About the IKT Guiding Principles


Funders, researchers, and research users recognize the importance of knowledge translation to address the gap between discovery and implementation. Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) is a co-production approach that aims to ensure research is translated into practice by engaging research users as partners throughout the research process. This approach aligns with the spinal cord injury (SCI) community’s calls for there to be “nothing about us, without us”.

Our vision is to co-create guidelines to help the SCI Research System adopt this co-production approach to foster meaningful engagement in research, support quality research partnerships, and close the gap between research and practice.


The partnership’s overall goal is to address the gap between research and practice by rigorously co-developing, co-implementing, and co-evaluating IKT Guiding Principles for conducting and disseminating SCI research in partnership with research users. To achieve this goal, we us an IKT approach in all of our research.

How were the IKT Guiding Principles developed?

Academics and research users with interdisciplinary expertise in IKT co-lead the project, the first stage of which included three phases.

In Phases One and Two, we co-developed the IKT Guiding Principles using a standardized tool using appropriate methodologies and rigorous strategies. A multidisciplinary group of SCI researchers, clinicians, people with SCI, representatives from SCI community organizations, and funding agencies used multiple data sources throughout the project.

Finally, in Phase Three, we are using evaluation methods to study the use and impact of the IKT Guiding Principles across North America and within an SCI research centre’s funding competition.

Research Phases

IKT Graphic of research phasesNext Steps – IKT Guiding Principles 2.0

In March 2023, we were awarded an additional Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant to expand the partnership’s work into 2026.

IKT Guiding Principles 2.0 will let us identify and understand early adopters of the principles using a multiple case study design. We will be co-developing and establishing consensus on best practices for using the IKT Guiding Principles.  In addition, we will develop and pilot tools for fostering meaningful engagement in SCI research (e.g. Podcast and a IKT Toolkit).

Finally, we will expand the diversity of our team and welcome new research partners to the project. In particular, our leadership team is looking to facilitate and evaluate accountability and integrity by working with Dr. Anita Kothari and Dr. Katrina Plamondon.


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