Mixed methods evaluation of a menu of research learning opportunities for mid-career social work academics with 'protected time'

McDonald, Lynn; Bernard, Claudia A.; Forrester, Donald; White, Sue and Shemmings, David. 2011. Mixed methods evaluation of a menu of research learning opportunities for mid-career social work academics with 'protected time'. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 15(3), pp. 7-25. ISSN 0953-5225 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

Knowledge about research methodologies and positive attitudes about research are each essential for academics who teach social worker students to advocate for and to deliver effective, empowering services to vulnerable people. This paper evaluates a menu of learning opportunities offered to fifty-two mid-career social work academics from 30 UK universities given ‘protected time’ to increase their research skills, funded by RDI4-ESRC. Qualitative and quantitative survey data are summarized. All participants attended five of eight conference days on research methodologies; 80% participated in small discussion groups; 49% attended a 3-day writing retreat; 49% signed up to a research mini-placement; 31% presented research at a conference; 21% submitted manuscripts to a journal. The demonstrated commitment of time, expertise, and advanced skills to this project from 32 senior social science/social work researchers came at a time when media was blasting the profession. They modelled enthusiasm and confidence and ‘bridged’ access for the ‘next generation’ of academics. Repeated encounters amongst the participants gradually built ‘bonded’ social capital ‘normed’ positively around the enterprise of research. Participants reported at follow-up increased knowledge and confidence as they teach… In the current economic context, there are benefits of ‘protected time’ combined with structured opportunities for mid-career social work academics.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 11:29

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 15:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)