October 12, 2010
This past year saw the closing of the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) after 15 years of service to our research community. SSWR has agreed to fill this void by continuing the work of maintaining a DC Presence with federal funders. It is critical that the social work community maintain its presence in Washington, DC so when funders think about researchers who can help move innovations from “bench to trench” and provide solutions to critical social problems, social work immediately comes to mind.
To launch SSWR’s new DC Presence initiative, we have entered into a temporary agreement with Dr. Llewellyn (Lee) Cornelius at the University of Maryland, who will serve as our interim DC liaison. With the help of Dr. Cornelius, SSWR will create mechanisms that will increase social work research’s visibility and promote it among federal funders. Through this effort we will highlight and advance the outstanding work of social work faculty engaged in research and continue to seek to expand infrastructure and research capacity building strategies on the national level for social work researchers.
DC Presence is a part of SSWR’s new overall National Research Capacity Building Initiative (NRCBI) which seeks ways to advance social work research through communication to SSWR members about research related activities such as National Institutes of Health (NIH) research priorities, National Institute of General Medical Sciences request for input about National Research Service Awards, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Opportunity Network (OppNet), etc.
Social work researchers also have access to the Social Work NIH Grant Directory maintained by Boston College and the Social Work Research Network (http://www.bu.edu/swrnet) listserve administered by Boston University. But SSWR will make these research capacity building resources easily available in one place under its new NRCBI website at here.
This new NRCBI website will allow social work researchers to receive information from, as well as, give input to Dr. Cornelius about federal initiatives and research priorities. The website will also have listings of SSWR’s Summer Institutes, special videotaped sessions, Research Methods Workshops, and Research Priorities and Capacity Building workshops given at SSWR’s annual conferences. This new NRCBI seeks to find more ways to advance social work research through advocacy, information exchange, and resource sharing.
Rowena Fong, EdD