Bridging the gap between research, policy and practice: The importance of intermediaries (knowledge brokers) in producing research impact

Event: Conference
Date: 07 Dec 2011 09:30
Start date: 07 Dec 2011 09:30
End date: 07 Dec 2011 17:30

Organised by: ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum, College of Humanities & Social Science, University of Edinburgh

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Call for workshops, panels, papers and posters

“Knowledge brokers” are intermediaries whose role is to promote the use of academic research by non-academics, including policymakers, professionals, charitable organisations, business, industry and the general public. Knowledge brokers can be individuals or whole knowledge exchange units. Within universities in the UK, many social science departments and research centres are now employing dedicated knowledge exchange staff to ensure their research creates an impact in the outside world. These staff may be called knowledge exchange managers, knowledge exchange coordinators or knowledge exchange officers. Alternatively, their job titles may refer to communications, policy, research dissemination, engagement or outreach.

This event will focus especially on knowledge brokerage in the social sciences. It is designed to encourage dialogue between knowledge exchange practitioners and organisations, and researchers who study knowledge exchange. The number of knowledge exchange staff in universities is increasing as a result of government policies prioritising the impact of research. However, many of these staff are isolated and there is a lack of clear guidance and evidence for this emerging profession. This event aims to redress that deficit by sharing expert knowledge and best practice in relation to knowledge brokerage.

Who should contribute

  • Knowledge exchange staff, managers and directors in higher education (knowledge exchange officers and managers; communications and policy staff; Deans of research and knowledge exchange)
  • Researchers studying knowledge exchange and research use
  • Knowledge brokers outside academia (eg, working in government)
  • Higher education and research funders and policymakers
  • Social science researchers with an interest in how their research is used outside the academy
  • Anyone who uses academic social science research in a non-academic setting (government, voluntary sector, business, etc)

Form of contributions

Proposals may relate to any aspect of knowledge brokerage – the facilitation of knowledge exchange by intermediary individuals or organisations. We are keen to include contributions from both knowledge exchange practitioners and researchers – for instance, project presentations and case studies as well as traditional academic papers.

Submissions may include proposals for:

  • Posters (research or project)
  • Individual presentations (can have multiple authors)
  • Panels (3-4 presentations around a single theme)
  • Roundtables (informal discussion with several leaders on a particular topic)
  • Workshops (interactive session providing some training and opportunity for collective thought and creativity)

The focus of this event is knowledge exchange in the social sciences, but there will be sessions available for discussion of knowledge exchange in other fields (for instance, the sciences, arts and humanities). You are encouraged to submit a proposal no matter what discipline you work in.

Submission process

Please complete the proposal form below and email to Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2011. Submissions will be acknowledged via email within 2 working days. If you have not received an acknowledgement within this timeframe please contact us to confirm receipt. You will be notified of whether your proposal has been successful by 31 July 2011. Online event registration will be available after this date. There will be no charge for registration.

Bridging the Gap – Proposal Form (DOC, 28 KB)

Bridging the Gap – Call for Papers (PDF, 194 KB)
Further details:

Dr Christine Knight BA(Hons) PhD
Policy Research Fellow
ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum
College of Humanities and Social Science
University of Edinburgh
St John’s Land, Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AQ

Tel: 0131 651 4743