Research Impact Canada (RIC) is a member driven network designed to build institutional capacity for knowledge mobilization and research impact by sharing policies, practices, and services for research institutions across Canada. We started out as two institutions in 2006. This month we welcome three more institutions making us 23 universities and one non-academic institution – our first non-university member.
From Quebec to Alberta, RIC is pleased to welcome three new members:
- Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
- Athabasca University, Canada’s online university based in Alberta.
- Ontario Shores, a mental health hospital with a strong commitment to research and knowledge translation
“Concordia University is excited to join Research Impact Canada and looks forward to opportunities to contribute to, and benefit from, a community of practice dedicated to increasing the impact and reach of academic research,” says Monica Mulrennan, Associate Vice-President, Research (Research Development & Outreach), Concordia University. “We believe the skills, resources and networks in knowledge mobilization available through RIC will greatly enhance our capacity to support the work of our faculty, students and research partners.”
RIC Governance Committee has debated opening up membership to organizations with a research and knowledge mobilization mandate for a couple of years, but we have always deferred the decision. About 6 months ago, a member from UQAM reminded us that diversity is a benefit and that tipped the scales allowing us to decide opening membership too up to three non-academic institutions. We are delighted to welcome Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences as our first non-academic member. While knowledge mobilization is important to all research at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences their commitment to patient and family engagement in research is an ethos of their research programs.
“The research program at Ontario Shores largely focusses on applied research advancing service users engagement, a culture of innovation and discovery. We intend to develop an integrated knowledge mobilization model that directly engages clinicians, our service users and their families, and communities that we serve, in driving clinical practice change and support evaluation of impact on quality of care and user-experience,” says Sanaz Riahi, Vice-President, Practice, Academics and Chief Nursing Executive at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. “We are excited to fully engage as a RIC member and use this as a fulcrum to becoming a leader in demonstrating research and clinical impact, and in mental health advocacy.”
And finally, our first fully online member (who naturally managed the pivot to COVID since they were already online) is Athabasca University, Canada’s online university. Athabasca University has an Associate VP for research and an active knowledge mobilization capacity. Looking at knowledge mobilization as an essential component of research and being experts in delivering content online, RIC membership is growing in diversity of knowledge mobilization practices for the benefit of all RIC members.
Dr. Andrew Perrin (Associate Vice President, Research, Athabasca University) says, “As Canada’s only open and online university, Athabasca University is committed to minimizing barriers to knowledge and maximizing opportunities for research impact and uptake within and beyond the academic guild. Athabasca University’s commitment to open-access publication is paired with priorities on making research outcomes accessible, engaging, and relevant. As a member of Research Impact Canada, our academics and research support roles look forward to drawing upon and contributing to the Research Impact Canada community of practice.”
RIC is delighted to welcome these three new members. As a community of practice with a lens on institutional capacity to support knowledge mobilization I am confident that RIC members will benefit from the experience of Concordia University, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Athabasca University as much as they will benefit from the current 21 members.
Diversity rocks in the world of knowledge mobilization!