Spotlight on: Knowledge Translation

The MSSU supports researchers, trainees, policy makers, patients, and community members across the Maritimes with all aspects of patient-oriented research. This new Spotlight Series introduces each of our available support areas, beginning with knowledge translation (KT).

What can KT do for your research?

Simply put, KT is the process of putting knowledge into action. KT encourages you to consider why you want to disseminate your research findings (e.g. KT goals), as well as how you intend to do this and to whom (e.g. the most appropriate way of getting your research findings into the hands of those who can use it). You can also take an “integrated” approach to KT and focus on relationships and knowledge co-creation – in other words, building mutually beneficial partnerships between the producers and users of new knowledge. Integrated KT allows for knowledge user input in the framing of a research question, project or funding proposal, as well as throughout the various stages of a project from data analysis to dissemination. This involvement is thought to improve the likelihood that research will be taken up in practice and ultimately have an impact, in part because the research is of direct relevance to its end users who have been fully invested in its production.  

KT can include publishing a paper, presenting at a conference, or preparing a grant proposal, with the goal of informing future research and advancing your science. It may also involve producing plain language summaries, reports, policy briefs, notes, products, services, or tools to reach a non-academic audience with the aim of changing knowledge, awareness, behaviour, or practice. The best approach is the one that is the most appropriate for the research itself and those involved. Whatever your specific strategies and goals, thinking systematically through a KT plan can help you identify the resources you will need and any barriers or facilitators that may arise, in advance.

Knowledge translation is the process of putting knowledge into action. And we can help.

We are available to support your KT needs at any stage of your research process – from planning and grant application to implementation and evaluation. Typically, our support begins with an initial consultation to learn more about your research question and approach, as well as your specific KT-related needs. For example, we can help you identify your key knowledge user partners and develop a plan for engaging these partners throughout the research process (known as “integrated KT”). We can join in brainstorming appropriate ways of disseminating your research results to your target knowledge users (known as “end of grant KT”), as well as provide KT resources, tools, and capacity building opportunities.

To request support, click here to complete a research intake form.