Knowledge Mobilisation theory, practice and research

The Impact Accelerator Unit investigates and applies knowledge mobilisation theory in its implementation activities.

Knowledge mobilisation (also known as knowledge exchange, knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge brokering), is an active process that can transform health care through the mobilisation of knowledge across and between boundaries and silos.

It’s about making research evidence accessible, understandable and useful for stakeholders.

The aim of knowledge mobilisation is to stakeholders to work together to increase research-informed healthcare and health care-informed research.

By advancing our understanding of knowledge mobilisation, through knowledge mobilisation research and implementation science, we aim to improve the quality of the impact our research has by facilitating the connection between evidence-based findings and the needs of individuals and communities, thereby improving patient care.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in Knowledge Mobilisation

The Impact Accelerator Unit has a dedicated PPIE group for Knowledge Mobilisation called the LINK group (Lay Involvement in Knowledge Mobilisation), to ensure that patients and the public are meaningfully involved in translating evidence into everyday use. Members who join the LINK group bring personal and volunteering networks and experiences. Their skills and connections, which include national charities, local community groups, patient support groups, NHS organisations and volunteer networks, help to pro-actively support implementation activity. The LINK is coordinated by a  Knowledge Broker (Laura Campbell).

Linda Parton, LINK group, Impact Accelerator Unit, Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University


The LINK Working Party was established at Keele University in early 2016 to enable and support meaningful Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in the Impact Accelerator Unit, which aims to implement research evidence into real life healthcare practice. The group aims to facilitate the movement, or ‘mobilisation,’ of knowledge and evidence-based innovations into wider use, for the benefit of the wider community, nationally and internationally.

The LINK provides a proactive forum for implementation issues in alignment with NIHR INVOLVE PPIE standards, promoting the patient narrative throughout the whole research journey and using networks, skills and experiences to support task and finish groups in the transfer of research findings into practice.

The LINK Working Party brings together members of the patient groups and organisations to extend the reach of the IAU to as many people as possible.

One project that the LINK has been involved in is JIGSAW-E, a European EIT Health-funded project which was delivered by the Impact Accelerator Unit and supports self-management of osteoarthritis in five European regions (UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Portugal). 

Since 2016, JIGSAW-E has aimed to actively improve the lives of adults over 45 years old with osteoarthritis across Europe, by taking four innovations developed and tested in the original Keele University MOSAICS study and implementing them into real-world clinical practice.

These four innovations are:

  • The development of high-quality patient information - the osteoarthritis guidebook – created with patients for patients
  • A model osteoarthritis consultation
  • Training for GPs, physiotherapists and practice nurses to effectively deliver the model consultation
  • The development of measures of quality care

To enhance the rollout of the project in the UK the project model was adapted to support GPs, nurses and physiotherapists in delivering high-quality osteoarthritis care in their own contexts. Keele University Clinical Academic Physiotherapist, Jonathan Quicke, delivered the physiotherapy model in a rural Staffordshire Moorlands GP practice.  The LINK group suggested that in order for patients to know that the service existed, promotional materials, co-produced by patients, needed to be created.  Posters, flyers and slides for GP waiting rooms were then designed and implemented in the Staffordshire Moorlands GP practice following engagement with the practice Patient Participation Group (PPG) PPG, who were also keen to create an arthritis awareness display in the waiting room to support the campaign.

This engagement with the PPG also led to the recruitment of a new LINK member, Linda, who has gone on to champion arthritis, the IAU and the LINK group in various forums:

  • Along with the Impact Accelerator Unit Project Manager, Nicki Evans, Linda attended a meeting with the Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to promote the work of the LINK group and discuss with their lay members how the group can engage more effectively with local CCGs.
  • Linda attended a meeting at the Nottingham NIHR Biomedical Research Unit to identify the most effective and efficient means of increasing the use of C2Hear videos, as a Hearing Aid user and as a member of the LINK group. Linda used the opportunity to discuss the LINK group and its role and Dr Mel Ferguson, one of the meeting organisers, was particularly interested in how lay involvement has sped up the process of implementing the results of research into practice. During the strategising session, the group used the 10 key points in the Dissemination Toolkit for Knowledge Mobilisation and Promotion of Innovation, which was created by the LINK group, as a guide as to what actions should be considered. The group are keen to design a one-page prompt to be distributed throughout the country and were impressed by the STarT Back leaflet and look to design something along similar lines. There were 13 attendees including researchers, audiologists, a senior representative of a charity, CLAHRC staff and lay members.