing David
David: understanding the new culture (of CIFAR); leaving an established track record (at Memorial)

Q. What looking forward to most about this change in your life?
Corina: visiting Toronto and doing some traveling
David: professionally this is a tremendous opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in the world; personally there is access to so much of great quality in Toronto


In David’s absence, The Harris Centre and Memorial continue to be a valued part of ResearchImpact and we welcome Jennifer Adams Warburton (Operations Manager at The Harris Centre) to the national network of ResearchImpact knowledge brokers.  Jennifer, welcome to ResearchImpact.  David, welcome to Toronto.  And CIFAR… let’s talk about ResearchImpact.