RIPPLE is a program of research, training, and activities aimed at learning more about improving linkages between research, policy, and practice to accelerate impact in public services.

Mobilizing research to improve education

Ripple Projects

We use the term Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) to encapsulate the efforts of influencing empirical knowledge, program delivery, government policy and educational practice. Usually the program focuses on increasing research use in education, but sometimes projects extend to other public service sectors such as health and child welfare.

 

Measuring KMB and Impact

A study of KMb practices of SSHRC researchers Overview

This study explores KMb practices of SSHRC researchers across Canada.

A study of KMb practices of SSHRC researchers Research Design

This study used a survey to assess institutional supports for KMb as well as KMb practices of researchers.

A study of KMb practices of SSHRC researchers Findings

Few institutional supports are embedded at the institutional level, and those that are often not heavily accessed by researchers. KMb levels by researchers remain modest.

A study of KMb practices of SSHRC researchers Implications

There is capacity-building efforts needed for researchers and universities to be able to engage with KMb and increase the impact of their work with different stakeholdes.

A study of KMb practices of SSHRC researchers Publications

Journal Articles

Cooper, A., Rodway, J. & Read, R. (2018). Knowledge mobilization practices of educational researchers across Canada.  Canadian Journal for Higher Education, 48 (1), 1-21 [70%, 20% Rodway, 10% Read].

 

Cooper, A. (2017). How are Educational Researchers Interacting with End-users to Increase Impact?  Engaged Scholar Journal, 3(2), 99-122.

Research Brokers

Social Science Funding Agencies’ Support and Promotion of KMb and Research Impact: An International Study OVERVIEW

Funders are important drivers of priorities in research landscapes nationally; yet, little empirical work has compared their global roles in supporting and promoting knowledge mobilization (KMb). The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of the KMb policies and practices of social science research funding agencies in OECD and BRIC countries. This study is based on similar work conducted by Tetroe et al. (2008) on knowledge translation activities in applied health funding agencies.

Social Science Funding Agencies’ Support and Promotion of KMb and Research Impact: An International Study RESEARCH DESIGN

Our study provides an environmental scan of 39 Social Science Funding Agencies across 32 countries (Canada, USA, European Union, Australia, & New Zealand). We compared funders across 60 discrete elements organized by three major dimensions: (1) Conceptualizing KMb and Research Impact, (2) Requirements for researchers (At time of application, at end of study), & (3) Agency Initiatives (Funding, Services, Tools & Techniques, Linkage). We also explored how they evaluated the impact of their efforts. Spoiler alert: most don’t.

Social Science Funding Agencies’ Support and Promotion of KMb and Research Impact: An International Study FINDINGS

1) Rhetorical Commitment: Most funders (89%) show rhetorical commitment to mobilizing research as shown by their mission statements; however, very few have operationalized that mission through requirements for researchers or agency initiatives.
2) Lack of Clear Definitions: Only 8 funders (18%) had definitions of KMb or related terms; only 7 funders (13%) had definitions of research impact.
3) Modest Efforts in relation to Supporting KMb & Research Impact: Most funders (N= 34, 75%) scored less than 60% for their overall efforts to support KMb and research impact on the elements we explored.
4) Some Funders have Exemplary Efforts: Top scoring agencies including ESRC (UK) topping the list with a score of 95%, followed by SSHRC (Canada) and NWO (Netherlands) both at 83%, followed by Finland 72%, SSRC in US 67%, ARC (Australia) 65%, and DCIR (Denmark) 60%).

Social Science Funding Agencies’ Support and Promotion of KMb and Research Impact: An International Study IMPLICATIONS

1) Need for conceptual clarity so that universities and researchers understand how to operationalize and implement KMb and research impact mandates
2) We need to move beyond a “fund and forget” model, with sustained and targeted funding for dissemination and translation efforts AFTER empirical research has concluded
3) More capacity-building, coordinated at funder level, is needed to help universities and researchers meet new demands especially relating to working with non-academic audiences.
4) Funders could play an integral role in advancing the Science of KMb through making greater investments in studies exploring the effectiveness of different KMb strategies and indicators
5) Funders could be the hub where the public finds research through databases, stakeholder targeted short summaries, and videos that are created and uploaded with final research reports.

About Ripple

Our mission is to explore research use and impact from multiple vantage points and perspectives including research producers (funders, universities, researchers), research brokers (intermediary organizations and initiatives attempting to bridge the gap), and research users (practitioners, policymakers). We also explore how to measure and trace KMb and research impact in complex systems. We call efforts to integrate the use of research evidence in policy and practice knowledge mobilization. We also value the complementary knowledge and experience of practitioners and communities. To us, KMb isn’t only about research-informed practice, it is also about practice-informed and community-informed research. RIPPLE takes a whole system perspective on school improvement. As such, we seek to support capacity-building for different stakeholders around KMb and research impact. We truly believe that it is only through engaged scholarship and working together that we can tackle the complex challenges of the twenty-first century and the rapidly changing demands of our global society.

meet the team

Amanda and her stellar team of graduate students works out of the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University.  Our expertise includes mixed methods research production, knowledge mobilization and translation, research impact, and working with multi-stakeholder networks to improve public services using research evidence.  We want to work with funders, researchers, practitioners, students, knowledge brokers, and policymakers to make the world a better and more equitable place.

Dr. Amanda Cooper

Founder & Principal Investigator

Amanda is an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership.  Her passion is chasing the ever-illusive research impact alongside diverse stakeholders to improve classrooms and schools for students, teachers, principals, and communities.

Dr. Samantha Shewchuk

Program Manager

Samantha is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Research Use in Education at the University of Delaware. She is currently working on a project which will expand our understanding of how brokerage influences research use and how to leverage brokerage to better support ties between research and practice.

Stephen MacGregor

Project Manager

Steve, a CGS SSHRC funded doctoral award recipient, researches how problem-based inquiry approaches help pre-service teachers learn.  His PhD work will explore research impact networks in higher education.

Featured Resources

Please check out our resources to support your KMb planning and research impact!

Amplify Research Impact

Guidebook for Researchers

Guidebook for researchers summarizing over 80 resources to support KMb...

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Assess Resarch Impact

Taxonomy of Indicators for Social Sciences

A taxonomy of over 400+ research impact indicators!

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Planning Guide

Systematic Planning for Knowledge Mobilization

A KMb planning guide using three approaches to build KMb/KT...

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