Most projects are part of one of our nine research institutes, listed below. Directed by social work faculty, these multidisciplinary institutes provide expertise and a range of services including program evaluation and training to research and practice communities.
We are proud to say that the scope of research at the School of Social Work is deep and wide. We examine phenomena both at the individual and system levels, and study a range of factors that influence the human experience. We do this through various approaches – intervention studies, secondary data analyses, epidemiological investigations, qualitative examinations, program evaluation, community-based participatory research, policy analysis, and even market research.
Addiction Research Institute (ARI) focuses on substance abuse among under-served populations (particularly African-Americans and Mexican-Americans). The Program adopts a uniquely social work perspective, emphasizing factors at the individual, family, organizational, societal, and cultural level that influence substance abuse and substance abuse treatment.
Child and Family Research Institute (CFRI) is a partnership of researchers committed to producing quality research to guide policy and social work practice for children and families.
Health Behavior Research and Training Institute (HBRT) specializes in the development and implementation of interventions addressing behavior change using the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Intervention research has targeted HIV and safer sexual practices, prenatal health, alcohol, cocaine, smoking, STI testing, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The HBRT has a history of providing training on the TTM, MI, and evidence-based intervention and prevention approaches, with recent emphasis on teaching health care providers to use brief motivational interventions in medical settings.
Institute for Community Development: U.S. & Abroad seeks to strengthen the resilient capacity of international and local communities through culturally-tailored, sustainable community development projects designed and implemented by cross-disciplinary, inter-university and community-driven collaborations.
Institute for Organizational Excellence (IOE) has 30 years of experience in providing survey research services to over a hundred state and local government agencies and institutions of higher education as well as private and nonprofit organizations. The overlying goal of the IOE is to promote excellence within organizations by encouraging research and continuing education. Our largest continuous project is the Survey of Employee Engagement (formerly the Survey of Organizational Excellence), an employee assessment instrument widely used throughout Texas governmental agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and in many different types of organizations across the country.
Institute for Palliative Care and Family Survival is a multi-disciplinary collaboration among research and community professionals to investigate and address the needs of children, adults and families who have experienced grief and loss. The overarching goals of this initiative are to enhance and support individual and family survival.
Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD) seeks to build a national mindset that embraces restorative justice principles. Its mission is to advance meaningful accountability, victim healing and community safety through the use of restorative solutions to repair the harm related to conflict, crime and victimization.
Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA) creates opportunities for faculty and students to conduct research and share expertise through collaboration with community agencies and local, state, and national organizations. In addition, IDVSA offers training and disseminates information on domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking to policy makers, students and service providers in fields of social work, law, nursing, and related disciplines.
Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health is a multi-disciplinary collaboration focused on improving the social, emotional, and behavioral health of Texans. The scope of the Institute’s effort includes evidence-based practice implementation, workforce training and technical assistance, research and evaluation, policy and program development, and information dissemination.