College of Letters & Sciences
Social Work Student Research Banner

Social Work

Contact Information

Yeongmin Kim
Department Chair & Associate Professor 
Phone: 262-472-1212
Location: Laurentide Hall 5205
Sarah Hessenauer
MSW Program Coordinator & Professor
Phone: 262-472-1203
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201/CEC-Rm. 160
Deanna Guthrie
BSW Program Coordinator & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1881
Location: Laurentide Hall 5209
Susan Morris
Department Assistant
Phone: 262-472-1137
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201

Undergraduate Research

The Social Work Department offers students opportunities to become involved in research. Hands-on research experience provides valuable skills in literature review, experimental design, research methods, data analysis, and dissemination of results through presentation and/or publication.

Benefits of Undergraduate Research

  • Foster a mentoring relationship with UWW faculty or staff, often an ideal person to write a well-informed, strong letter of recommendation for you
  • Explore a topic you are passionate about and can’t fully explore in class
  • Get individualized attention and regular feedback on your work
  • Enrich your education and college experience
  • Learn collaboration and teamwork
  • Enhance written and oral communication skills
  • Gain intellectual skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and research
  • Contribute to the social work profession
  • Apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings
  • Prepare for conducting independent research in graduate school
  • Build your résumé
  • Earn college credits by enrolling in SOCWORK 498 or SOCWORK 498R
  • Travel to present your research at a conference
  • Get paid through various programs on campus, listed below

Campus Support for Undergraduate Research

Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP)

RAP is designed to give student an opportunity to assist faculty/staff on their research projects. Student research assistants engage in research activities and are encouraged to participate in additional research related opportunities such as presenting their experience at UWW undergraduate Research Day or attending the UW System Symposium undergraduate research conference. Eligibility for the program include: students who have 72 credits or less and non-traditional or returning adult students pursuing a second degree. Students enrolled in the RAP program receive funding to support their assigned faculty/staff mentor and may be paid hourly to work up to 125 hours per academic year. Students are encouraged to identify their mentor and apply early in the academic year. Applications for the academic year open every August. See the RAP website for more details.

Undergraduate Research Program (URP)

URP is an advocate for expanded experiential learning that enhances engagement in undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, including faculty-mentored research and curriculum-based projects.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF)

SURF UWW is a ten-week mentored summer research grant at UW-Whitewater. This program allows you to write a grant proposal for a fellowship. Fellowships awarded include stipends of up to $3,500 each summer. In addition, up to $500 in funding for supplies, services and travel expenses. The most important factor in proposing a successful project is your enthusiasm for the project itself and working with the mentor. SURF should have significant intellectual and creative content. 

SURF CBR is a fellowship in community based research. Fellowships of up to $3,500 support community-based research in the state of Wisconsin. In addition, up to $500 funding for supplies, services and travel expenses may be available. The SURF-CBR grants provide opportunities for students to develop research projects that apply their academic skills, experiences, and ideas to real world problems. These grants are designed to give students the time and resources needed for meaningful reflection and in-depth inquiry into a problem or issue in collaboration with a faculty mentor and community organization that addresses a documented public need. Community-based research is defined as "a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change." 

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program 

The goal of the McNair Program is to prepare low income, first generation and/or students from groups underrepresented for doctoral study as well as eventual careers as faculty. One of the primary means of preparation is participation in undergraduate research. Several Social Work professors have or are willing to mentor McNair Scholars. Admittance into the McNair Scholars program is via a competitive application process. There is a stipend for students accepted into the McNair Program. Please see the McNair website for more information or to apply. 

Created 7/14/2017