Knowledge mobilisation

Knowledge mobilisation (also known as knowledge exchange, knowledge translation) is a two way, active exchange of different types of the best available knowledge in order to speed up the time it takes to move evidence from research out into clinical practice. Knowledge mobilisation can transform health care by working with stakeholders to adapt and refine knowledge across boundaries and silos.

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. 

What is knowledge mobilisation?

It's about making research evidence accessible, understandable and useful for stakeholders, working together to increase research-informed healthcare and healthcare-informed research.

The Impact Accelerator Unit uses a range of approaches to mobilise knowledge into practice. We provide influence and support throughout the entire research cycle, embedding Knowledge Mobilisation and implementation practices into research from the start of its design. We encourage researchers to think of not just the value and feasibility of their research to the NHS but the feasibility of implementing this research into practice, to support the timely translation of evidence into healthcare treatment.

Some of the approaches used by the Impact Accelerator Unit are outlined below.

A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Communities of Practice in the IAU are usually made up of clinicians, academics, commissioners and patients.


Publications and further links:

Kay Stevenson, Helen Duffy, Simon Somerville, Vince Cooper, Rhian Hughes, Krysia Dziedzic, 66. Can Communities of Practice Assist the Implementation of Research Across the Academic Health Sciences Network?, Rheumatology, Volume 53, Issue suppl_1, April 2014, Page i80,

Swaithes, L. Paskins, Z. Quicke, J. Stevenson, K. Fell, K. Dziedzic, K. (2022). Optimising the process of knowledge mobilisation in Communities of Practice: recommendations from a multi-method qualitative study (in press).

Developing a community of practice in physiotherapy across Staffordshire (

link-group The Impact Accelerator Unit has a dedicated patient and public group for Knowledge Mobilisation and implementation activities. The Link group includes members with a diverse range of personal, professional and volunteering experience and knowledge. They bring a valuable range of networks and experiences to the IAU, to ensure that patients and the public are meaningfully and proactively involved in translating evidence into everyday use. Link group members and RUG group members are an integral part of our Communities of Practice and provide important stakeholder input into all aspects of the IAU’s work.

RUG: Research User Group (Patients and public members who work with Keele University School of Medicine to share their 'expertise by experience' of living with (or caring for someone living with) physical and mental health conditions, to improve research).

Link Group: (Patients and public members who have networks and links with the community, NHS and volunteer groups and proactively work with the Impact Accelerator Unit to take research findings out into NHS clinical practice. Involving patients and the public in our research and implementation activities helps to make research more relevant and useful for clinical practice).

iau-mf-cop Knowledge brokers are intermediary agents who build relationships between decision-makers and researchers, by sharing expert knowledge and establishing communication channels. Knowledge brokering is an emerging role used to promote interaction, develop a mutual understanding of goals and cultures, identify issues and problems for which solutions are required, and facilitate the identification, access, assessment, interpretation, and translation of research evidence into local policy and practice.

Knowledge brokering in the IAU facilitates communication between all stakeholder groups involved in the implementation of research into practice and develops strategic methods of knowledge communication. Knowledge brokering supports the unit’s understanding of different types of knowledge in order to adapt and translate it into accessible and understandable formats.

Introduction to knowledge mobilisation

Theories, models, and frameworks

Mobilising knowledge with clinicians

Mobilising knowledge with members of the public

Mobilising knowledge with commissioners and policy makers

Final reports from NIHR-funded research projects

We work with strong NHS, research and charity networks to move research into practice. The majority of our work is resourced through external funding and in collaboration with our health and care partners:

Key members of the IAU team are our clinical champions and fellows. They bring a wide variety of clinical and academic expertise to help us mobilise knowledge to where it is needed to have the greatest impact. Our clinical champions generally have two roles, one role is at their clinical base and one here within the IAU. They generally spend half of their week in the IAU and the other half in their clinical role. Currently, we have General Practitioners and Consultant Physiotherapists as our Clinical Champions. They have expert knowledge of the NHS context, evidence-based patient management, how the NHS works and the future challenges and direction. They also have expertise in service transformation and innovation, research, education, clinician and patient engagement. Many of our Champions also hold influential local, national and regional roles. They have extensive networks to share knowledge and innovations and to learn from the experience of others.

Knowledge Mobilisation Seminar 2024