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Developing capacity

Research capacity among social work academics


This was commissioned by the ESRC as part of a three-pronged audit of research capacity in social work. It aimed to identify social work academics’ experiences of undertaking research and the barriers and facilitators that they had experienced. 

Research team

Jo Moriarty, SCWRU (Principal Investigator)
Jill Manthorpe, SCWRU
Martin Stevens, SCWRU
Shereen Hussein, SCWRU


Economic and Social Research Council (RES-068-25-0001)


This project involved an exploration of the research infrastructure for the discipline of social work in UK universities and included two other studies, one of which scoped potential funding for social work and social care research and the other audited research methods teaching in the new Social Work degree. It stemmed from the need to increase research capacity in social work, recognising that comparatively small numbers of researchers are engaged in social work research.


A postal/email questionnaire was sent to social work academics asking about the research that they had undertaken, their involvement in teaching and supervising research students, and the barriers and facilitators that they had faced in terms of undertaking research. Telephone interviews were undertaken with a sub-sample of respondents so that they could elaborate on their experiences.


March – May 2008


Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M. & Hussein, S., (2008), 'An Audit of Research Capacity among Social Work Academics' [pdf, 602 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London.
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