Social Work Scholars Perceptions of Practice-Informed Research and Research Informed Practice

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Journal of Social Service Research

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Despite a focus on applied social work research, there is a gap in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. This article presents the findings of an exploration study of tenured-track and non-tenured track faculty in CSWE accredited Social Work programs and their perceptions of practice-informed research and research-informed practice. Data were collected in two phases via electronic survey and a second phase of brief interviews. Forty-two participants completed the survey and seven interviews were conducted. This study found that there are clear tensions between the time it takes to engage the community and how that impacts the tenure and promotion process. Participants discussed strategies used to promote more community engaged research but overall, the environment of the traditional academic institution does not always foster this role, instead, social work scholars fold themselves into traditional research and dissemination methods that inhibit community-engagement and innovation in the development of social work programs and practices. Future research is needed in understanding how nontraditional disseminations methods impact and/or invite more collaboration between practitioners and scholars. Additionally, a wide-scale evaluation of the impact of promotion and tenure on the development of social work programs and practices is needed.


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