Knowledge Mobilization at YorkU
Knowledge mobilization (KMb) services at York University are offered within three service streams: creating space; building capacity; and partnerships and collaborative activities. Each has unique activities that are designed to forge relationships between researchers, graduate students and their non-acdemic research partners.
- Click here to view a presentation outlining KMb services at YorkU
National leaders in knowledge mobilization (KMb), connecting research and people for social innovation.
The knowledge mobilization (KMb) unit at York University is a service unit that:
- Builds a culture of KMb
- Fosters collaboration
- Supports co-production of knowledge/research
- Connects policy and practice relevant research to decision-makers
- Develops and delivers tools for KMb
Our service unit is built on the following values:
- Respect - knowledge has many forms and origins, and flows in a two-way direction
- Wisdom - practice should be grounded in theory, and theory should be informed by practice
- Honesty - knowledge brokers should be impartial, client-focused, and honest
- Engagement - research engages with, and is responsive to, the needs of the partners
- Impact - real world problems require real world solutions
The knowledge mobilization (KMb) unit at York works to create space - both virtual and physical - in which people can engage in knowledge creation and usage. The three main initiatives for creating space are: Mobilize This!, KM in the AM, and KMb Expo.
Mobilize This!, a ResearchImpact blog from Canada's knowledge mobilization (KMb) network, offers an online space in which a growing community of knowledge brokers, policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, and others can participate in public discussions and share knowledge related to KMb.
KM in the AM
In partnership with York Region, and as a part of our Knowledge Impact in Society grant, the KMb Unit offers a monthly thematic breakfast that provides a space for Human Services Planning Coalition member agencies as well as York faculty and graduate students to meet and interact. Past topics of KM in the AM include: mental health; immigration and settlement; youth homelessness; arts and culture; recreation, sports, and leisure; literacy; and homelessness and poverty. York also hosts other research forums for researchers, graduate students and their non-academic research partners.
If you are interested in attending a KM in the AM or wish to explore a tailored research forum, click here.
Since 2008, the KMb Unit has held an annual Expo to celebrate the successes of KMb partnerships made between York University and York Region and to faciliate future collaborations between KMb stakeholders. The KMb Expo features presentations by keynote speakers, concurrent workshops, breakout sessions that follow-up on our KM in the AM events, and other opportunities for discussion and networking. Participants have come from York University, a variety of community organizations from across York Region and the GTA, municipal and provincial government agencies, and both York Region School Boards.
KMb Expo 2009: It's All About Partnerships
KMb Expo 2010: Bridging Cultural Boundaries: Push, Pull and Co-Production of Knowledge
Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) builds capacity to address the research and policy challenges of the twenty-first century. One of the key ways to build capacity is to train students, the leaders of tomorrow, to effectively link research to practices in policy and social programming. Involving students in KMb benefits students, universities, and communities. On an indvidual level, KMb can enhance student research skills, support opportunities for future employment, and encourage greater civic engagement. Student involvement with KMb can also bolster the reputation of universities in their surrounding communities. It can foster greater transparency and respect between the cultures of research, policy development, and professional practice. It can help communities by increasing the capacity of non-academic collaborators to address relevant issues related to policy and professional practice.
Since its inception, the KMb Unit at York has worked to engage students. It has provided clear language training to undergraduate and graduate students, enabling them to summarize the latest research and make key findings more accessible. In the summers of 2007 and 2008, the KMb Unit sponsored a number of four-month internships for graduate students to work in a community agency in a field related to their discipline of study. To-date the KMb Unit has successfully placed 24 students with community agencies to gain experience, build organizational capacity, and link research to policy and social programming.
The KMb Unit has also partnered with MITACS ACCELERATE, which connects the province's up-and-coming highly skilled researchers - graduate students and post-doctoral fellows - with Ontario companies through short-term applied research projects. For more information on how York's KMb Unit is working with MITACS ACCELERATE, please contact us.
Click here to view videos produced by KM Intern Diego A. Garcia.
KMb P2P Network
The KMb Peer to Peer (P2P) Network provides another way to build capacity. It brings together students, researchers, and community partners engaged in the active, two-way exchange of information and expertise between knowledge creators and knowledge users. Since its first meeting in 2008, the KMb P2P Network has included researchers with diverse interests such as homelessness and bullying. It has also involved numerous graduate students who, through grants made possible by the KMb Unit, now work with community agencies throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The KMb P2P Network continues to forge new relationships that will maximize the benefits of Canadian research.
Partnerships and Collaborative Activities
The Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit focuses on building partnerships and supporting collaborative activity in research. Some of the project partners with which we have collaborated and successfully connected York research and researchers are listed below:
- York Region
- Human Services Planning Coalition (HSPC)
- Inculsivity Action Plan (IAP)
- York Pulse
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH)
- Ontario Accessibility Directorate
- Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN)
- StreetKids International
- Click here to watch a video featuring Brent MacKinnon and Dr. Uzo Anucha discussing this project
- Social Enterprise and Development Initiatives
- Homelessness Hub
- Campbell Collaboration (C2)
York also has a program of Research Summaries that communicate the results of research to non-academic research audiences. These research summaries may be accessed through an online searchable database by clicking here. These summaries act as a calling card to organizations seeking research expertise.