Stephanie’s research examines how relationships support/hinder evidence uptake in healthcare. Her collaborators include rehabilitation centres, research institutes, government, and provincial and Canadian health networks. By targeting the social influences that drive evidence use by health professionals, administrators and policymakers, she aims to improve patients’ timely access to healthcare innovations.

Research Description

My doctoral research in knowledge translation (KT) focuses on the impact of relationships on the uptake of research in healthcare. Using social network analysis, I am describing the networks of relationships among health professionals, researchers, administrators and policymakers that support or hinder this uptake. I have established collaborations with these stakeholders to ensure that the research and the KT of its findings target their needs. Our mixed methods studies investigate networks within Canadian pediatric rehabilitation centres, as well as a provincial academic health sciences network. This research will result in a clearer understanding of the relationships and communication patterns among network members, the KT supports available, and potential socially based strategies that can address identified gaps. By strengthening the social environment in which KT takes place, I hope to accelerate the uptake of evidence so that patients and families have early access to the safest, most effective healthcare solutions available.

What does being a Public Scholar mean to you?

Being a public scholar means engaging outside of academia to generate research that is relevant to the people it intends to help, and to share and to apply its findings in innovative ways that ultimately improve the health and well being of Canadians.

In what ways do you think the PhD experience can be re-imagined with the Public Scholars Initiative?

The PSI provides support for PhD students to engage in meaningful research with partners from community, industry, government, and more. The program’s encouragement of students to meet their partners’ knowledge translation needs through traditionally non-academic methods also opens up a world of actionable information to these stakeholders. The PSI offers a unique opportunity for doctoral students to explore creative avenues to augment the reach and impact of their research, as well as support to build compelling career paths beyond academia, and I am excited to be a part of it.

How do you envision connecting your PhD work with broader career possibilities?

My career goal is to combine a health leadership role facilitating evidence informed healthcare with independent research in knowledge translation. This arrangement provides the optimal conditions for advancing the science of knowledge translation (i.e. uncovering what works best to move evidence into practice), while concurrently applying the findings of the research to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services.

How does your research engage with the larger community and social partners?

In addition to partnering with specific health centres and their research institutes, I am collaborating with the BC Ministry of Health and the Canadian Network of Child and Youth Rehabilitation (a branch of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres). These partnerships will allow us to work together on relevant research whose findings will support health professionals, researchers, administrators and policy makers to more effectively connect in ways that foster evidence use in healthcare.

How do you hope your work can make a contribution to the “public good”?

Right now it takes 10-20 years for research findings to be implemented broadly within the healthcare system. I hope to help shorten that timeframe by identifying socially based strategies that can bring the best evidence into use more quickly and easily. In this way, patients and families will benefit sooner from safer, more effective healthcare.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I wanted to gain the knowledge and skills to be able to conduct high quality research that will identify solutions to the challenges we face in moving evidence into action more efficiently in healthcare.

Why did you choose to come to British Columbia and study at UBC?

UBC’s network of teaching hospitals/research training facilities provided a strong draw. I will be partnering with Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, an internationally recognized provincial pediatric rehabilitation centre, and BC Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute, the second-largest hospital-affiliated pediatric research institute in Canada. UBC also afforded the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program while studying in BC, which will help me develop the skills to become an independent clinician scientist.


My career goal is to combine a health leadership role facilitating evidence informed healthcare with independent research in knowledge translation".