How to build Your Knowledge
Translation and Transfer (KTT) Plan
Are you applying for a research project under through one of OMAFRA's
research programs? If so, you need to include a knowledge translation
and transfer (KTT) plan in your application.
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Why build a KTT plan?
Knowledge translation and transfer (KTT) is a new focus of OMAFRA's
research funding programs. A KTT plan is important to the OMAFRA
research funding process for the following reasons:
KTT is a:
- technique used to accelerate research into use for the benefit
of Ontario's agriculture, food and rural communities.
- time tested method. Starting in the 19th and early 20th centuries,
the concept of agricultural 'extension' successfully collected,
preserved and distributed agricultural science knowledge. The
international development field uses similar approaches.
- reflection of current priorities. Over the last ten years, research
has become more focused on addressing real world problems.
- tool to broaden the impact of research. It is a method that
bridges gaps between research and each of:
How to build a successful KTT plan
Deliberate planning is key to building a successful KTT plan. The
plan should be flexible so it can evolve as the research progress
evolves. The plan should also emphasize collaboration, partnership
and networks. It should embrace all potential audiences and approaches
of sharing knowledge. Involvement of the end user during the various
research stages and the KTT process is important; the earlier the
Successful KTT plans also require dedicated resources. A knowledge
broker (like OMAFRA staff) can help you share knowledge among researchers
and users. In the most successful KTT plans, the culture around
the research and its users is open, trusting, positive and sharing.
There is opportunity for effective knowledge exchange between research
users and researchers.
Aids to a successful plan
The following five questions will assist you in building a successful
What knowledge (or message) about your research will you transfer
- To whom?
Who would benefit from the knowledge produced by your research?
- By whom?
Who should transfer this knowledge to users?
What processes will you use to transfer this knowledge to users?
What is the expected impact of the your KTT efforts?
The above questions were adapted from work by John Lavis. We have
incorporated them into the KTT Plan Template
and KTT Plan Checklist below.
KTT is becoming an integral part of research funding programs.
Many research funding organizations now request a form of knowledge
translation and transfer plan and related budget to accompany research
proposals for funding.
KTT plan template
Developing a plan is a great starting point for researchers interested
in enhancing the knowledge translation and transfer (KTT) activities
of their research.
Three components of developing your KTT plan are:
- Target audiences -there could be more than one target audience
and therefore different research needs and varied KTT methods.
- Involvement of research users in the project - The earlier
- KTT methods (forms and types of communications venues, each
adapted to a target audience need), including general timelines.
Additionally, your KTT plan can include a fourth component which
explains how the different research users will each benefit.
Researchers are encouraged to use the template that follows in
preparation of their comprehensive KTT plan:
Research user groups/target audiences:
The research is important to _______________________________.
Example - OMAFRA policy staff, X industry representatives and Y
Involvement of research users in project:
The users of this research are involved in the implementation of
Example - industry X identified the need for the project and are
a part of the broader research team.
KTT methods (forms and types of communications venues),
including general timelines:
The research users will be communicated via the following ways:_______.
Example - annually, late winter, throughout project and for 1 year
following project completion; information exchange meetings, workshops,
presentation and Questions and Answers, trade publications, and
participation in theme-based research highlight days, etc.
Explain how users will benefit from the research*
The users benefit from this part of the research in this way_________.
Example - the successful research will result in the production
of a new variety of soybeans that are more resistant to pests. The
increased resistance to pests will enable soybean growers to increase
their crop yields and their economic return on investment.
*Researchers must include component number four in their
KTT plans when applying for OMAFRA funded research (this
requirement excludes research funded by the OMAFRA - University
of Guelph Partnership)
KTT plan checklist
Researchers are encouraged use the following checklist to see if
their research proposal has a comprehensive knowledge translation
and transfer (KTT) plan.
Note: the items in this list are guidelines only
Which of the three streams applies to your research: program,
policy and/or commercialization?
- Program: will the user(s) of your research
use the research to change a practice or implement a program?
- Policy: will your research user(s) use the
research to develop or modify policy?
- Commercialization: is your research contributing
to a product for the marketplace? Do you see intellectual property
(IP) potential? Do you have industry involvement / sponsorship?
Research user group/target audiences:
- Have you identified the potential groups/industry partners
who will likely benefit from your research (research user group(s))?
Who will you target?
- Do you know what each user group's needs are? Can your research
meet the specific needs of the user group(s)? (demand driven)
- Have you planned ways to involve the research users in your
- Are your users members of associations, partnerships or networks
that your research can link to?
- How will the research be used by the target audience(s)?
- Do you have letters of support from specific users/user groups?
If possible, include in the letter how they will assist in the
research's impact and/or dissemination.
KTT methods - information sharing activities:
- Have you described ways to involve your research user groups
in your research?
- Have you planned to inform the user groups on a regular basis?
- Do your KTT activities include venues/information products/
publications that the research user(s) will likely attend/apply/read?
- Do you have a budget for KTT activities?
KTT methods - collaboration (beyond the potential target research
- In your research team, do you work together with researchers
from other universities and research institutions? Which ones?
- Do you have an advisory/steering group in place? How often
does/will the advisory group meet?
- Are you collaborating with, or does your research team or advisory
group include, an OMAFRA staff representative (if applicable)?
- Do you plan to link with groups outside of your research team,
advisors and users to share, discuss, exchange knowledge?
Tools and Techniques- From Across the Different Sectors:
Translation 'Toolkit- Bridging the Know-Do Gap: A Resource for
Researchers, (ed) Gavin Bennett and Nasreen Jessani, Sage
India, IDRC/2011-05-13 (international development).
Water Network Advice from Research Users on Facilitating Research
Partnerships (natural resources and the environment).
Research to Practice: A Knowledge Transfer Planning Guide - Institute
for Work and Health (PDF 190kb - health care).
- Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Translation and Commercialization
Publications. This includes learning modules, evaluation information,
casebooks and other resources.
- Sick Kids
Foundation Knowledge Translation Training and Tools (health
- Research to Action.
Synthesis, Transfer and Exchange in Agri-Food Public Health: A
Handbook for Science-to-Policy Professionals
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