KT Connects: A year in review

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Thank you to all who attended our KT Connects webinar series in 2020 and helped make it a huge success!

Although this year brought rapid and unexpected change to the world of research and knowledge translation, our slate of speakers delivered insightful and inspiring presentations on engaging patient partners, doing knowledge translation in a pandemic, engaging policy makers, and more.

We’re looking back at this year’s KT Connects webinars and summarizing key insights from each presentation. We hope you enjoyed the lineup of presentations, and hope to see you again in 2021!


Fostering an organizational culture of knowledge exchange: Insights into the journey for beginners - Karine Souffez (Associate Director at Knowledge Exchange Unit, UBC)

Want to build a culture of knowledge exchange at your organization? Karine Souffez recommends identifying priorities by focusing on enablers and barriers to change, and linking these priorities to a theory of behaviour change.

To learn how UBC has adopted these strategies and taken steps to foster an organizational culture of knowledge exchange, check out Karine Souffez’s webinar session here.

Recommended Resources:


Shining a light on the implementation to scale-up continuum: How does it apply to health promoting innovations? - Dr. Heather McKay (Professor at UBC)

Is your innovation adaptable and scalable? Are your partnerships formed early on, and are you providing continuous support and training? How does this fit into the current context? Dr. Heather McKay says these are some important questions you must consider for successful scale-up.

Learn more about implementation science and the scale-up process in Dr. Heather McKay’s webinar session here.

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Measuring the quality of patient engagement as partners on research projects - Dr. Clayon Hamilton (Research Fellow at UBC, BC Ministry of Health and Arthritics Research Canada)

“Meaningful patient engagement is planned, supported, valued, and conducted within a positive research environment, and is a rewarding experience for the patient partners”, says Dr. Clayon Hamilton. Evaluating the patients’ perspectives on their engagement is an important vehicle that can be used to move the quality of engagement from tokenistic to meaningful.

Curious to know how you can measure the degree of meaningful patient engagement in your research project? Dr. Hamilton explains how the PIER framework can help in his webinar session here.  

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How to do knowledge translation in a pandemic - Dr. Sarah Munro (Assistant Professor at UBC and Scientist at Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences)

“Your relationships with your stakeholders may look different right now due to the pandemic. You may be meeting less, or you may not be meeting at all, but now more than ever, we need to strengthen existing relationships,” says Dr. Sarah Munro.

To begin, she recommends starting a conversation with your partners to ask what their current priorities are, explore their capacity to participate in your project, and if they have a new priority, reciprocate and ask how you can support their work.

For more tips and strategies from Dr. Sarah Munro on how to do knowledge translation during times of pandemics, watch the webinar session here.

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Knowledge translation and behaviour change science: Building community in a pre- and post-pandemic world - Dr. Jasmin Ma (Post-doctoral fellow at Arthritis Research Canada and UBC)

What can researchers do to be good partners during a pandemic? Here’s some wisdom shared by Dr. Jasmin Ma and her research partners:  

  • Engage in each others’ worlds (engage early and often with your partners)
  • There is a tsunami of COVID-19 research happening. Ensure the project is beneficial for your partners and give them time to engage
  • Show compassion, kindness, and empathy to others as well as to yourself

To learn how you can build communities using knowledge translation and behaviour change science, watch the webinar session here.

Recommended Resources:

  • The How We Work Together casebooks provide examples of integrated knowledge translation (iKT) teams working in different contexts, exploring the challenges, benefits, and impacts of researchers and knowledge users working collaboratively.

Engaging with policy makers through media: A 101 for researchers during a pandemic - Dr. Michelle Stack (Associate Professor at UBC)

You are doing work that should influence policy. However, policy makers are unlikely to read your academic articles. Instead, Dr. Michelle Stack emphasises using media as a tool to share your expertise and research with policymakers during the pandemic.

To do this successfully, re-framing your research is central. Dr. Michelle Stack suggests framing your evidence and tailoring it to relevant policy challenges or current social issues. Use language that policymakers can understand, while ensuring your language doesn’t reinforce negative representations of systematically marginalized groups.

For strategies and advice for engaging with policy makers through media, watch Dr. Michelle Stack’s session here.

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Closing the gap: Using KT science to move physical activity research into practice - Dr. Sarah Neil-Sztramko (Academic Research Associate at McMaster University)

Research evidence itself is not enough to change practice or behavior. According to Dr. Sarah Neil-Sztramko, we need targeted knowledge translation strategies to close the knowledge to action gap. KT science can help examine which of these strategies would work, for whom, and under what circumstances.

Learn how KT science can help advance KT practice in Dr. Sarah Neil-Sztramko’s webinar session here.

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Co-creating dissemination materials with patient partners - Dr. Iva Cheung (Post-doctoral Fellow at UBC)

“The whole research system was simply not designed with co-creation in mind because patient partners were not part of building the system. Almost all words used in co-creation ends up being deficit-based instead of strength-based: even words like ‘inclusion’ and ‘empower’ could further the power imbalance,” says Dr. Iva Cheung. When engaging in co-creating, always be mindful of your language and how it may resonate with your patient partners!

For more important tips and approaches for co-creating research dissemination with patient partners, watch Dr. Iva Cheung’s webinar here.

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Beyond engagement: Towards community-based and community driven knowledge exchange in Indigenous health research - Jessica Humchitt (Indigenous Research Analyst at First Nations Health Authority, BC) & Katie Bauder (Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at First Nations Health Authority, BC)

Indigenous knowledge is diverse and there is a shared responsibility involved with its exchange. Jessica Humchitt and Katie Bauder share some of their reflections on how to meaningfully engage in knowledge exchange in Indigenous health research:

  • Examine your position and your reason for embarking on knowledge exchange with the community
  • Acknowledge and respect the historical impacts of research within Indigenous communities
  • Commit to meaningful and respectful engagement that transcend Western and colonial approaches
  • Understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach
  • Embrace the spirit of co-learning

For more insights on community-based and community-driven knowledge exchange, watch the webinar session here.

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