Knowledge mobilization starts as soon as someone has an idea. Your community research partners need to help shape the research questions. In fact the best research questions come from community partners, not academics.

Look at the big picture. Remind yourself the point of the research, the people who have the power to effect change and how to get them involved or quickly get the research results to them in the form they want.

Humility is key in working with community partners. Ask a student to time how many minutes you talk in meetings versus how many you listen.

Build in flexibility: When better ideas emerge from your interaction with community partners, amend your original plan.

Keep research presentations simple: Don’t use words that the least educated people in your audience wouldn’t use in everyday conversation. After explaining research ideas or results, ask someone in the audience privately to feed back to you in their own words what you just said as a test of whether you’re communicating effectively.

Pair up: Try to always make presentations with a community partner.

Maintain a current website. The University of Manitoba provides web space for every faculty member. ( If you don’t know how to use it or don’t have time, hire a student research assistant to continually refresh your page.

Follow up: Knowlege mobilization does not end with publication. It ends when you see change.

Let go: When your partners take credit for the work, you know it’s a real partnership.

Useful websites:


Knowledge Translation Toolkit

Knowledge Translation Canada (health care)

Defining knowledge translation

Academic presentations

Getting published