Skip to content

The Knowledge Translation and the Implementation Science Strategic Platforms represent two distinct, yet interrelated components of Maridulu Budyari Gumal, the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE). In essence, while implementation science focuses on ‘the systematic uptake of evidence-based interventions into practice and policy’1, knowledge translation is more expansive, recognising different forms and sources of knowledge, particularly lived experiences, and the coproduction of evidence.


The purpose of knowledge translation is to get the right evidence, to the right people, at the right time to enable evidence-informed decision making2.

Knowledge translation is both a multidimensional concept and an emerging discipline that examines methods and mechanisms to close the gap between what we know and what we do. It is a dynamic and an iterative process that involves the synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and ethically-sound use of knowledge to improve healthcare and, relatedly, health3.

Knowledge translation is also referred to as evidence uptake, knowledge-to-action, implementation science, research utilisation or use, dissemination and diffusion, knowledge transfer, and knowledge mobilisation. Yet, knowledge translation is a more encompassing concept than evidence-based practice, continuing professional development, or even research dissemination. It encompasses multiple, simultaneous activities that are interactive, nonlinear, and impact-oriented. This includes multidirectional engagement (rather than one-way communication) between myriad knowledge makers and users, including (but not limited to): scholars, policymakers, health service managers, practitioners, educators, consumers of health services, carers, and the public3.

Multiple processes can affect how evidence – or what we know – is generated, communicated, and used. These processes can also hinder whether and how evidence is used. Knowledge translation pays particular attention to the contexts in which knowledge is used. By determining the needs and preferences of potential knowledge makers and users, it is possible to develop effective and efficient ways to research, learn, and improve healthcare. As Greenhalgh and colleagues4 observed:

[Knowledge translation] move[s] beyond a narrow focus on the ‘know-do gap’… cover[ing] a richer agenda, including: (a) the situation-specific practical wisdom (phronesis) that underpins clinical judgement; (b) the tacit knowledge that is built and shared among practitioners (‘mindlines’); (c) the complex links between power and knowledge; and (d) approaches to facilitating macro-level knowledge partnerships between researchers, practitioners, policymakers and commercial interests.


Objective 1

Champion the development of Knowledge Translation by:

  • Appointing Knowledge Translation Leads
  • Developing a Knowledge Translation strategy

Objective 2

Build Knowledge Translation capacity by:

  • Appointing Knowledge Translation Ambassadors
  • Developing a program of resources including (but not limited to) webinars, fellowships, workshops, and masterclasses

Objective 3

Raise the profile of the positive impact of Maridulu Budyari Gumal by:

  • Highlighting pockets of brilliant Knowledge Translation among the Clinical Academic Groups
  • Showcasing these pockets of brilliance using innovative arts-based strategies


Knowledge Translation Strategy

A participatory workshop was facilitated with members of the Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs) with an interest in Knowledge Translation which led to the co-creation of the Knowledge Translation strategy. This strategy places infrastructure at the core to indicate the resources required to enable individuals, teams, organisations, and societies to exchange what they know, what they do, and what they experience, to develop and enact evidence-informed knowledge and practice. This reflects the connectedness of Objectives 1, 2, and 3.

Knowledge Translation Ambassadors Program

To build Knowledge Translation capacity, CAG members across Maridulu Budyari Gumal were appointed as Knowledge Translation Ambassadors to champion Knowledge Translation within and beyond the primary CAG they are affiliated with. This program follows the recommendations of the review panel, following its appraisal of Maridulu Budyari Gumal in 2019 and the CAGs, therein. In response to these recommendations, this program will enable CAGs to: demonstrate their successes, as per their key performance indicators; and leverage additional resources.

The Knowledge Translation Ambassadors assume a leadership role within their primary CAG to build Knowledge Translation capacity. They will participate in virtual roundtable discussions, devise practical strategies to support the unique needs of each CAG, and collaborate with the Artists-in-Residence to develop bespoke resources to build Knowledge Translation capacity.

