Researcher Development Initiative RDI 2 2008-2010 Increasing the Competence and Confidence of Social Work Researchers An Action-learning Programme to develop Research Capacity Funded by ESRC and SCIE - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Researcher Development Initiative RDI 2 2008-2010 Increasing the Competence and Confidence of Social Work Researchers An Action-learning Programme to develop Research Capacity Funded by ESRC and SCIE

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Title: Researcher Development Initiative RDI 2 2008-2010 Increasing the Competence and Confidence of Social Work Researchers An Action-learning Programme to develop Research Capacity Funded by ESRC and SCIE


1
Researcher Development Initiative RDI 2
2008-2010 Increasing the Competence and
Confidence of Social Work Researchers An
Action-learning Programme to develop Research
Capacity Funded by ESRC and SCIE
  • Professor David Shemmings
  • Chair of Social Work and Deputy Head (Medway
    campus)
  • School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social
    Research University of Kent UK
  • http//www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/staff/academic/shemmi
    ngs.html
  • (then click on RDI 2)

2
Background
  • RDI 2 builds on the current Researcher
    Development Initiative
  • Made on behalf of the
  • Joint University Council Social Work Education
    Committee (JUC SWEC)
  • Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
  • Scottish Institute for Excellence in Social Work
    Education (SIESWE)
  • Social Work and Policy (SWAP) HEA subject centre.

3
Background
  • The period between the first RDI and this one has
    seen the publication of A Social Work Research
    Strategy in Higher Education 2006-2020 by the
    JUC SWEC
  • see www.swap.ac.uk/research/strategy.asp
  • Key message
  • Major investment in social work and social care
    research in the UK is needed urgently to secure a
    radical change in capacity and capability

4
Background to the Strategy
  • Social work and social care services are a vital
    component of public services in the UK
  • Adult care services alone were in contact with
    over three million people in England in 2003/4
  • Well over 1.5 million people work in social work
    and social care services in the UK with more than
    14 billion of public funds spent on social care
    services each year in England alone
  • Social care is a vital partner in health,
    education, child safeguarding and criminal
    justice agendas
  • But only 0.3 of the overall budget is spent on
    RD, compared with 5.4 in health i.e. 18 times
    less
  • Another example 20 times the amount of RD
    monies is spent on a GP than on a social worker.

5
Background to the Strategy
  • As the discipline underpinning social work and
    social care research, social work has an
    historically weak research base and academic
    infrastructure
  • Lack of PG opportunities
  • esp. PhD studentships and bursaries
  • Journals, conferences and seminars
  • The reasons for the deficit are varied but have
    been well documented
  • Diverse locations of SWK in HEIs
  • Lack of a secure base!
  • Absence of SWK degrees/quals at Oxbridge
  • Only recently has SWK had its own QAA benchmark
    statement
  • Joined with Social Policy and Administration in
    RAEs

6
Background to the Strategy
  • Only recently identified as a separate discipline
    in ESRC, hence
  • unrepresented on ESRC committees
  • impossible to gauge number of applications and
    awards
  • The ESRC Demographic Review of the UK Social
    Sciences (Mills et al, 2006) identifies social
    work as one of the smaller social sciences, with
    fewer than 600 permanent staff (out of a total of
    around 1050)
  • Only 44 of social work academics were research
    active in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise
    (Fisher Marsh, 2003)

7
Background to the Strategy
  • It is also a subject area with 47 of its staff
    aged 50 or over
  • The historical lack of attention to research
    methods in social work education and training
    also influences the research capacity of social
    work academics (Orme Powell, 2005)
  • This all affects the capacity of social work to
    deliver doctoral programmes (Orme, 2003, Orme
    Powell, 2005).

8
Whats distinctive about the SWK research
strategy?
  • Uncommon for disciplines as a group have to an
    agreed position across HEIs nationally
  • In the US there is the IASWR (but it is not
    concerned primarily with HEIs)
  • Our national strategic research plan is, as far
    as we know, the first of its kind.

