K* Scholarships for the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum

Kstar word cloud

The following partners are proud to announce up to nine travel scholarships for the 2014 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum: Cloverleaf Foundation, ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR), Canadian Water Network, Institute for Knowledge Mobilization, and United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Details and forms are now posted.

http://www.ckf14.org/funding/students/kstar

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Practicing New Skills and New Vocabularies: Reflections on Student Training in Knowledge Mobilization: Part 2 / Nouvelles habiletés et nouveaux vocabulaires en pratique : réflexions sur la formation des étudiants en mobilisation des connaissances (2 e partie)

Rachel Salt, Brianne Brady, and Anne Bergen, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph, www.theresearchshop.ca

Knowledge mobilization is an emerging field of practice, and there are currently relatively few explicit knowledge mobilization training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. However, this perceived gap is due, in part, to a naming problem – although relatively few students are aware of jargon related to KTT and KMb, students engage in KTT and KMb activities relatively often. At the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph, we are trying to overlay the vocabularies associated with KMb and KTT on student work related to curating, sharing, and exchanging information. In some cases, this takes the form of social media accounts, but this can also relate to logistics surrounding intra-organizational KMb – in this case, our in-house updates to graduate student interns. We present here two reflections on both beginning KMb work and labeling that work as KMb. This week we hear from Brianne Brady.

La mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) est un domaine qui émerge à peine dans le champ universitaire, et il existe à l’heure actuelle assez peu de possibilités de formation destinées aux étudiants des universités qui lui soient explicitement consacrées. Cependant, cette perception d’un manque est attribuable en partie à un problème de dénomination : bien que le jargon de la mobilisation, de la transmission ou de l’application des connaissances ne soit familier qu’à un nombre relativement restreint d’étudiants, ceux-ci mènent pourtant assez souvent des activités qui relèvent de ces domaines. À l’Université de Guelph, l’Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship s’efforce donc de recouper le vocabulaire de la mobilisation et de la transmission des connaissances avec celui de travaux d’étudiants qui portent sur l’organisation, la diffusion et l’échange d’information. Dans certains cas, cela prend la forme de comptes rendus dans les médias sociaux. Mais cela peut concerner également la logistique de la MdC au sein d’une même organisation, et prendre la forme, comme c’est le cas ici, des mises à jour que nous préparons à l’interne pour nos stagiaires des cycles supérieurs. Les deux commentaires que nous présentons abordent à la fois les premières étapes d’un travail de MdC et la reconnaissance de ce travail en tant que mobilisation des connaissances. Nous accueillons cette semaine Brianne Brady.

Knowledge Mobilization Experience From an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective – Brianne Brady

University of GuelphI am a third year undergraduate Bachelor of Science student majoring in Psychology: Brain and Cognition with a minor in Family and Child Studies at the University of Guelph.  This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work as a knowledge mobilization assistant. I worked for an incredible individual who was passionate about her job as a knowledge mobilization specialist and explaining what knowledge mobilization is all about.

I worked for the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario. I facilitated the distribution of information and updates through email to graduate student interns. The graduate students were interns who volunteered about five hours a week in community-based research and knowledge mobilization positions. I compiled information about new and upcoming opportunities potentially of interest to the graduate students. I used email communication to transmit the information from those who sent it to me to those who could benefit from having the information.  The graduate student interns were sent information about upcoming jobs, volunteer positions, conferences and other opportunities in knowledge mobilization.

Working as a knowledge mobilization assistant, I gained many new experiences and new skills. My communication skills were enhanced through this experience as I used email communications to relay the information. My organization skills improved through my experience this summer as I had to organize the information is a coherent manner. I gained a basic understanding of the importance and advantages of sharing knowledge and research between individuals and organizations. I learned how to effectively compile information and organize the information. I gained skills in knowledge mobilization and I gained skills in understanding how to connect people and information.

Through my experience as a knowledge mobilization assistant, I gained a basic understanding of the importance and advantages of sharing knowledge and research between individuals and organizations. This summer, I experienced the bridging of the gap between knowledge and application. Working as a knowledge mobilization assistant I also gained a better understanding of the opportunities available within my field of study. This experience allowed me to discover knowledge mobilization as an entire new field of work that I did not previously know about. I discovered this interesting field which I might now purse as I further my education. Knowledge mobilization is an amazing area of work because it helps bridge the gap between people and information as well as it connects people. I learned about how when people share information it creates a community of people and everyone within the community benefits from the information sharing. When people share information everyone involved benefits from the connections and information and this I learned through my experience as a knowledge mobilization assistant this summer.

This experience was truly an enriching experience and the best experience I have had thus far in my undergraduate degree.

