Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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Creating a Knowledge Mobilization Network (NCE-KM)

Research often leads to new knowledge, better ways to do things, and new ways of solving problems. But the usefulness of this research will be limited unless it can reach those who can actually put it into practice.

NCE-KMs seek to put existing results into practice. They feature collaborations among academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations across many sectors, with a focus on the transfer and application of new knowledge that brings social, health, or economic benefits to Canadians.


What can an applicant do before the launch of a competition?

Engage with key individuals as soon as possible

  • In a strong NCE-KM application, the mission of the network will have been established by consulting with both:
    • the end-user communities that can put research into practice; and
    • existing research teams in the proposed area of the network .
  • Problems, challenges, and opportunities will have been clearly identified. A strategy to mobilize the knowledge will have been created, with well-defined metrics and milestones established to track its progress. Moreover, evaluation of the knowledge uptake by end-users  is critically important to assess whether or not the knowledge mobilization strategy will result in the desired outcome: use of the research results by the broader community.
  • The area of the proposed network must cover the mandates of at least two of the three federal granting agencies: This link will take you to another Web site NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR.
  • When requesting a letter of support from any organization (including the proposed host, and other funding organizations), the applicant should provide reasonable deadlines for the organization to evaluate and negotiate the request.

The applicant should consider appropriate members and structures that will ensure strong governance and management

  • The proposed governance and management structures should be sound, with a team that has the necessary strengths to deliver on the objectives of the network.


What are common weaknesses identified by review panels?

At the Letter of Intent stage

  • There was no KM expertise evident alongside the domain expertise.
  • There is a lack of engagement of key organizations, stakeholders or end-users.
  • It is unclear how KM will actually occur.
  • The incremental impact and value of creating an NCE-KM is not clearly explained.
  • The governance structure is weak or unclear.
  • There is a lack of non-NCE financial commitments.

At the Full Application stage

  • The plans should be more realistic, particularly in light of the proposed budget.
  • The application does not demonstrate complementarity with the existing organizations in this field.
  • The KM plan was not sufficiently detailed to be convincing (how the NCE-KM's objectives would be reached was unclear).
  • Metrics or measurements were vague or non-existent.
  • The time commitments of the team were insufficient for what has been proposed.
  • Potential barriers to KM were not mentioned or addressed.


Helpful resources

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