Session: Infrastructure to Support Public Impact Scholarship: Launching the Hub for Engaged Action Research (HEAR) Lab (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

263 Infrastructure to Support Public Impact Scholarship: Launching the Hub for Engaged Action Research (HEAR) Lab

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Estrella, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education
Jody Gardner, MSW, University of Houston
Jody Gardner, MSW, University of Houston, Sarah Narendorf, PhD, University of Houston, Anil Arora, MSW, University of Houston, Samira Ali, PhD, MSW, University of Houston and Andre Harris, MSW, University of Houston
Social work researchers are at the forefront of creating social change however there are often barriers to impact due to the time lag on translating research to practice. Public impact scholarship is the intention to create social change through dissemination and implementation of research in alternative forums. Public impact scholarship is often outside the training of academic researchers, requiring new approaches to creation and dissemination of research that are time intensive and often not rewarded in tenure and promotion metrics (Silvia et al., 2019). In order to build capacity of scholars at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work that aims to co-create anti-racist research the Hub For Engaged Action Research (HEAR) Lab was created within the research office. The team was comprised of administrators, faculty, and doctoral students that expressed a desire to engage in public impact scholarship and provide institutional support for the work.The mission of the HEAR Lab is to build the capacity of scholars to create and disseminate collaborative accessible anti-racist research that centers community and fuels social change.

The objective of the roundtable is to share our experiences in building infrastructure to support public impact scholarship. From an initial articulation of goals for the lab that were drafted by the associate dean for research and submitted to faculty for input, we created a team of doctoral students, a community researcher, and a communications professional who further developed the mission and launched activities of the lab. Driven by an anti-racist approach, this group has developed a structure to support a variety of specific products and supports that increase the impact of scholarship produced in the College. This roundtable will discuss the creation of the HEAR Lab, the visioning and implementation processes, and the products created to increase public impact - what we do, how we do it, and why.

The first presenter will describe the steps involved in creating the HEAR lab, grounding values, and resources invested in launching the lab. The second presenter will speak about the process of launching the lab through engaging in partnerships with administration, faculty, and PhD students. Finally, PhD student presenter(s) will share examples of products created by the lab and their experiences as PhD students involved in the lab. Our goal is to share our example and lessons learned, then facilitate conversation with others interested in adopting a similar approach within their programs. Implications of this roundtable include helping universities build capacity of their researchers to understand the potential impact of their work, identify strategies for partnerships, enhance best practices for engaging in public impact scholarship, and outline concrete steps that institutions can take to support public impact scholarship. It is an ethical responsibility of the social work field to build public-facing, impactful scholarship. The feasibility of this work is enhanced when institutions are intentional in supporting faculty and doctoral students in this journey. Engagement in this work is necessary for producing research that speaks directly to solutions that can achieve racial, economic and environmental justice.

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