Research Informed Practice

Integrating research into practice

Our partnership seeks to bring together theory and practice to best support frontline social workers.  To do this we’re exploring new ways to enable academic colleagues to contribute to frontline practice – through spending time with frontline teams, providing advice and support or developing new modules to help practitioners to develop the skills required for research informed practice.

Both our university partners have internationally recognised research profiles.  Find out more about academic research specialisms of academic colleagues and current research projects via the links below.


      University of Huddersfield


      University of York


Research Resources for Practitioners

Research Podcasts

The Social Work Research Podcast provides listeners with the opportunity to hear about research from researchers themselves.  Each episode Martin Webber, Professor of Social Work at University of York, talks to a social work researcher about a study they have conducted.  They explore the background, methods, findings and implications for social work practice.

The aim of the podcast is to help make research more accessible to social work students and practitioners. It contributes to students’ learning and provides a source of continuous professional development for practitioners.  A link to the research paper under discussion in each episode is provided for those wishing to extend their learning.

Connecting People

The importance of social connections and how this impacts on mental health recovery.  The Connecting People blog is a place for sharing information, thoughts, stories and ideas.  This includes podcasts and short films, so it’s very accessible for service users and practitioners.

University Research Projects

Research resources are available from both our partner universities.  They offer many current themes relevant to social work.  Visit they websites to search their current projects:-

Practitioner Led Research Projects

Read about the Practitioner Led Research Projects from two of the social workers completing the post graduate research degrees and the research findings from one of the projects.

Opportunities for our Social Workers

Our 2023-24 CPD programme provides opportunities for our Social Workers to engage with the latest academic research, apply research to practice and undertake accredited research projects aligned to local practice priorities.

The partnership has funded Social Workers to complete the Innovations in Professional Practice module. The course supported students to develop advanced skills in order to carry out a small scale research project and evidence the impact for their service area.

We’ve also funded four Social Workers to undertake postgraduate research degrees on topics aligned to local practice needs.  These opportunities aim to develop the research literacy of social workers and support the integration of research findings into local practice.  Research topics  include:

  • Mental Health Act assessment referrals
  • Collaborative working between adult mental health services and children and families services – experiences and views of frontline Social Worker

We are committed to continuing to provide opportunities for practitioners and will advertise any further opportunities on this website and via Workforce Development Teams so watch this space.

Practitioners Contributing to Teaching

Over the next 12 months we’ll be developing new opportunities for practitioners to contribute to teaching on degree programmes.  We already have dedicated Lecturer Practitioners working across practice and academia.  Read our case study to find out more about this role and the benefits for students.  New models will build upon what practitioners have told us about the value of teaching in universities and introduce new opportunities for Social Workers to get involved with academic delivery. Keep checking back for more information.