Practicing New Skills and New Vocabularies: Reflections on Student Training in Knowledge Mobilization: Part 1 / Nouvelles habiletés et nouveaux vocabulaires en pratique : réflexions sur la formation des étudiants en mobilisation des connaissances (1re partie)

Rachel Salt, Brianne Brady, and Anne Bergen, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph, www.theresearchshop.ca

Knowledge mobilization is an emerging field of practice, and there are currently relatively few explicit knowledge mobilization training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. However, this perceived gap is due, in part, to a naming problem – although relatively few students are aware of jargon related to KTT and KMb, students engage in KTT and KMb activities relatively often. At the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph, we are trying to overlay the vocabularies associated with KMb and KTT on student work related to curating, sharing, and exchanging information. In some cases, this takes the form of social media accounts, but this can also relate to logistics surrounding intra-organizational KMb – in this case, our in-house updates to graduate student interns. We present here two reflections on both beginning KMb work and labeling that work as KMb. This week we hear from Rachel Salt and next week we will hear from Brianne Brady.

La mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) est un domaine qui émerge à peine dans le champ universitaire, et il existe à l’heure actuelle assez peu de possibilités de formation destinées aux étudiants des universités qui lui soient explicitement consacrées. Cependant, cette perception d’un manque est attribuable en partie à un problème de dénomination : bien que le jargon de la mobilisation, de la transmission ou de l’application des connaissances ne soit familier qu’à un nombre relativement restreint d’étudiants, ceux-ci mènent pourtant assez souvent des activités qui relèvent de ces domaines. À l’Université de Guelph, l’Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship s’efforce donc de recouper le vocabulaire de la mobilisation et de la transmission des connaissances avec celui de travaux d’étudiants qui portent sur l’organisation, la diffusion et l’échange d’information. Dans certains cas, cela prend la forme de comptes rendus dans les médias sociaux. Mais cela peut concerner également la logistique de la MdC au sein d’une même organisation, et prendre la forme, comme c’est le cas ici, des mises à jour que nous préparons à l’interne pour nos stagiaires des cycles supérieurs. Les deux commentaires que nous présentons abordent à la fois les premières étapes d’un travail de MdC et la reconnaissance de ce travail en tant que mobilisation des connaissances. Nous accueillons cette semaine Rachel Salt, et la semaine prochaine, Brianne Brady.

Social Media and Knowledge Mobilization: A Graduate Student’s Perspective – Rachel Salt

When I was offered a position to manage two professional twitter accounts I was very grateful and excited; but I was also intensely fearful and a bit of a skeptic.  Before I jump into my experience as a Social Media Manager, some background on the programs I tweeted for:

University of GuelphAs a graduate student at the University of Guelph (and former undergraduate student) I wanted to find ways to help give back to the city that had given so much to me, so I began interning at the Research Shop.  The Research Shop acts as a portal between community and university research needs, where interns work with community partners to identify and address problems, which range from sustainable food to transforming social systems.  The Research Shop operates under the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (ICES).  ICES builds capacity for community-engaged scholarship by strengthening faculty and student engagement with local, national and international communities of interest, addressing faculty reward and development, and training faculty and students in knowledge mobilization.

After a year of interning, I was offered a position to manage the accounts for the Research Shop (@Researchshop) and ICES (@ICESGuelph).  I was so excited by the opportunity, but nervous as well.  I had never sent a tweet in my life!  What was the purpose of hashtags?  What did RT and MT mean?  I was also nervous about the position because I was honestly a bit skeptical about Twitter itself – wasn’t that just a place for celebrities to pick fights with one another, or a place for people to broadcast the restaurant they were eating at?

Before I started to write tweets I did some preliminary research.  I quickly discovered how my constricted assumptions about what Twitter is were way off.  There are social media ethics, strategies, proper tone, how often to tweet, what to tweet, and when to tweet.  Twitter is serious business.

twitter birdMy first few tweets took an embarrassingly long amount of time to construct.   I had so much I wanted to say and so little space to say it.  However, the learning curve was not too steep and I soon began to get the hang of it.  My boss and knowledge mobilization guru, Dr. Anne Bergen, set me up on HootSuite a social media management site.  For me, this made tweeting a lot easier.  I liked being able to schedule when my tweets went out, for example, if I found an interesting article on community engaged scholarship Sunday night I could schedule a tweet to go out at a higher traffic time on Monday morning (I learned that the best times to send academic tweets are between 10-11AM and 2-3PM – which happens to coincide with a lot of people’s coffee break!). Using HootSuite I was able to track the mention of relevant hashtags on twitter, such as #KMb, #CES, or #KTT.  I also liked that I could attach pdf’s and word documents.  I stopped thinking about tweets being only 140 characters of information and started thinking of them as 140 character bylines leading readers to find out more.  Before this experience I was unfamiliar with the terms ‘knowledge mobilization’ and ‘knowledge translation’.  Through this experience I have gained a much better grasp of what this is (via ‘following’ professionals in the field and reading the articles they share), and I’ve also realized what an effective knowledge mobilization tool social media can be.

