Q&A with Lupin Battersby, SFU’s new Knowledge Mobilization Officer
By Justin Wong
There is a lot of curiosity surrounding SFU Knowledge Mobilization, a university-wide initiative that is focused on growing Simon Fraser University’s culture of sharing knowledge and/or transferring it to end users in our communities.
SFU News recently sat down with Lupin Battersby, the university’s new knowledge mobilization officer, to discuss SFU’s Knowledge Mobilization Hub and the services available to the SFU community.
Battersby joined SFU in January 2020 from Fraser Health (FH) where she was a hospital-based process improvement consultant. Prior to that she was a knowledge translation specialist with the BC SUPPORT Unit Fraser Centre, a collaboration between SFU and FH, situated at the health authority.
In this Q&A Battersby explains how the SFU community can work with her team to share discoveries from our labs and classrooms directly with those in our far-reaching communities who may be impacted by social issues, and are searching for answers.
How does SFU define knowledge mobilization?
It is an intentional approach to facilitate two-way knowledge exchange between researchers and end users in our communities to enhance the real-world impact of our research.
What should the SFU community know about the university-wide initiative, SFU Knowledge Mobilization?
As one of our strategic initiatives, SFU Knowledge Mobilization aligns with the university’s vision of being a leading engaged university. We aspire to be a world leader in knowledge mobilization, building on a strong foundation of fundamental and applied research.
To advance this initiative, the university has created a Knowledge Mobilization Hub to expand and broaden the scope of our excellent knowledge mobilization resources and activities. I see the hub playing a pivotal role in growing the culture of knowledge mobilization at this university and I am excited to explore how I can support researchers with their knowledge mobilization goals.
SFU’s Knowledge Mobilization Hub is a partnership between the SFU Library and SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research. We are based in the SFU Library Research Commons, and provide support for all three of SFU’s campuses.
What are some examples around the university that exemplify knowledge mobilization?
There are many excellent examples of knowledge mobilization at SFU that we will be highlighting over the coming months. One that comes to mind is how SFU health sciences professor Scott Lear uses coordinated digital media platforms to inform the public of both his latest heart research and established good practices for preventing heart disease.
Another great example is the work of SFU linguistics and First Nations studies professor Marianne Ignace. The 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award recipient and her team have worked with B.C. First Nations to revitalize a number of Indigenous languages by creating apps, books, curriculum and community engagement activities.
What services do you offer as SFU’s knowledge mobilization officer?
I help provide a coordinated approach to growing the culture of knowledge mobilization at SFU by supporting, leveraging and expanding our existing knowledge mobilization resources.
As well, I support SFU researchers in both pre- and post-grant knowledge mobilization planning and facilitation, including letters of support.
And I offer tailored workshops on knowledge mobilization for labs, research teams and classes. The KM Hub is currently developing a program, with partners across all three campuses, on capacity and skill-building activities. It will be delivered on a regular basis.
And if you are looking for knowledge mobilization-related resources beyond what we have to offer, we will direct you to the right place for assistance at SFU.
What makes you passionate about your role?
As an enthusiastic lifelong learner, I enjoy working with researchers, learning about their work and getting them excited about sharing their knowledge. I believe the knowledge mobilization officer role is a natural fit for me. I have worked and studied on and off at SFU over the last 20 years at all three campuses, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for the SFU community.
My own knowledge mobilization journey began almost 20 years ago when I spent time working as a clinical counsellor and then later as a research assistant. It seemed to me that research and practice were operating in parallel, with limited interaction or understanding, and I wanted to bring them together. I have been practicing or studying knowledge mobilization ever since, mostly at SFU and Fraser Health.
What are your hopes and dreams for SFU Knowledge Mobilization and the Hub?
I hope that we can break down silos across units, really leverage our resources, and celebrate the successes of our research impact. I hope we can help expand and build on understanding and applying the principles of knowledge mobilization. And I dream that we develop a unique, accessible, engaging and sustainable knowledge mobilization resource that increases contributions to, and engagement with, our communities.
How can students, staff and faculty get involved today?
Get in touch! Email me any of your knowledge mobilization questions, or request a consultation. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Start exploring other SFU resources, such as registering for a Library workshop, connecting with your faculty communicator, or checking out the Media and Maker Commons.
Learn more about SFU Knowledge Mobilization and the Hub at www.sfu.ca/knowledge-mobilization.