In its role as the SPOR SUPPORT Unit for Manitoba, the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) brings together researchers and stakeholders to advance the science and practice of patient-oriented research.
Our focus for KnowledgeNudge is to share some of our local Manitoba talent working in the field of knowledge translation (KT), knowledge mobilization (KMb), and implementation science.
In this post, we interview Jill Condra, Program Officer of Research Partnerships for the University of Winnipeg’s Office of the VP Research and Innovation. Jill is the contact person at the University of Winnipeg for both Research Impact Canada and The Conversation Canada. Jill works with faculty from all departments in knowledge mobilization planning and professional development.
What‘s your background and how have these skills helped you in your current role?
Jill: “I have a Masters of Science in Clothing and Textiles from the University of Manitoba. I’ve instructed courses in this discipline at the University of Manitoba, University of PEI, and University of British Columbia. I’ve conducted research in costume collections in Canada and the United Kingdom that focused on the history of costume and material culture, so I spent a lot of time in museums examining very old clothes!”
And how does that connect to your current role at the University of Winnipeg?
Jill: “Communicating the results of my own research was my first KMb challenge and I experienced success disseminating research through museum exhibits and history books, including three library resource series (for ABC-CLIO in California) and one textbook and teacher guide (for Portage and Main Press in Winnipeg) in the area of historic dress and textiles (geared to interior design students).”
How do you describe what you do to friends and family?
Jill: “I have a job with two main roles. First, I assist researchers to prepare tri-council funding applications in all areas (i.e. SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR), and am the main contact for the Mitacs programs (management training fellowships in various disciplines) at the University of Winnipeg. I help with KMb and KT planning mainly at the pre-award stage, so my work focuses on building partnerships. Being the partnerships person in the research office I try to emphasize that the best knowledge mobilization comes from strong partnerships, where many people are out there sharing research findings and talking about their work.”
“Second, I manage the Knowledge Mobilization and Community Impact Grant, which is an internal University of Winnipeg grant designed to help researchers at the end of their projects with sharing their results.”
What advice would you give to someone just getting started in knowledge mobilization/translation in health research?
Jill: “Read as much as you can about KMb/KT practice. Find others who are doing the same thing as you so you can talk about the best and most effective ways/methods of communicating research and making an impact on all affected — from healthcare providers to patients and their families. Study what works well for others and be highly tuned in to the KMb/KT fails so you can avoid making the same mistakes. Be focused in your messaging and keep all the lines of communication with your target audience and partners wide open. Continue to build your audience, adding new and diverse voices to the group. You never know when something that seems out in left field will actually be your best conduit to creating impact.
“I realized that there is no research out there that cannot have an effective KM plan, no matter what area the research is in. There is space for all to communicate their results, and the impact it has on society may vary, but it is worth sharing to more than just the few you think might understand your intricate work. There is a lot of energy to be gained from finding audiences who think your work is relevant to their lives. These connections are good for society, and after all, that is why research is important.”
What is the most rewarding or unique project you have worked on?
Jill: “I’m most excited at the moment about working on KMb skill development with our researchers and promoting the benefits of a good KMb plan. I work closely with a great group of KMb practitioners through Research Impact Canada. We meet frequently to discuss issues of KMb that are faced at universities across Canada.”
Are there any key resources you’d like to share with other KT/KMb professionals?
University of Winnipeg’s Knowledge Mobilization and Research Impact Hub
Home | Knowledge Mobilization and Research Impact Hub | The University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg has identified research excellence, knowledge mobilization and research impact as one of its…
Learn about and access knowledge mobilization resources at the University of Winnipeg.
Institute for Knowledge Mobilization
Institute for Knowledge Mobilization
The event is on the 19th & 20th November and features over 20 speakers. This year we have strong themes of…
Led by Peter Levesque, the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization is a non-profit institute supporting people who work in mobilizing evidence into policy and practice, with a particular focus on social sciences. The site includes resources, career and networking opportunities, and events information (including the Knowledge Mobilization Forum).
Innovation York’s Knowledge Mobilization unit
Knowledge Mobilization | Innovation York
Innovation York's Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) unit is a national and international leader in knowledge mobilization…
The Knowledge Mobilization unit helps to create connections between researchers, community, and government organizations. The site features a description of services and knowledge mobilization resources.
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development
The Harris Centre
We link Memorial researchers with groups all over Newfoundland and Labrador, supporting active community engagement…
The Harris Centre supports active community engagement throughout the research process for Memorial University researchers and groups all over Newfoundland and Labrador. The site features key projects and reports that those working in knowledge mobilization can look to for inspiration.
University of Guelph OpenEd Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization
Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization | Open Learning and Educational Support
This program is offered by the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) in collaboration with Open Learning and…
This certificate includes three online courses and is designed for professionals working in social sciences, human services, and health sectors who want to build knowledge mobilization skills.
Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Community of Practice Journal Club: The Dos and Don’ts of Influencing Policy — A Systematic Review of Advice to Academics
New #KMb Journal Club: The Dos and Don'ts of Influencing Policy: A Systematic Review of Advice to…
Oliver, K. & Cairney, P. (2019). The dos and don'ts of influencing policy: A systematic review of advice to academics…
This is a good resource that is continually updated and expanded to include timely articles about KMb problems and solutions or simply things to keep in mind as you practice knowledge mobilization. It also links to other people who are also working in this area.”
Any final thoughts about working in Knowledge Mobilization?
Jill: “I am looking to start a Manitoba-wide community of practice group that can act as a resource for all of us trying to get the research produced by our organizations into the hands of the people who can use it and affect change. Anyone who might be interested in joining this group is welcome to connect with me at email@example.com.”
“While there are differences between KMb and KT, I think there is room for us to learn from each other about what works best and I hope to hear about other work in KT in Manitoba. Perhaps some of the challenges we all face can be better understood and solutions to challenges can be found.”
About the Author
Trish Roche is a knowledge broker with the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI). Her primary interests lie in advancing the science of knowledge translation, especially in the realm of basic biomedical science. Find her on Twitter @TrishMcNish.