Members login


Join IASW today

Apply Now


Practitioner Research Group

Set up to support social workers to contribute to development of professional knowledge base, to develop new skills and to meet CPD requirements of registration. To achieve this the group will support social workers to disseminate research and evaluation work through publication, poster presentations, conference papers, etc. through provision of training opportunities, facilitating peer support, brokering access to resources (mentors, useful articles, tools, information, etc.) and other supports identified. The group also aims to support social workers with no research skills & knowledge who wish to engage in research in their workplace.

The next meeting of the Cork Practitioner Research SIG will take place on Monday 13th of February at 4:30pm in Carmel Halton's office which is located in Crossleigh, Donovan's Road. 

The next meeting of the Galway group will be on Monday the 3rd of October at 10am in the ILAS building on the North campus of NUIG. Directions and a room number will be made available closer to the meeting date. As always please invite other social workers that are interested in research to attend and/or have them email me to be added to the mailing list


Dublin meetings are held on the last Monday of the month. 

Our next Dublin meeting will take place on Monday 27th November 2017 from 6-7pm in Rm 3080 in Arts Block, TCD. Dr Colleta Dalikeni will present

After some very productive discussions at our last Dublin meeting, we are going to trial a new format for our meetings whereby the first half hour will be a presentation/talk on some aspect of carrying out research/dissemination of research and the second half of the meeting will be more general discussion and planning(individual and group).

For our October meeting Diarmuid O'Coimin, Mater Hospital will give a brief presentation on 'Doing a poster presentation at a research conference'. Diarmuid has also asked SIG members if they would be happy to forward him any posters they have put together for conferences so he can draw on these as examples within his presentation by Friday 21st October to

I also hope to circulate an email later this week with possible dates for our annual AGM which we really need to convene before Christmas if possible to review our progress for the year and also for elections of Chairperson and Secretary for our SIG.

Best Wishes,

Sarah Donnelly (Chairperson)



FIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE: We’re also delighted to announce that Professor Elaine Sharland, University of Sussex has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at our first SIG conference on Friday, April 22nd in University College Cork. Check out the event page on for further details and to book your place! We are also CALLING FOR PAPERS, check out the 'downloads' on the right-hand side for further information. 



Some Useful Links Suggested by Group Members

Free Online Courses

On doing a research project


Knowledge exchange and mobilisation 

  • Practice and Research Together (PART) ( Nearly all of the resources on this website are password protected but you can access the Research Radio series and get a feel for what the other resources offer - some potential ideas for here! (also on Twitter @PARTEIP)
  • Research in Practice ( PART was modeled in Research in Practice. Again, many of the resources are password protected but having a look on the website will hopefully help in terms of getting an idea of what they do.
  • Celcis: Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( Provide resources such as Research Briefs which share and disseminate knowledge with practitioners.
  • The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services ( Many resources available with a view to promoting use of knowledge and research to enhance outcomes for people using Scotland's social services
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Knowledge Exchange ( Their website is not working at the moment but from what I know they work as a broker between practitioners/communities and researchers in the field of mental health and addiction. 
  • Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health ( Very similar to PART/RIP but with a specific focus on child and youth mental health. 
  • Practice Links is a free e-publication for practitioners working in Irish social services, voluntary and non-governmental sectors. Practice Links was created to help practitioners in these areas to keep up-to-date with new publications, conferences and continuing professional development opportunities. Practice Links is published every other month and distribution is by email, Twitter and on the Practice Links website Follow us on Twitter @PracticeLinks for more regular updates. Practice Links is a publication of the Social Work Development Unit, UCC.


Practice Research Statements

“Practice research involves the generation of knowledge of direct relevance to professional practice and therefore will normally involve knowledge generated directly from practice itself in a grounded way”.

(Practice Research: The Salisbury Statement 2009:3) 

  • The Salisbury Statement on practice research A conference on practice research took place in June 2008 in Salisbury, UK. The conference brought together a group of interested academics and professionals (organised by SPRING – the Southampton Practice Research Initiative Network Group) in Salisbury, UK, to formulate an international statement on practice research. The group comprised researchers and practitioners from a range of countries (the Nordic countries, Italy, Canada, the USA, Israel, Singapore, and the UK). This group formed the backbone of the group known as the “Salisbury Forum”. The group comprised primarily professionals from the social work discipline but tried to formulate a statement which might be applied more broadly in all professions where the research of practice is important. The statement was the subject of a special issue of the online journal ‘Social Work and Society’ VOL 9, NO 1 (2011). The statement was published in this special issue.




Useful References

Beddoe, L., & Harington, P. (2012). One step in a thousand-mile journey: Can civic practice be nurtured in practitioner research? Reporting on an innovative project. British Journal of Social Work, 42(1), 74-93.

Fouché, C., & Light, G. (2011). An Invitation to Dialogue ‘The World Café’ In Social Work Research. Qualitative Social Work, 10(1), 28-48.

McCrystal, P. (2000). Developing the social work researcher through a practitioner research training programme. Social Work Education, 19(4), 359-373.

Shaw, I. (2005) ‘Practitioner research: Evidence or critique?’, British Journal of Social Work, 35(8), pp. 1231–48.

Shaw, I. (2006) ‘Human services’, in I. Shaw, J. Greene and M. Mark (eds), Sage Handbook of Evaluation, London, Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2011) Evaluating in Practice, Aldershot, Ashgate.

Shaw, I. and Faulkner, A. (2006) ‘Practitioner evaluation at work’, American Journal of Evaluation, 27(1), pp. 44–63.

Shaw, I. And Lishman, J. (eds.)  (1999).  Evaluation and Social Work Practice.  London : Sage.

Shaw, I., & Lunt, N. (2011). Navigating practitioner research. British Journal of Social Work, 41(8), 1548-1565.

Waldman, J. (2005). Using evaluative research to support practitioners and service users in undertaking reflective writing for public dissemination. British journal of social work, 35(6), 975-981.