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Office of Social Work Research Mission

  • The Office of Social Work Research (OSWR) aligns itself with The University of Alabama’s Research Mission and the School of Social Work to pursue, discover and disseminate knowledge​.
  • We work toward this goal by providing quality services, resources, and training to assist our faculty, staff, and students ​in addressing complex social and health problems, promoting human rights and social justice, and improving the well-being of vulnerable populations, locally, nationally, and globally.
  • OSWR help our faculty, staff, and students apply innovative solutions, approaches and research methodologies to make our communities and the world a better place to live.

Under the mission of The University of Alabama and the School of Social Work, faculty, staff and students engage in developing innovative approaches to understand, prevent, and address complex social and health behavioral problems at the local, national, and global levels. Our office aims to lead the dissemination of knowledge that will benefit social work practice, policy and education through communityengaged and collaborative partnerships. 

UA social work researchers are national experts in a range of areas, including:

  • Behavioral health
  • Palliative care
  • Technology

  • Military/veterans and families
  • Mental health
  • Child welfare

Many of our faculty members engage in collaborative research with students and present their research findings at state and national conferences. Our faculty researchers also are editors of major journals and routinely publish scholarly articles in national publications, bringing recognition to the School and the University. For their commitment to excellence in research, our faculty members have consistently earned prestigious national and University honors and awards.

The Office of Research strives to build a culture of research within our School through:

  • Practicing evidence-based research that addresses complex societal problems
  • Encouraging faculty and student research initiative and research collaborations
  • Interdisciplinary faculty research collaborations
  • Research partnerships within the University and our communities
  • Faculty and student research presentations at state and national conferences

Engaging in Research that Matters

The Office of Research is proud to align our research goals with those of The University of Alabama and help advance the university’s research mission. UA’s research efforts focus on making a hands-on difference in the lives of the people we serve. The University has 30 research centers, including the Youth Services Institute housed in the School of Social Work. UA’s world-class faculty, staff and students are leading the way as our state explores new technologies, advances scientific discovery and harnesses the power of creative thought to fuel the economy of the future.

Read about our research and impact in UA News.

Research Rounds

Research Rounds is an initiative created by the Office of Research to promote ongoing seminars, colloquia and luncheons for social work faculty and PhD students. Discussions focus on potential research collaborations and project funding with other UA colleges, social work professionals and peer universities.


Social Work Research Resources

Contact Us

Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, MSW
Associate Dean of Research and Professor
Email: nruggiano@ua.edu 
Phone: (205) 348-4654






The University of Alabama School of Social Work is committed to making its web resources accessible to all users, and welcomes comments or suggestions on access improvements. If you are unable to access the contents of these documents, please contact (205) 348-7027 or ssw@ua.edu.