Knowledge Translation and Transfer

Image taken from above of people attending an event looking at booths and scientific posters

Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) is an information exchange process aimed at getting “science off the shelf” and into the hands of the people who need it. The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance defines KTT as the transformation of knowledge into use through synthesis, exchange, dissemination, dialogue, collaboration and brokering among researchers and research users.

While KTT is a growing field, the concept of taking scientific information and technology into the agri-food community has a long history of success in Ontario. Agricultural extension has played an important role in facilitating the development of the successful, innovative agri-food industry we enjoy today.

Recently, other research fields have developed an increased interest in ensuring scientific discoveries are transferred to the right people as quickly as possible, so the field of KTT is expanding rapidly. Other terms used to describe this process are knowledge translation (KT) and knowledge mobilization (KMb).

Priority-Driven. Designed for Impact. 

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance is committed to funding priority-driven, socially engaged research. To help connect research with the wider agri-food and rural communities, all projects funded through the Research Program must include a KTT plan.

KTT Best Practices

Growing Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) in Ontario

The Alliance has supported KTT in agri-food and rural research and enhanced KTT science since 2010. To help researchers maximize the impact of their work, we have put together a practical guide which provides a collection of best practices in KTT based on research supported by the Alliance. This resource guides researchers through the development of a KTT plan in a research project or a KTT-focused project or activity.

The best practices summarized in this manual have been applied by researchers to generate increased impact. A supplemental series of case studies showcasing the impact of KTT in the agri-food sector and rural communities is also available.

KTT Resources

Link to Agri-Food and Rural Link Program pageThe Agri-Food and Rural Link (AFRL) program was created in 2010 to help foster a culture of KTT and act as a bridge connecting University of Guelph research and researchers with OMAFRA staff and the wider agri-food and rural communities.

AFRL program staff now act as key brokers connecting researchers and stakeholders to help maximize the impact of research. KTT training and other services are available to U of G researchers, OMAFRA staff and applicable agri-food and rural community stakeholders. Visit the Agri-Food and Rural Link program page to learn more. 

In addition to the AFRL program, there are a variety of online tools and resources available to support the development of strong KTT plans. To learn more about designing and implementing a KTT plan, select a resource below. 

The OMAFRA-U of G KTT Toolkit contains helpful information on why you would want to develop a KTT plan, how to identify your audience(s), and what KTT activities might be suitable for your research project. 

Knowledge Translation and Transfer Resources

Resource Title Authoring Organization Description
Knowledge Mobilization Toolkit - Doing more with what you know Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health This toolkit will help you mobilize valuable knowledge and information in your community. It’s designed to inform and equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to mobilize knowledge and ultimately, improve outcomes for children, youth and families.
KTT Plan OMAFRA Research and Innovation Branch Developed by OMAFRA's Research and Innovation Branch, this template takes you through the process of creating a KTT plan for research proposals. 
Knowledge Translation Planning Template The Hospital for Sick Children This template was created to assist scientists in the development of a KTT plan.
St. Michaels Knowledge Translation Toolkit St. Michael's Hospital

Provides tools and tips to help maximize the practical impact of inner city health research.

The Knowledge Translation Toolkit: Bridging the Know-Do Gap International Development Research Centre Provides a thorough overview of what knowledge translation (KT) is and how to use it most effectively to bridge the 'know-do' gap between research, policy, practice, and people.

Clear Language Resources 

Resource Title Authoring Organization Description
National Institutes of Health Plain Language Training National Institutes of Health This training is offered to anyone who has an interest in public health and in providing clear and concise communication to forward that information.
Plain Language Checklist National Institutes of Health A plain language guide for reviewing your documents.
Reader-Friendly Writing Canadian Health Services Research Foundation A guide describing the 1:3:25 writing method.
Plain Language Guide US Department of Health and Human Services A guide for clearly communicating health information and improving health literacy.

Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) practitioners are members of a growing community. They are now found in a growing number of fields, from medicine to agriculture, and business to public policy. They share a commitment to collaborating to accelerate the movement of evidence into practice, and integrating end-users into the research process.

Building KTT Community Connections

The KTT Community of Practice (CoP) was established to share best practices, develop new skills and connect with fellow knowledge translation students and professionals. The KTT CoP is an informal group committed to bridging the gap between best available KTT evidence and practice. We focus on collaborating to create a strong community and advance research in KTT.

Community members include: the University of Guelph, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Gambling Research Exchange Ontario, Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Water Network.

Interested in joining? Contact KTT staff for more information.