This experience taught me so many different things.  I became more aware of events and activities going on in my community and started to hear about conferences, people, and organizations from around the world, which in the past I had not known existed.  Twitter is also an excellent format to share grey literature and update people on how a project is progressing.  In my personal life I find myself using twitter as my first source for news updates.  I’ve even started my own semi-professional personal twitter account, which I use to follow people I admire, look for work, and share information about projects I am involved in.  As a recent graduate and on the hunt for full-time work, I’ve been shocked at how many positions require professional experience in social media.  This speaks volumes about how important an effective social media presence is, and how former skeptics like me can no longer ignore this powerful tool.

Meet a Mobilizer – Sabah Haque / Faites la connaissance d’un agent de mobilisation – Sabah Haque

Sabah Haque, RIR – York

This past summer, the KMb Unit at York University was fortunate enough to work with three excellent students. Sabah Haque, a fourth year student in York’s Schulich School of Business, worked as a Research Translation Assistant developing ResearchSnapshot research summaries. She shares her story in this post.

Au cours de l’été, l’Unité de MdC de York University a eu la chance de travailler avec trois excellents étudiants. Sabah Haque, une étudiante de quatrième année à la Schulich School of Business de York, a travaillé au développement des résumés de recherche en langage clair (ResearchSnapshot) à titre d’Assistante à l’adaptation des recherches.

Sabah Haque

As long as there is a worthy cause, I’m in. I have a passion for working with growing organizations, especially when their objective is to create positive social change.  I enjoy using my strengths to do the groundwork and drive the mission forward. This summer, I jumped at the chance to join the KMb Unit at York because the work involved my passion and best skills all in one. Knowledge mobilization has given me the opportunity to use written communication for social innovation. I highly value being able to do work towards community well-being. At the KMb Unit, I contributed to the development of our repository of clear language ResearchSnapshot summaries.

The focus of this summer’s summary development was around Poverty Eradication. I collected research and examined poverty from a variety of perspectives, such as health, inequality, public policy, business and corporate social responsibility, homelessness, and social work. My interests in different subjects like the sciences, humanities and business proved to be an asset in my work because I summarized research from several unique disciplines.

Not only did I get the chance to learn a lot, but most importantly, I was also able to spread the knowledge. Through my work as a Research Translator, I sought to provide holistic insight on the root causes of poverty in Canada and around the world, so that research users can make informed decisions in the effort to eradicate poverty.

I believe knowledge mobilization is an effective method for bridging the gap between research and practice. I hope that the KMb unit continues to make greater impact in the years to come.

A Summer of Clear Language Summaries Ahead! / À venir, un été rempli de résumés de recherche en langage clair

This summer, our writing team at York University has started working on brand new clear language summaries. Look for new, upcoming ResearchSnapshots to be developed around the topic of Poverty Eradication.

Cet été, l’équipe de rédaction de l’Université York a déjà commencé à travailler sur de tout nouveaux résumés de recherche en langage clair. Ne manquez pas les prochains ResearchSnapshot qui porteront sur le thème de l’éradication de la pauvreté.

This summer, the writing team at the KMb Unit at York are back to begin drafting a new set of ResearchSnapshots for our readers!  The theme for us this year is Poverty Eradication.

The initiative stems from York University’s partnership with the United Way of York Region (UWYR) in making KMb a crucial process for community engagement.  Between 2001 and 2006, growing trends have been identified in York Region.  There has been a 55 percent increase of low income earners, while the gap between high and low income earners continues to widen. This includes a 62 percent increase in the number of children living in low income households.

According to the Canadian Make Poverty History Campaign, more than 3.5 million Canadian live in poverty and the numbers are growing for youth, workers, young families, immigrants and people of colour. The world has enough resources, money and technology to end poverty, yet about 1.7 billion people worldwide continue to live in extreme poverty.

A part of the UWYR’s Community Investment Priorities seeks to support peoples’ transition from a life of poverty to possibility. But what exactly is Poverty Eradication?

Poverty is the lack of basic needs, with the experience of low income, education and health.  It also involves the lack of opportunity or capacity to improve one’s life. By analyzing the causes that create these living conditions, poverty eradication seeks to create change and eliminate these underlying causes.

As you will find over the summer, researchers at York and our partner RIR universities have much to offer in the areas of poverty, education, housing and economic vulnerability.  We have two very enthusiastic and dedicated mobilizers in the process of seeking research expertise and developing ResearchSnapshots: Sabah Haque and Paula Elias.

