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Faculty at UNC School of Social Work use advanced research methods to inform, develop, and evaluate practice, program, and policy interventions to promote social change. The research reflects key social work values, including a focus on empowering others and developing evidence to improve care and quality of life.

Faculty are committed to using rigorous methods and novel approaches to find lasting solutions to society’s most challenging issues. They recognize that communities — the organizations and the people within them — are vital research partners in strengthening the well-being of individuals and families. In addition, faculty are committed to ensuring that social workers and other practitioners, as well as organizational and policy leaders, have timely access to the information they need to innovate and improve policies, programs, and practices.

Simply stated, faculty research aims to advance equity, transform systems, and improve lives.

Intervention Research

An intervention is an action in policy, program, or practice designed to promote a desirable outcome, ranging from more efficient care systems, to more effective services, to improved population health and well-being.

Intervention research – the research our faculty conduct to develop, implement, and test interventions – is the hallmark of the research enterprise at UNC School of Social Work. It includes two kinds of research activity. First is the scholarship of innovation, conducting research to better understand the factors that contribute to social and health problems and to design and test innovative policies and programs to address these problems. Second is the scholarship of translation, using research findings to design and adapt interventions to maximize their impact.

Both research activities are the engines of change and impact in the UNC School of Social Work.