The use of knowledge: a focus of concern

In 2008, the FRQSC wanted to better understand the application of knowledge acquired through research in the social sciences, humanities, arts and literature (SSHAL). To this end, research professor François Chagnon, Chair in Knowledge Application in the Field of Youth and Families in Difficulty at Université du Québec à Montréal, was mandated to lead a three-phase research project into the subject. The work was carried out from 2009 to 2012.

The results of this study provide insight into the impacts of SSHAL research.

This study made it possible to compare models for the application of research-based knowledge in health sciences with the unique characteristics of SSHAL research. The study found significant differences between these two areas of research and pointed out that SSHAL research often takes place in a partnership context where knowledge is developed by combining the theoretical knowledge of researchers with knowledge from the practice community.

The results of this study provide insight into the impacts of SSHAL research, which are often less direct than those in the field of health sciences. They take the form of changes in organizational culture or the emergence of new practices, rather than the development of new equipment, for example.

The model for the application of research results in SSHAL, developed in the first phase of the study, was validated during the other two phases, first by researchers and then by their partner communities. These highly instructive results are sure to contribute to the knowledge mobilization strategy of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.