When you work in the academic sector, and also care about what goes on in the world, frustration can set in. The research is fascinating and important, but too often it stays trapped within the academic bubble – accessible only to the few.
Increasingly, academic funding agencies want knowledge-makers to reach audiences through the creative use of multiple digital media – video, photography, podcasts, and social media platforms, as well as in more traditional forms.
But it isn’t just the medium that needs attention – it is also the message.
There is a pressing need to translate and re-package knowledge so that it can more effectively inform policy and debate. How can we communicate in ways that are clear and concise, without over-simplification? How can we make our findings compelling, interesting and useful? Who, exactly, are we trying to reach? What information do people need, and how can we help?
These are the challenges I took on in accepting a summer internship with the Centre for Global Social Policy’s SSHRC funded project Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care. In the academic world this work is known as the design and implementation of a knowledge mobilization and dissemination strategy. Our team consists of me – Phillip Mogodi – another graduate student intern named Ian Sonshine, and six undergraduate student research assistants under our supervision. We work under the leadership of Research Associate Dr. Deanna Pikkov and all of us are guided by Professor Ito Peng, the Principal Investigator of the project.
It is going to be an exciting summer! Keep an eye on the website for progress reports and updates.