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Table 3 IKT initiation themes and associated activities

From: Initiation is recognized as a fundamental early phase of integrated knowledge translation (IKT): qualitative interviews with researchers and research users in IKT partnerships

Theme Activities
Newly identifying and securing partners is an intensive process • Identify stakeholders
• Conduct research together as an extension of the partnership
• Contact individuals with dual role of researcher and research user
• Convince and get partner buy-in on research project
• Form partnership early and ensure collaboration lasts throughout
Processes and activities take place over a protracted period through multiple interactions • Clarify roles, responsibilities, scope of project, research question by meetings, committees, agreements
• Align idea with research user organization’s goals; educate each other on how to align goals
• Provide opportunities for communication and input
Identifying and engaging committed partners is reliant on funding People and Roles:
• Build a network well in advance and have organizational capacity to maintain network
• Use research project as incentive for research users to stay up to date and researcher to obtain tenure
• Build and maintain a relationship with connectors, boundary spanners, or mentors
• Leadership role
• Early partnership formation and collaboration from the outset of a research initiative
Building commitment:
• Shared goals amongst the researchers and the research users themselves, or their organizations
• Shared interest, synergy and passion for the subject matter
• Trust and commitment achieved by being responsive, respectful of time, planning face-to-face meetings and maintaining credibility
• Time to commit to partnership and creating time-saving methods for busy research users to take part in projects
• Build a sense of ownership by making researcher users feel valued, respected and have a sense of ownership over research outputs
• Develop a shared language and culture
• Enable initiation by supporting identification of partners
• Enable travel for face-to-face meetings at beginning of partnerships
• Establish commitment and launch planning activities
Partnership building challenged by maintaining continuity and enthusiasm • Maintaining continuity during IKT initiation due to high turnover of individuals
• Over-reliance on one person representing a research user group
• Difficult to maintain enthusiasm throughout the first few meetings during the initiation phase
• Engagement was further compromised by competing priorities among research users
• The amount and extent of administrative paperwork at the beginning of partnerships also influenced enthusiasm
• Personality of the researcher or research
• Lack of understanding of the research cycle or research culture
• Misaligned goals, roles and expectations.
• Geographical distance between the partners
Partner matching forum, toolkit and funding needed to foster IKT initiation • A shared forum or repository where researchers could identify potential researcher user partners who shared matching interests and goals
• An IKT initiation toolkit, guide or checklist described as ‘how to start IKT partnership information’
• Funding for non-research IKT initiation activities such as travel and meetings