Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER)


The Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) was established in 2010 through a tri-partite agreement among the University of Toronto, Western University and the Ontario Ministry of Education to build, advance, and apply robust evidence of effective practices through promoting research use, synthesizing state-of-the-art knowledge from existing bodies of evidence, and facilitating networks of policy makers, educators, and researchers, working collaboratively, to apply research to practice.

The KNAER created a wide range of knowledge products, increased capacity for knowledge mobilization, and extended partnerships and networks across the province. From 2010-2014, the KNAER funded 44 projects involving more than 150 partner organizations.

In 2014, an analysis of the utility of KNAER along with a review of knowledge mobilization (KMb) literature, interviews with KMb experts, and strategic planning sessions with Ontario educators and researchers, led to the development of recommendations for a renewed KNAER. A key recommendation was that the KNAER continue to build on its successes and identified challenges, while evolving towards a systems approach to knowledge mobilization.


From 2015-2020, the KNAER is building on its previous successes by supporting thematic knowledge networks that employ a systems approach to KMb to enhance knowledge mobilization on clear and specific priority themes.

The university partners form the KNAER Secretariat, which will support and connect thematic knowledge networks and communities of practice, provide and champion knowledge mobilization and knowledge network expertise, and build capacity for knowledge mobilization and brokering research-practice connections.

The KNAER Secretariat will provide training, tools, and resources to assist networks in developing knowledge mobilization plans and using effective knowledge mobilization strategies that support sharing, co-creation, and evidence use.

The graphic below provides a visual representation of the KNAER thematic knowledge network model.

This graphic is a Venn diagram showing the overlapping nature of up to four thematic knowledge networks and their communities of practice.  Above the four networks is the Planning and Implementation Committee, which interacts with the KNAER Secretariat, the Ontario Education Research Panel and the Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch.

For more information about KNAER Phase II thematic knowledge networks, please go to Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research – An Ontario network for promoting the use of research in education