Sabah Haque: Currently, I am a business student at Schulich, and I have dedicated my summer to a cause I really care about. I am pleased to be working with Knowledge Mobilization on the pressing issue of Poverty Eradication. My goal is to provide a wide range of perspectives on how poverty can be alleviated, by making current research accessible to anyone in the community. Research in the areas of social work, business, health and environmental studies (to mention a few) – all play a role in tackling the issues surrounding poverty. This summer, stay tuned to learn about the next steps you can take to put an end to poverty!


Paula Elias: As a writer for York’s KMb Unit since 2010, I have had the pleasure of working with many researchers and becoming a part of our efforts to mobilize knowledge.   As a non-profit worker and educator, mobilizing knowledge has enhanced what I do.   Addressing clear language and supporting accessible knowledge to my students and community partners are so vital, and I look forward to gaining another summer of experience here at York.

Clearly, another clear language summer/ Clairement un autre été en langage clair

York’s KMb Unit held its largest ever Clear Language Writing and Design workshop on May 9th. Workshop participants from a number of groups were excited to take away valuable insights they could apply in their daily work.

Le 9 mai, l’Unité de MdC de York a tenu son atelier de rédaction en langage clair, le plus important jamais tenu à ce jour. Les participants à l’atelier, provenant de divers groupes, ont été heureux d’acquérir des compétences dont ils pourront se servir au quotidien dans leur milieu de travail.

On Monday May the 9th, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit hosted its largest ever Clear Language Writing and Design workshop. The event brought together over 20 participants from a diverse spectrum of groups, all of whom were interested in discovering what clear language is all about and honing their writing skills.  The workshop was facilitated by Matthew Shulman, an adult literacy professional with the Peel Halton Dufferin Adult Learning Network. The event wasattended by the following groups:

  • Summer interns hired through the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change Public Outreach project.
  • Summer interns working with the Ontario Literacy Coalition
  • Knowledge Network for Applied Education and Research (KNAER)
  • Summer students from York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit engaged in research summary development
  • Staff from the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network(OMHAKEN).

The workshop consisted of 2 parts. In the first part, Matthew gave an overview of clear language principles and provided examples that demonstrated the value of “writing for the reader”. Participants in the workshop considered their different audiences related to their working research projects- stakeholders such as policy makers, adminstrators, practicioners and community members.  An engaging conversation emerged as to how to make research findings more accessible and relevant to meet the needs of each potential knowledge user through clear language practice.

The second part gave participants a chance to apply their newly acquired skills in a group writing exercise.  “[The workshop] was very informative and engaging” said Samuel Towe, a graduate student with York’s Faculty of Education, “[I] really appreciated the group exercise”. [The] participation of teachers was delightfully engaging and thought provoking” said another workshop participant in their evaluation form.   Continue reading

Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change – Internship Programme Competition

York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit is excited to announce the start of the graduate student internship competition as part of the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change Project.


The goal of this project is to make York climate change research and expertise more accessible to policymakers, so that academic research can better inform municipal level climate change decisions. The project is engaging the City of Toronto; the Regions of York, Peel, and Durham; the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), and the Association for Canadian Educational Resources (The Gateway Project). This project is generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Placement Details

  • There are a total of five internship placements, each valued at $10,000 (before deductions)
  • One internship (York Region) will take place from March to June 2011. The 4 remaining internships will take place in Summer 2011 (May-August).
  • There is one placement each with the Environment and Policy offices of:
  1. The City of Toronto (toronto.ca)
  2. The Region of Durham (durham.ca)
  3. York Region (york.ca)
  4. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (trca.on.ca)
  5. The Gateway Project

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be eligible to work in Canada
  • Graduate students (Masters and PhD) currently enrolled or graduates who have fulfilled all degree requirements after January 1st, 2011.
  • For the York Region placement, only recent graduates are eligible to apply (please see job description for further details)

In order to apply, please send your resume and covering letter to:

Andrei Sedoff,
Knowledge Mobilization Officer, Office of Research Services
asedoff@yorku.ca
416-736-2100 Ext 44310

Candidates are allowed to apply to multiple placements. Please indicate which placement(s) you are applying to in the body of your application Email. Candidates are strongly encouraged to prepare separate covering letters for each placement application. Interns will be expected to complete a two-page report at the end of their placement. Interns will also receive training in clear language writing and design.

The deadline to submit applications for the York Region placement is Monday, February 28th at 4:30pm. The deadline for the four summer placements is Friday, March 4th at 4:30pm. For more information, please contact Andrei Sedoff at the coordinates provided above.

You may access the job descriptions by clicking on the links below:

  1. The City of Toronto
  2. The Region of Durham
  3. York Region
  4. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  5. The Gateway Project

All applicants are also encouraged to attend the York University Climate Change Policy & Research Day. Full event details may be found here.