After 15 Years of Accomplishments – IASWR’s Work Moves to Other Entities

**Created in 1993 as a non-profit organization, based in Washington, DC, the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) worked within the social work community to enhance the profession’s research infrastructure. It also worked to strengthen the connections between social work research and practice, education and policy, including representing the interests of social work with the national scientific community. Creating IASWR was a collaborative endeavor of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Association for Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD), and the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) and these organizations have provided core funding to IASWR. In 2000, the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), launched in 1994, also became a supporting organization.

The social work research enterprise has expanded significantly over the past 15 years. The number of social work researchers receiving federal research grants, especially from NIH, has grown considerably; social work resources and supports within social work education programs have expanded; and SSWR, a membership organization of social work researchers, has matured. IASWR functions of facilitator, connector, conduit, trainer, consultant and technical advisor have been critical to these research accomplishments.

As other organizations have expanded their roles in promoting research, and social work researchers have achieved greater visibility and influence nationally, it seemed timely to streamline the number of social work organizations and to have IASWR’s activities and functions continue in a different form.  With due recognition to IASWR’s many accomplishments, a decision was made unanimously by the IASWR Board of Directors at its September 2009 meeting  to close IASWR as of September 30, 2009. This change is resulting in important planning efforts within and among the social work organizations that have partnered to support IASWR, as well as the St. Louis Group of Deans in research extensive universities, to plan for expanded roles.


  • Boston University School of Social Work will be carrying on the weekly e-alert service IASWR Listserv Announcements and will be renamed the Social Work Research Network (SWRnet) . Current subscribers to the listserv should experience a seamless transition. For more information email swrnet@bu.edu.
  • SSWR (www.sswr.org) is considering strategies to expand its national presence in Washington, DC and is planning the preconference sessions with federal funders at the 2010 SSWR conference that have previously been done collaboratively with IASWR.
  • The Leadership Forum (CSWE, NADD, BPD, GADE and the St. Louis Group) are expanding strategic communications regarding further research infrastructure development activities.
  • The Leadership Roundtable (CSWE, NADD, BPD, GADE, the St. Louis Group, NASW, SSWR, ANSWR and ASWB) will strategically plan to enhance the position of research with the profession and will consider new roles for the profession in this area.
  • The NASW website Social Work Research Page (www.socialworkers.org) will be a repository for IASWR publications and reports and the Evidence-Based Practice page.
  • The NASW Foundation has launched a think tank, the Social Work Policy Institute (www.socialworkpolicy.org) to strengthen bridges between social work research and national policy.
  • The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (www.gadephd.org) will continue to update the directory of Doctoral, Dissertation and Post Doctoral funding opportunities in social work.
  • Boston College Graduate School of Social Work will continue to update the directory of Federally Funded Researchers.
  • The National Association of Social Workers and the Council on Social Work Education continue as members of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA); other social work organizations may join in the near future.

IASWR would like to express appreciation to all of those who have contributed so generously over the years to make IASWR’s valuable work possible, especially to those who served on the IASWR Board of Directors and to the universities, individuals and organizations that provided financial support.

The social work research community appreciates your patience and support during this time of transition.



For more information on the history and work of IASWR and its many accomplishments, the following articles may be of interest:

Zlotnik, J.L. & Solt, B.E. (2008). Developing research infrastructure: The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research. Social Work Research. 32(4), 201-207.

Corvo, K, Zlotnik, J. & Chen, W. (2008). Organizational and institutional factors associated with National Institutes of Health research grant awards to social work programs. Research on Social Work Practice. 18(5). 514-521.

Zlotnik, J., Vourlekis, B. & Galambos, C. (2006). Improving psychosocial care in nursing home settings: The next challenge. Health and Social Work. 31(2), 83-86.

Zlotnik, J.L. & Solt, B.E. (Sept. 2006). The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research working to increase our practice and policy evidence base. Research on Social Work Practice. 16, (5), 534-539

Zlotnik, J.L., Biegel, D. & Solt, B.E. (2002). The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research: Strengthening social work research in practice and policy. Research on Social Work Practice. 12 (2), 318-337.

January 21st, 2010 at 1:43 pm