Contact Us

Get in touch with an advisor by sending us a message.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will it mean to be a Social Work Futures Fellow?

It means you’ll be part of a national community of learning and practice that will meet regularly to learn, play, explore, and “make” in the form of recommendations to the field.  It is the hope of the funders and the founders, that new types of scholarship and practice may also emerge from the learning and dialogue that will be part of the experience.   By the end of the 18 months, you’ll also be a trained social work futurist.

Is there any financial compensation to be part of this fellowship?

The budget doesn’t permit individual financial compensation to fellows – but the materials, access to experts, and a carefully curated experience will be completely developed for you.  If COVID-19 permits, we may be able to have in-person meetings in year two of the lab and those travel costs will be covered.  We do ask that part of the fellowship application include a letter from a supervisor releasing each applicant from some aspect of his/her/their duties to accommodate the time required (approximately 4 hours per month) to participate fully in this endeavor.

I don't really have any experience with futures thinking and work - should I apply?

Please read through the entirety of the call for proposals.   Applications will be prioritized according to originality, commitment, and experience but not necessarily experience in futures work.  An attempt will be made to balance the subjects brought by different members – so that we have a mix of those interested in climate, in technology, in immigration/migration and other areas.    If you believe you have a compelling interest and commitment – go for it!  

I really don't know where to start - how can I quickly learn more about what this might mean for me?

This past year, 3-part webinar series on the future of social work was sponsored by the National Network for Social Work Management, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work, and Portland State University School of Social Work.   You might want to access the webinars and slide decks here and then consider if this opportunity is right for you.

Link here:

Who will be making the decisions about who is selected?

Our national advisory committee comprised of national experts in social work research, practice, and education – all of whom have a strong commitment to this initiative – will be making the decision along with the national program director, Dr. Laura Nissen.  You can learn about our national advisory committee here (link to that part of the site…).   An explicit effort will be made to create a final group of fellows that represent diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and other identities. 

Will there be additional groups of fellows or only one?

At this time, we have received funding for one group of fellows.  Additional groups may be possible at a later date but no commitment can be made to that at this time.

Will there be publishing opportunities involved - important to junior academics and those wishing to write?
There will be an abundance of ideas and opportunities for articles, blog posts, and other forms of professional and creative communication.  It is the intention of this initiative to produce valuable contributions focused on helping to guide the profession of social work towards the future.   Both structured and informal opportunities will be plentiful to write and publish if desired. 
What if I haven't worked directly with a "health" area of social work? Can I still apply?
The decision was made to go with a focus on health and health-related.   We’re utilizing the WHO’s definition of the social determinants of health which is:
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.
In this context, almost EVERY type of social work practice is connected to these complex array of possible issues.    Simply clearly illuminate your area of practice or aspirations to the social determinants to health and you’re good!