Federal funding of social work research: High hopes or sour grapes?

Kenneth Corvo, Wan Yi Chen, Patrick Selmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Placed in the historical context of government funding of academic research,this critical analysis identifies the complexities and implications of schools of social work pursuing federal grants for research. Schools of social work with particular organizational characteristics are better able to compete for federal grants, incurring lower opportunity costs than others. The low probability of grant success for most schools, the organizational adaptations needed for success, and the narrow epistemology of many funding programs call into question whether federal funding of research should be considered the sine qua non for academic social work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Academic social work
  • Government funding
  • Research
  • Science
  • Universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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