What is Knowledge Exchange?

At the SCCJR our aim is to produce research which makes a difference. We aim to work with the public, communities and policy makers to help build a more just society by advancing understandings of crime and criminal justice. In order to do this, utilising knowledge exchange is key.

Knowledge exchange (sometimes known as knowledge transfer or knowledge mobilisation) is the act of communicating and sharing research and its findings to those who will directly benefit from and use that knowledge. Most importantly for the SCCJR is transferring knowledge to people and groups in the community who can then utilise this knowledge to make positive change. As the SCCJR are committed to collaborative working with various stakeholders from other higher education institutions to community groups, practitioners and those who have experience of the justice system – this exchange of knowledge is often embedded in research projects from the start. Equally as important is communicating research findings to policy makers to help influence law and policy which will ultimately make change on the ground level.

Why is Knowledge Exchange important?

Research can only be useful if its findings are shared and implemented to make a difference. In order for this to happen, we need to engage people and communities in the research and communicate findings in an appropriate and effective way. Ideally, knowledge exchange activities should be embedded at the beginning of a research project in the planning stage when you are thinking about who you want your research to help and why. This ensures that the knowledge exchange activities are authentic and effective in achieving the desired impact and will match the aims and objectives of your research.

Knowledge exchange is also important for building relationships inside and outside of academia which, in turn, opens new doors and helps increase the impact of your work. Knowledge exchange activities are also key when it comes to funding as there are various funding opportunities to help develop and deliver knowledge exchange activities and fund outputs as well as further research. It is also an essential part of the research process and can be used when writing Impact Case Studies for the UK Research Excellence Framework.

What does Knowledge Exchange look like?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to knowledge exchange and people are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to designing and delivering KE activities. These can include delivering a lecture, holding an exhibition to showcase research findings, a creative workshop, a podcast or a graphic novel. Here is an example of an SCCJR knowledge exchange project called ‘Life In Pieces’ to show how creative and effective visual knowledge exchange activities can be.

The most important thing is to think about who your target audience for the research is and tailor your knowledge exchange activity to them in order to maximise the reach and impact of your work. At the SCCJR we have a dedicated knowledge exchange officer to help you think about and design activities so please do not hesitate to get in touch with Karyn.Mabon@glasgow.ac.uk 

Knowledge Exchange Training Resources

In this section you will find useful links to knowledge exchange training sessions we have held as well as handy tips and guides on how to do knowledge exchange and track impact.

This section is a work in progress and we will be building up these helpful resources so please keep an eye out for updates. If you would like to get in touch with us about running a knowledge exchange training session please contact enquiries@sccjr.ac.uk

Here is a link to our recent training session on ‘How to Communicate with Policy Audiences’ with Nick Bibby, Director of The Scottish Policy Research Exchange (SPRE) and Amy Wilson, Head of Justice Analytical Services with the Scottish Government:

Helpful resources on this topic from SPRE:

Online training: https://spre.scot/how-to-get-started/

Join the network: https://spre.scot/the-brokerage/

Other resources: https://spre.scot/resources-to-engage…

There’s a short video on how to identify a policy questions here: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/67372…

Policy briefs https://blogs.lshtm.ac.uk/griphealth/… https://post.parliament.uk/how-to-wri…

Blogging https://spre.scot/blogging-for-a-poli…

How to Communicate with Policy Audiences