Artists-in-Residence Program

Pockets of brilliant Knowledge Translation within the CAGs were revealed via the Artists-in-Residence program. The arts have an important role in Knowledge Translation. Arts-based Knowledge Translation uses diverse art forms that span performance, digital media, and the visual arts to catalyse dialogue, raise awareness, and enhance engagement with important issues addressed by health(care) research5. Arts-based Knowledge Translation can reach and speak to audiences who might not respond to conventional research dissemination methods, like peer-reviewed journal articles or educational pamphlets. Arts-based Knowledge Translation also harnesses the expertise of individuals and communities with lived experiences, sometimes challenging conventional understandings of ‘evidence’.


The HIVE is an immersive artwork installation, co-created by the Knowledge Translation Strategic Platform team, the Artists-in-Residence, CAG members, consumers of health services, and carers. Together, they used art to communicate complex community and social issues, like the wellbeing of children from refugee backgrounds, healthy urban environments, palliative care, as well as mental health and addiction. This involved the use textiles, sculpture, poetry, video, sound, and text, among other forms. These creative processes culminated with The HIVE. Led by Simone Chua, an installation artist and industrial designer, the Artists-in-Residence transformed eight brilliant SPHERE initiatives into The HIVE to creatively showcase how Maridulu Budyari Gumal inspires, engages, and has positive impact. The HIVE is yet another example of how the arts can: enrich conversations on health(care); as well as helpfully inform communicate scholarship.

Promoting a HIVE of Care

Funding received by UTS Centre for Carers Research (Watfern, Dadich, Boydell, Doran)

The overarching aim of this project is to promote carer wellbeing. This will be achieved by addressing the following objectives:

  1. Engage with carers to understand the lived experiences of caring, particularly for people with chronic and/or complex health and mental health issues.
  2. Invite carers to collaborate with an artist to co-create artwork that contributes to, and extends The HIVE – an immersive art installation that has been, and will continue to be publicly exhibited and evaluated to determine its capacity to:
    a. Provoke meaningful dialogue about chronic and/or complex health and mental health issues
    b. Associated care requirements and how these impact carers
    c. Incite empathy and attitudinal change towards people with chronic and/or complex health and mental health issues and their carers
    d. Encourage supportive behavioural change towards people with chronic and/or complex health and mental health issues and their carers


Maridulu Budyari Gumal Knowledge Translataion Team: Katherine Boydell, Director of Maridulu Budyari Gumal KT, Professor of Mental Health, Black Dog Institute; Ann Dadich, Deputy Director of Maridulu Budyari Gumal KT, Associate Professor, Western Sydney University School of Business; Zoi Triandafilidis, Project Officer (until December 2019), Black Dog Institute; Chloe Watfern, Research Assistant, Black Dog Institute; and Stephanie Habak, Project Officer, Black Dog Institute.

Artists-in-Residence: Simone Chua, Barbara Doran, Caitlin Gibson, Lucy Klippan, Michele Elliot, Anton Pulvirenti, Peter Maple, Paul Wallace, Kate Disher-Quill.

Resources: Download a list of resources here


Alive and Kicking Podcast Series

Tune in to our Podcast by visiting News Section of the website. 



1. Foy, R. et al. Editorial: Implementation science: A reappraisal of our journal mission and scope. Implement Sci. 10, 1-7 (2015).

2. Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network (SiREN). Knowledge translation, <> (n.d.).

3. CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research). Knowledge translation, <> (2016).

4. Greenhalgh, T. & Wieringa, S. Is it time to drop the 'knowledge translation' metaphor? A critical literature review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 104, 501-509 (2011). Insert relevant hyperlink and vice versa for KT

Support Knowledge Translation

Get in touch with Katherine Boydell, Director of Maridulu Budyari Gumal KT, Professor of Mental Health, Black Dog Institute for more information on our current and developing work