Research Assistant Reflection – Knowledge Mobilization

Christine Ackerley Knowledge MobilizationKnowledge mobilization is a verb, not a noun. It’s an ongoing journey, not the destination. That’s what I learned this year as a research assistant for the CFICE knowledge mobilization hub. I wrote articles and sat on committees. I helped with newsletters and assisted with knowledge mobilization resources. But more than anything else, I learned about the challenges to knowledge mobilization work.

The experience wasn’t what I expected. Academic timelines rarely align with community timelines. The impact of knowledge mobilization is hard to measure, so it’s hard to justify to busy campus and community partners. I found it challenging to identify the target audience for knowledge mobilization products. I also struggled to wrap my head around the complexity and breadth of the CFICE project.

But, I leave CFICE more passionate about the value of knowledge mobilization than when I started. I participated in C2UExpo, and met inspiring people who strive to make research more relevant and useful to those who need it. I researched knowledge mobilization in my undergraduate honours essay, where I studied SSHRC’s annual reports. And, I’m excited to continue learning about knowledge mobilization this fall as I start my master’s in communication at Simon Fraser University.

Each step along the path of knowledge mobilization is challenging. Sometimes even frustrating, slow, or uncertain. But I believe we can harness the power of research to support meaningful social change. And I know knowledge mobilization is a vital journey to take.

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