Knowledge Brokering with partners: building an integrated Knowledge Translation (KT) framework for Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grants on SARS-CoV2

Introduction/Program Need/Objective:

In Canada, a well-developed knowledge translation strategic plan has been mandated by the tri-council-funded research programs. The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) has a federal mandate to conduct knowledge translation in infectious diseases public health. To support these aims, NCCID collaborated as a KT partner in knowledge mobilization on four CIHR funded grants in February 2020, on various projects related to SARS-CoV2.

Program methods, activities, and evaluation:

A holistic knowledge translation action plan was developed to connect to diverse audiences and to offer a knowledge exchange opportunity for audience members for mutual learning. A variety of KT activities and tools were planned to share research outcomes, including infographics, whiteboard videos, webcasts, web-based, and social media platforms, adopting a newsletter as a dissemination tool, static resources, and peer-reviewed manuscripts. 

Program result or outcomes:

A dedicated web-based agenda was designed to share project updates periodically. For public health audiences in academia, peer-reviewed manuscripts were used to disseminate knowledge. To reach a wider audience on an ongoing basis, a social media campaign on LinkedIn & Twitter was mobilized to share the key findings from these projects. As an outreach activity, NCCID disseminated the outcomes of research using not just its electronic newsletter but also through the sister Centres. A knowledge-translation webinar was designed which was attended by a large audience. Short podcasts were developed to inform public health decision-making. Highly engaging tools such as visual art and infographics were also designed. A short case study to share the outcomes is in progress. Throughout this process, NCCID leveraged the Canadian National Collaborating Centre networks, and a newsletter, to disseminate research to wider audiences.  

Recommendations and implications for practice or additional research/Conclusion:

These varied and audience specific KT activities have enhanced the uptake of these research projects informing public health at all levels, from policy and practice to opportunities for innovation. By ensuring that research about SARS-CoV2 is disseminated widely, timely and concisely, this project has fostered exchange, dialogue, and the identification of knowledge gaps and inequities, increasing the ability of public health to respond to the pandemic. Lastly, this recognizes the challenges and barriers to partnership, anticipating stakeholders and community needs, readiness for change by connecting the right players with an aligned interest in infectious disease focus, with disease-specific and crosscutting themes. 

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