About the IKT Guiding Principles


Funders, researchers, and research users have emphasized 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 entire research process. This approach aligns with the spinal cord injury (SCI) community’s calls for there to be “nothing about us, without us”.

The vision of this project was to co-create the first IKT Guiding Principles to help the SCI Research System adopt this co-production approach to help foster meaningful engagement in research, support quality research partnerships, and close the gap between research and practice.


The overall goal of this project 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 overall goal this research is being conducted using an IKT approach.

How were the IKT Guiding Principles developed?

The project is co-led by academics and research users with interdisciplinary expertise in IKT and includes three phases.

In Phase 1, we co-developed the IKT Guiding Principles using a standardized tool designed to ensure guidance is developed using appropriate methodologies and rigorous strategies. These principles were developed by a multidisciplinary group of SCI researchers, clinicians, people with SCI, representatives from SCI community organizations, and funding agencies using several data sources.

Learn more about the co-development process of the IKT Guiding Principles

Next Steps

In Phase 2, we will use behaviour change theory to co-develop tools, resources, and interventions that support SCI researchers, research users, and funders to adopt and use the IKT Guiding Principles.

Finally, in Phase 3, we will use 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. These research phases are depicted below.

Research Phases

IKT Graphic of research phases

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