Translating Research Into Policy: A panel for scholars who hope to make a difference through research

Date & Time

Thursday, 22 October 2020
12:00 to 13:30

Offered by

Public Scholars Initiative

Registration Closed / Past Event


Join us to listen to 4 academics whose work centers on creating, analyzing, and changing policy. 

Translating research into policy is a complex exercise that starts long before results are published. It requires a solid understanding of the policymaking landscape and the ability to effectively communicate research to policy audiences. This panel brings together researchers and policymakers from a range of backgrounds to share their experience and insights from the research-policy interface.


Dr. Vanessa Sung is a policy analyst at the Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, where she works on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), science diplomacy, and public science engagement. Currently she also supports the work of the Chief Science Advisor’s Expert Panel on COVID-19. Vanessa completed her PhD at McGill University, where her research focused on mechanisms of tumour initiation in breast cancer. Alongside her studies, she was co-president of Science & Policy Exchange, a non-profit organization working to provide platforms for elevating the student voice in science advocacy, communication, and evidence-informed policy-making in Canada. She continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of increased community and civic engagement from scientists.

Dr. Kathryn Jastremski completed a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests focus on best approaches to support complex decision and policy making for sustainability, with an emphasis on public involvement and collaborative processes. Following her participation in the Mitacs Science Policy Fellowship at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (FLNRORD) of British Columbia she continued her work at FLNRORD to support policy analysis related to sustainable forest and range management. She recently contributed in developing and teaching a new graduate course at the McGill School of Environment on leadership for sustainability (Mobilizing Research for Sustainability). Kathryn is currently a lecturer at Université de Montréal in the department of urban planning and landscape architecture as well as a policy analyst in the metropolitan region of Montréal supporting improvements to waste management planning.

Dr. Kimberly Girling is the Interim Executive Director of Evidence for Democracy, a Canadian non-profit organization promoting the transparent use of evidence in government decision-making. Kimberly holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and is an alumnus of the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy fellowship, a program connecting scientists to policy issues in the Canadian government. She worked for several years as a policy analyst in the Canadian public sector. 

Lindsay Richter is an emerging scientist passionate about knowledge translation and effective implementation to practice and policy. During her MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences at UBC, she received the BC Children’s Hospital Outstanding Achievement Award and the UBC Friedman Award for Scholars in Health. As a Friedman Scholar, she travelled to Atlantic Canada to help establish a national knowledge mobilization network and learn under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Chambers, an internationally recognized leader in KT. Lindsay completed the KT Professional Certificate (University of Toronto) and Family Engagement in Research Certificate (McMaster University). She currently works as the Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network (CNFUN) National Coordinator and the Neonatal Program Research Coordinator.

Alan Shapiro is a Vancouver-based environmental professional with a background in water resources and policy and a passion for science communication. Alan teaches in the Sustainable Business Leadership program at BCIT and runs an independent water and sustainability consultancy, working with clients from a range of sectors. He is also co-founder and director of Science Slam Canada – a non-profit organization focused on science communication and outreach. Alan holds a MSc in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.

Registration Information

For more information and registration: