Strategic Priority 3

KSNAP staff, Dr. Mendenhall and Researcher Michelle Levy with project partner

Research Advancement

We will enhance the research infrastructure, so faculty and staff are able to rigorously advance empirical research that impacts the social work knowledge base. We will function as one unit and break down the research/academic walls by collaborating and utilizing research in the classroom when possible. We will acknowledge and celebrate research through promotion and dissemination of scholarship and sharing how research is impacting our communities. ​

Goal 1:

Provide support and resources for School of Social Welfare researchers to develop strong, competitive proposals to rigorously advance empirical research and be leaders among our peers in innovative research ​


  • Expand internal research development support for applying for and securing external funding  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Develop and continual update of KUSSW research toolbox folder with templates and examples

  • Develop application process for University General Research Funds  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Continue Internal funding (GRF and RDF)

    • Create a research Orientation for new staff to go along with current research mentor group

    • Implement internal review procedures for newly funded grants/contracts​

  • Update and develop policies and procedures that relate to research activities within the School  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Develop PI and GRA contracts outlining roles and expectations​

    • Start PI Training​

    • Review and revise Staff PI annual evaluation form​

    • Explore implementation of PI research contracts​

    • Refine research metrics for the School, as needed​

    • Introduce new GRA Orientation materials

    • Review and revise school buyout policy (i.e. how much it costs)

  • Continue growth of funded research/diversify research funding​  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Dedicate resources to discover and help implement alternative funding option under the Research Office

      • Hire 0.5 FTE research assistant​

      • Develop a Research Council

    • Raise funding for scholarships and endowed professorship through advancement activities  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

      • Create Class of ?? Scholarship Goal – challenge each other with one member matching total gifts​

      • Increase internal research development funds

      • Launch KU donor campaign in honor of Dr. Andrew Zinn to support research efforts

  • Improve internal Grant Management Support available to researchers after securing external funding​  (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Develop Pre & Post-Award flow charts for the School and incorporate these charts into standard research procedures

    • Host grant implementation meetings (PI Kick-Off) for all newly funded projects (includes PI, ADR, School Business Director, Research Manager)

    • Implement end-of-year survey to gather feedback about the effectiveness of this office thus far

    • Create flowcharts and other visuals for research policy items of interest, as needed​

    • Hold monthly Research Office meetings with SSC research staff

    • Review proposals before submission

    • Call for School Business Manager to serve as Research Compliance Officer

    • Develop meetings that address and help answer questions when researcher is experiencing project challenges

Goal 2:

Build awareness and understanding among our peers and community leaders that the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare is a partner who collaboratively uses research to ask and answer tough questions when creating societal changes that improve lives and communities


  • Establish a detailed event plan a year in advance including Research Impact Talks, Meet and Greets, Social Work Day/End of the year conference, Research Office project events, Center for Community Engagement and Collaboration, Anniversary celebrations highlighting School milestones such as 30th anniversary of Strengths Perspective and 75th anniversary of the MSW Program (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

  • Ask School Associate Dean for Research to attend KU Office of Research meetings​ (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

  • Highlight research on website in eight research cluster areas designed to foster an integrated and inclusive environment (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

  • Summarize research findings to easily show the public the economic and social impact it has on our communities (COMPLETE & ONGOING) ​​

    • Observe 30th anniversary of the Strengths Perspective

    • Work with Center for Public Partnerships and Research to develop a monthly research highlight

    • Create research highlight web pages​

    • Update communications and collateral materials to highlight this impact​

    • Track annual research metrics​

    • Create research spotlights on specific topic or project across all mediums (social media, website, email blasts, etc)

    • Design and distribute annual Research Highlight publication

    • Use and promote the use of KU ScholarWorks for published journal articles

    • Promote conference presentation highlights

    • Develop Faculty and Researcher Highlight accordion brochure

    • Incorporate Grand Challenges into faculty and researcher highlights​

    • Attend trainings on new Academic Analytics enhancements


Holding ourselves accountable

  • Increased funding​ and community partner
  • Increased research products
  • Increased positive social and economic impact on our communities and our most vulnerable populations
  • Increased traditional and non-traditional media exposure and reach

Reach out

We welcome your thoughts.
As always, please reach out with questions or concerns at any time.
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