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.

Researchers

CITED: Partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations OVERVIEW

CITED, funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, creates KMb podcasts by blending the expertise of researchers, journalists, and community members to inform debates on important societal issues. This study investigated the tri-partite model of CITED (research-community-media) as mechanism for science communication with the public.

CITED: Partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations RESEARCH DESIGN

We conducted 16 semi-structured, 60-minute interviews with three groups involved in CITED: researchers, community members, journalists and the members of the production team using a common interview protocol to answer the following research questions:
1) How do different values of media, community members, and researchers affect co-creative processes of developing KMb products tailored for the public?
2) What are the facilitators and barriers to researcher-community-media partnerships?

CITED: Partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations FINDINGS

Data analysis is currently underway. Check back soon!

CITED: Partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations IMPLICATIONS

Data analysis is currently underway. Check back soon!

CITED: Partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations PUBLICATIONS

Research Design
Cooper, A. & MacGregor, S. (2018). Coding Manual: CITED – partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations. Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada: A RIPPLE Research Report.

Conference Presentations and Papers
Cooper, A. & MacGregor, S. (2017) Leveraging knowledge mobilization efforts in the media: Creating partnerships between researchers and journalists. Paper presented at CSSE, Toronto, ON.

CSSE 2017 Presentation

CSSE 2017 Paper

Reports
Cooper, 2018. Summary: CITED – partnered knowledge mobilization between researchers and media organizations. Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada: A RIPPLE Research Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF REPORT

Journal Articles
In progress – check back soon!

Research Producers

Research Impact Projects OVERVIEW

We have conducted two related studies to explore research impact indicators and metrics.  The first explored research impact indicators in public service sectors, the second replicated this study to explore research impact resources for the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Toolkits and Publications arise from both projects. The purpose of the first study was to uncover resources and indicators that researchers and non-academic stakeholders could use to improve their knowledge mobilization efforts.

Research Impact Projects Research Design

Both studies used the a slightly modified conceptual framework and explored research impact indicators by country, field, sector, type, and agency. Both also used environmental scanning methods to uncover research impact resources, based on the CAHS (2009) process to create a preferred list of impact indicators for the health sector:
(1) Is there a “best way” (best method) to evaluate the impacts of research and are there “best metrics” that could be used to assess those impacts (or improve them)?

Research Impact Projects Findings

(1) An explosion of research impact resources have arisen in the past decade
(2) The UK had the most research impact resources, followed by Canada, USA, Netherlands, and Australia
(3) Very few tools available to operationalize this work (less than 9% in both studies)
(4) Only 15% of the resources included discrete indicators or metrics to assess impact
(5) Focus is on quantity over quality, and on academic publications over other forms of dissemination

Research Impact Projects Implications

Good: Increased focus on KMb and impact can increase collaboration and visibility of research

Bad: Narrow views of impact and metrics (like bibliometrics) that vary widely by discipline disadvantage some fields

Unknown: It is unclear what effect funding systems tied directly to performance on research impact assessments (like the Research Excellence Framework in the UK) will have in the long term

Research Brokers

An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework OVERVIEW

The goal of this article is to provide a framework to help researchers think through which art forms might be appropriate to their research translation goals and what methods might assist them in tracing the impact of ABKT efforts.  Our ABKT planning framework is organized in relation to four dimensions: (1) goals of ABKT with target audiences; (2) art form, medium, dissemination strategies, and methods for collecting impact data; (3) partnerships and coproduction; and (4) assessing impact.

An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework Research Design

We have collated examples from research studies—primarily from our context of Canada, where ABKT has been developing a strong presence—to demonstrate how ABKT is currently being implemented and how impact data is gathered in the hope that describing these examples will prove instructive for researchers to think about their own research projects.

An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework FINDINGS

We have not yet tested the use of this framework, but hope to engage researchers about its use in future work.

An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework Implications

This framework can help researchers make their research more accessible and engaging using the arts!

An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework PUBLICATIONS

Reports
Kukkonen, T. & Cooper, A. (2017). Summary: An Arts-Based Knowledge Translation Planning Framework for Researchers. Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada: A RIPPLE Toolkit.

Blog

Kukkonen, T. & Cooper, A. (2018).  Four questions to guide arts-based knowledge translation.  Blog post: Integration and Implementation Insights.  Visit https://i2insights.org/2018/01/16/arts-based-knowledge-translation/

Journal Articles

Kukkonen, T. & Cooper, A. (2017).  An arts-based knowledge translation planning framework for researchers. Evidence and Policy.  Advance online version available.

Measuring KMB and Impact

A scoping review of research-practice-partnerships OVERVIEW

This study explores the literature on knowledge mobilization networks.

A scoping review of research-practice-partnerships Research Design

This study used a five-stage scoping review process to uncover 80 articles included in the final analysis.

A scoping review of research-practice-partnerships Findings

We propose a model for understanding the organization and work of RPPs emerging from our review. At the core lies shared goals, co-production, and multi-stakeholder collaboration organized around three dimensions:
(1) Systems and structures: funding, governance, strategic roles, policy environment, system alignment;
(2) Collaborative Processes: improvement planning and data use, communication, trusting relationships, brokering activities, capacity building;
(3) Continuous Learning: social innovation, implementation, evaluation, and adaptation.

A scoping review of research-practice-partnerships Implications

Our RPP model can be used to further study and/or build RPPs in K-12 education sectors.

A scoping review of research-practice-partnerships Publications

Report

Executive Summary – EN

Executive Summary – FR

Research Producers

A cross-case analysis of 44 Research Brokering Organizations in Ontario OVERVIEW

This study explored 44 research brokering organizations across Canada.

A cross-case analysis of 44 Research Brokering Organizations in Ontario Research Design

This study used website analysis, and a tool to measure KMb efforts to map the research brokering landscape in education in Ontario.

A cross-case analysis of 44 Research Brokering Organizations in Ontario Findings

This study contributes: a typology of brokering organizations, 8 brokering functions, and a paper comparing KMb efforts across four types of organizations.

A cross-case analysis of 44 Research Brokering Organizations in Ontario Implications

The brokering functions can be used by organizations and researchers to plan their research brokering efforts.

A cross-case analysis of 44 Research Brokering Organizations in Ontario Publications

Journal Articles

Cooper, A. (2016).  A tool to assess and compare knowledge mobilization efforts of faculties of education, intermediary organizations, ministries of education and school districts.  Brock Education Letter, 25(1), 1-18.  *While traditionally this journal is not peer-reviewed; this special issue was peer reviewed.

Cooper, A. (2014).  The Use of Online Strategies and Social Media for Research Dissemination in Education.  Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22(70), 1-27.

Cooper, A. (2014).  Knowledge mobilisation in education across Canada: A cross-case analysis of 44 research brokering organizations.  Evidence and Policy, 10 (1), 29-59.

Cooper, A. (2013).  Research mediation in education:  A typology of research brokering organizations that exist across Canada.  Alberta Journal of Education, 59(2), 181- 207.

Executive Summary