What’s In It for My School or Department?
All schools benefit from the contributions that social work research makes, and the success of any single researcher or school raises the profile of the profession and all of our programs. Social work research is embedded in practice and policy and it enhances the education of our BSW, MSW, and PhD students. The NRCBI contributes to research capacity in social work in three ways:
1. BY BUILDING CAPACITY IN INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS TO CONDUCT SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH
The NRCBI helps prepare and train researchers at all career levels, and facilitate mentoring of junior investigators. In the last year, the Initiative:
- presented a research capacity building workshop at BPD on how to develop and implement a research agenda,
- sponsored a doctoral student panel presentation at SSWR’s 2012 annual conference (150 attended),
- held in 2011 Summer Institute Workshops at the University of Pittsburgh, “Community-Based Intervention Research for Underserved and Minority Populations” (July 12-14, 2011) and “Biosocial Methods for Social Work Research” (July 26-28, 2011),
- collaborated with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Connections, mentoring of junior investigators who are scholars from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
2. BY RAISING THE VISIBILITY OF SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH
Social work research improves practice, strengthens policy, and contributes in improving the well being of people and problem solving many societal ills at the individual, family, groups, community, and organization levels. Advocating for social work research and its increased and continued funding is critical. Maintaining a presence in Washington, DC is essential so that when funders think about researchers who can help move innovations from “bench to trench” and provide solutions to critical social problems, social work researchers immediately come to mind. In the last year, the Initiative:
- attended the first anniversary event of the Congressional Social Work Caucus,
- initiated dialogue with NIH administrators about the status and viability of the Social Work Task Force and efforts to enhance social work research capacity building,
- began meeting with the Center for Scientific Review at NIH about increasing the number of social work reviewers on scientific review panels,
- sponsored a NIH federal funders panel and networking event at the SSWR 2012 conference,
- worked with the office of Congressman Ed Towns, Chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, to hold a congressional briefing on the Hill on cutting edge social work research to address pressing problems facing the Nation.
3. BY DEVELOPING TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH
The SSWR National Research Capacity Building Initiative can help your School build and extend its research infrastructure and capacity building by investing in technical infrastructure necessary for the conduct and dissemination of high quality social work research. In the last year, the Initiative:
- initiated an online statistics and methods network for social work research with the Curtis Center at the University of Michigan School of Social Work,
- continued to publish the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, SSWR’s online, open access journal,
- provided online access to all research capacity building workshops and methodology workshops presentations, and presidential and plenary speaker addresses from the SSWR 2012 Annual Conference on the NRCBI website (www.sswr.org/nrcbi.php),
- posted federal funding announcements and solicited input into the development of federal funding priorities which are available on the NRCBI website (www.sswr.org/nrcbi.php).