Most research projects are part of one of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s institutes, listed below. Directed by social work faculty, these institutes and programs pursue interdisciplinary, scientifically rigorous social and behavioral research, and provide expertise and a range of services including program evaluation and training to research and practice communities.
The Addiction Research Institute (ARI) focuses on substance abuse among under-served populations (particularly African Americans and Mexican Americans). ARI 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.
The 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. 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.
The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing is a partnership of researchers committed to producing quality research to guide policy and social work practice for children and families. The institute currently focuses on nine topics: foster care and permanency, adolescent sexual health, child care, social work practices in healthcare, child maltreatment prevention, adoption, guardianship and kinship, disabilities, Latino immigrant families, and social work practices in schools.
The Institute for Collaborative Health Research and Practice is an academic-community partnership that brings together practice and research professionals from many disciplines to investigate and address the health needs of individuals and communities. The overarching goal of this collaborative initiative is to enhance and support individual, family and community health and wellness
The 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.
The Institute for Military & Veteran Family Wellness is a joint effort of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry. the program serves as a home-base where researchers and community members collaborate to determine effective care and develop programs and practices needed by service members, veterans, their caregivers, and their families. In addition, the program partners with expert trainers to support the training of health care professionals and graduate students in evidence-based treatments. The program also offers assistance in research, training and community support for the implementation of effective practices to organizations that serve service members, veterans and their families.
The Institute for Organizational Excellence (IOE) has over 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.
The 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.