Promoting the value of research, long after publication

Flinders Knowledge Exchange wants to create 'Agents of Change' to drive new ways of looking at research.
Flinders Knowledge Exchange wants to create ‘Agents of Change’ to drive new ways of looking at research.

Emerging researchers in the School of Health Sciences at Flinders University have been shown how their research remains a valuable resource beyond publication, at a Knowledge Exchange Workshop at the University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences today (11 June).

The half-day workshop, convened by Dr Christina Hagger, Senior Research Fellow and Knowledge Exchange Manager at the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS), was titled: Agents of Change: a knowledge exchange mindset for emerging researchers.

Dr Hagger said research was only a part of the answer for complex societal issues, which required real world as well as research knowledge.

“This approach is characterised by a sense of joint enterprise between researchers and research users, which allows researchers to appreciate the complexity of the world beyond academic circles, where their  research may have an impact,” said Dr Hagger.

The Knowledge Exchange workshop gave researchers insight into how political, organisational, personal and professional priorities and values can impact on their research – sometimes facilitating, or even hindering, its progress and implementation.

“This workshop aims to switch emerging researchers’ thinking to a knowledge exchange mindset and to introduce them to some tools and resources to help them,” said Dr Hagger.

“In addition, it aims to develop a cadre of what we’re describing as knowledge exchange  ‘Agents of Change’ among emerging researchers who seek to deliver better value from their research to improve health care outcomes.

“Basically, a knowledge exchange outlook encourages researchers to cultivate an outward facing perspective and develop a different set of skills to engage with research users.

“While effective researchers manage to develop a KE mindset over the length of their careers, it is rarely taught in the  research curricula of higher education institutions, and this is where the PHCRIS Knowledge Exchange team has identified a gap.”

The workshop was presented by Dr Hagger, Dr Jodie Oliver-Baxter, Dr Lynsey Brown and Ms Amanda Carne from the KE team at PHCRIS. Participants were welcomed by Dr Jessie Gunson from Social Health Sciences.

The perspectives of research users was delivered by two speakers: Kerri Kellett, Liaison Officer, Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development (PHCRED) at the  Department of Health; and Julie Marker, Chair of Cancer Voices SA.

Ms Kellett provided a policy maker perspective, while Ms Marker provided consumer insights.

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