Signals Blog

You’re back! Whether you stumbled onto this post or you sought it out following my introductory blog about Knowledge Translation (KT), I’m just glad you’re here.

Now that you understand what KT is (hint: click on the link above if you need a definition) and why it’s essential that academics share their findings in a way that is easily understood by the public and policy makers, here are some points to consider to improve the use and impact of your academic research[1]:

  • Academic research must be accessible to be influential.
  • Spend time on building and maintaining relationships with key audiences.
  • Find out how your stakeholders want to receive information and stay in touch.
  • Create opportunities for networking between academics and public policy personnel.
  • It may take time for your findings to have a visible impact on policy decision-making, but it is still valuable and is contributing to a larger body of research.

The first point speaks directly to the method and medium you choose to share your findings. There are a variety of tools to choose from to facilitate KT in user-friendly ways. One of those tools is video and we know how popular they are – over one billion YouTube users are testament to that. Here’s a simple to follow (simplistic?) and funny example of KT that currently has almost 4 million views – a definite success from the metric of dissemination. The fact that so many media outlets have written about the video – both for and against its effectiveness – is also a tribute to how well it works in generating discussion.


So now you know what KT is and even have an example of how to go about doing it. Maybe you’re ready for a deeper dive. Your options are to take a course like this one or check out different training options here.

To wrap up, the following groups (not an exhaustive list) are experts in KT/knowledge mobilization. Their websites are loaded with information and more opportunities for learning:

As KT guru David Phipps always says, happy mobilizing!

Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at) We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

[1] These points come from a blog offering key findings from an Australian survey. The authors offer suggestions on how to improve partnerships between academics and public sector staff, as per the content above. Click here to read the full post on the LSE Impact Blog, published by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.