9
Aims and Outcomes of RDI 2
  • Assuming a moderately successful conversion rate
    from proposal to funding, an increase in the
    number of high-quality, social work-related
    research projects
  • A series of three expert classes, focusing on
    contemporary methods relevant to social work
    research, especially where there are known gaps
    in knowledge(s) and experience
  • An opportunity for 15 participants to spend a
    month on a mini-placement with a network of
    registered providers of systematic reviews
    coordinated by SCIE to provide direct experience
    of undertaking scoping studies and systematic
    reviews

10
RDI 2 in practice
  • 56 HEFCE-funded staff to join 7 topic-based
    Action Learning sets (LSets)
  • to develop promising lines of research enquiry
    through to a fully-costed completed design, ready
    for submission to a funding source
  • Links with mentors with track records of success
    in specific research topics
  • RDI 2 is aimed at achieving a tipping-point in
    the development of academic social work research

11
RDI 2 in practice
  • Three 2-day (or 2x2 day) seminars for
    participants in
  • Systematic Reviews and Scoping Studies (2 day)
  • Experiments and Instrument design sympathetic to
    social work values (2 day)
  • Contemporary Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
    (2x2 day)
  • Post-graduate researchers will be invited to
    attend sessions, if space is available

12
Action Learning Sets
  • LSets will each meet five times at a local
    collaborating university
  • we will fix dates this afternoon
  • Participants are encouraged to identify mentors
    who have track records of success in specific
    research topics

13
Seminar 1 Systematic reviews and scoping studies
  • An intensive 2-day seminar for 25 participants
    on the processes involved in SR will be organised
    and run by Esther Coren
  • Protocols
  • Question definition
  • Specifying the field clearly
  • Operationalising the question
  • Inclusion and Exclusion criteria
  • Search strategy
  • Using synonyms and Boolean logic
  • Managing references
  • Screening results
  • Determining eligibility for inclusion
  • Developing quality assessment criteria
  • Using analytic and critical appraisal skills
  • Data synthesis
  • Drawing conclusions and making inferences

14
Systematic reviews and scoping studies Placements
  • Fifteen 1-month placements, offered by SCIE and a
    number of other organisations including
  • SIESWE
  • Eppi-Centre, Institute of Education
  • Kings College
  • Sussex
  • Lancaster
  • Central Lancashire
  • Participants will shadow experienced researchers
    working on systematic reviews
  • Universities cover for a member of staff at no
    cost, as part of its staff development commitment
  • Host organisations will receive a payment for the
    one-month placement participants will receive a
    contribution towards expenses.

15
Seminar 2 Experiments and Instrumentation
  • Experimental designs are particularly difficult
    to apply in social work settings, partly because
    such interventions take place in complex social
    situations.
  • In particular
  • the processes of referral to services and
    decision about intervention are complex
  • decisions about other challenges, such as the
    need for protection of vulnerable individuals,
    may overlap with the particular intervention
  • Social work also favours complex psycho-social
    interventions, the relative contribution of which
    can be difficult to evaluate
  • Finally, social work sees the involvement of
    service users as central, but upon which
    traditionally the use of RCTs has placed a low
    premium.

16
Seminar 2 Experiments and Instrumentation
  • A 2-day workshop for 25 participants will take
    place, designed to facilitate
  • The use of RCTs and quasi-experimental studies
    designed specifically for social work
    applications
  • The use of scales and instruments in social work
    research (and practice)

17
Seminar 3 Contemporary qualitative and
quantitative methods
  • This phase will explore to ease the distinction
    between qualitative and quantitative binary
    dichotomies.
  • This seminar will offer two, linked 2-day
    workshops for 25 participants including
  • New(er) qualitative methods including
  • Actor-network analysis
  • Critical ethnography
  • Data support packages (CAQDAS, NVivo)
  • Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM)
  • Mixing epistemologies, including Q-Methodology
    (see Shemmings, 2006)
  • Unlocking the potential of contemporary advanced
    statistical techniques to include
  • Bayesian analysis, Path Analysis, Structural
    Equation Modelling (SEM), Hierarchical Linear
    Modelling (HLM), logistic regression and dyadic
    data analysis (IPIM)
  • Meta-analytic data techniques

18
References
  • Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (2003) The Action
    Learning Handbook. Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Carpenter, J. (2005) Evaluating Outcomes in
    Social Work Education. London, Scie/SIESWE.
  • JUCSWEC (2006) A Social Work Research Strategy in
    Higher Education 2006-2020, Joint Universities
    Council for Social Work Education Committees
    Research Sub-Committee at http//www.swap.ac.uk/re
    search/strategy.asp
  • Shaw, I., Arksey, H., Mullender, A. (2004) ESRC
    Research, Social Work and Social Care, London
    Social Care Institute for Excellence
  • Shaw, I., H. Arksey, et al. (2004) ESRC,
    Research, Social Work and Social Care London,
    Scie.
  • Shemmings, D. (2006) Quantifying qualitative
    data an illustrative example of the use of Q
    methodology in psychosocial research,
    Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), April
    2006, pp 147-165.
  • Walter, I., Nutley, S, Piercey-Smith, J.,
    McNeish, D. S. Frost (2004) Improving the use
    of research in social care practice London, Scie.
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