Get Paid for Your Social Work Research
As part of a social work graduate degree, students are expected to conduct research at various points during their studies. For those students who are interested in research, there is an opportunity to receive funding for student research being conducted. There are a few different sources of research funding that may be available.
Working with Professors
Professors in the discipline of social work, as in any other discipline, are expected to conduct research and publish their findings regularly. This is a major component of a professor’s responsibilities, and can also be very time-consuming. For this reason, among others, professors often seek graduate students to assist in research projects during their studies, giving the students a chance to participate actively and gain real research experience and providing professors much-needed research assistance.
Often, but not always, professors apply for and receive grant funding from various public and private institutions to conduct and write up their research. Once that funding is received, the professor as the Principal Investigator on the research project is able to distribute it according to the needs of the project. Many professors include research assistants in their project budgets, allowing them to hire graduate students as contract workers on the research project.
Students should make a point of speaking to their professors about their current research and any opportunities to be involved. Sometimes, research assistant opportunities are publicly posted and promoted, but just as often, these positions are given to students who inquire or have a relationship with the professor.
Student-specific Funding for Research
There are also a limited number of competitive opportunities for grants that fund student-led research projects. These funds come from private and public institutions, sometimes in the form of research fellowships, other times in the form of grants made to the individual student for a specific research project. In most cases, students must submit a research proposal, along with additional application materials, to be considered for funding.
The following list provides a few examples and resources to get students started on the search for research funding:
- The Tobin Project – awarding project-based fellowship and workshop funding to graduate students researching the relationship between democracy and markets.
- The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation – awarding grants for scholarly research on the problems of violence, aggression, and dominance.
- Association of Social Work Boards – sponsoring a grant program for research on topics related to regulation of the social work profession
- American Society on Aging – awarding graduate students who have conducted research and written an unpublished paper relevant to aging and applicable to practice
Continue reading our Funding for MSW Students While in School series:
- Part 1: Funding for MSW Students While in School – Part I: MSW Scholarships
- Part 3: Funding for MSW Students While in School – Part III: Get Paid for Conference Presentations and Community Service Projects