Community engagement, knowledge mobilization focus of Building Better Research workshops

The final offerings of the 2021-22 Building Better Research series will discuss community engagement in research and knowledge mobilization.

Offered jointly by the Brock University Library and the Office of Research Services, the Building Better Research professional development workshops series is dedicated to enhancing research efforts at the University.

Jayne Morrish, Knowledge Mobilization Officer, and Julie Gregory, Project Facilitator with the Office of Research Services, will co-present Community Engagement in Research on Wednesday, March 30. Morrish will also lead Knowledge Mobilization — The Basics on Wednesday, April 13. Both sessions take place from noon to 1 p.m. via Microsoft Teams and are open to faculty and student researchers.

“The sessions offer a practical introduction to the concepts of community engagement and knowledge mobilization, while discussing the tangible supports available at Brock,” Morrish said. “Community engagement and knowledge mobilization are becoming increasingly important in the research process, including grant writing, reports and professional development, so these sessions will be helpful for activities today and into the future.”

Knowledge mobilization is the process of connecting academic research or creative work with organizations, people or government to improve programming and outcomes, inform policy change and make real-world collaborative impact. Engagement with the community and knowledge-users is an important aspect of knowledge mobilization.

Examples of knowledge mobilization efforts include educational materials, public lectures and social media engagement that add evidence to strengthen research outcomes and engage end-user participation.

The session on knowledge mobilization will introduce participants to the concept, its history, and strategies for planning and engagement, while the session on community engagement will discuss the importance of authentic community collaborations, knowledge exchange practices and relevant resources.

“I imagine that on some level, every researcher became interested in their area of expertise to answer questions of importance, be that for the community as a whole, specific groups or even other researchers,” said Morrish. “Knowledge mobilization is a critical component to moving research findings into action with the individuals or groups that can use those findings.”

Morrish said community engagement session will encourage attendees to think about how and why they can engage with the community around research.

“I think it all comes back to the concept of ‘nothing about us, without us,’” she said. “Engagement with communities regarding research and knowledge mobilization that involves them is critically important, not only for carrying out research in ways that are equitable and meaningful, but also for mobilizing that knowledge with communities so they can use it to inform their decisions, behaviours and lives. Community members bring critical contextual knowledge for the research and knowledge mobilization process.”

Faculty members and student researchers interested in attending the Building Better Research workshops can register via ExperienceBU.

Those unable to attend the live events can watch a video recording that will be posted on the Research Enterprise SharePoint site shortly after each session.

A full listing of Building Better Research sessions is available on the Building Better Research web page.

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