The capacity to undertake academic research on both adult and children’s social care is under-developed and fragile both here in Wales and across the UK.

The aims of the programme are both: to encourage people into the field of academic research on all aspects of social care; and to support those already working in the field to develop their careers.


There is a well-documented lack of research capacity in social care across the United Kingdom. Wales also experiences this broader problem, as evidenced for instance by relatively few senior social care researchers regularly obtaining research income. The causes are complicated, systemic, and long-term. Nonetheless, we feel that there is an opportunity to address these issues, through a programme that uses existing strengths and partnerships and targets key points in the academic career.

Activities and Methods

Pathway to PhD – Aimed at those working in social care or with lived experience of services (either adult services or children and families) who are considering undertaking a doctorate or professional doctorate, this programme provides support to take your research ideas and develop them into an application for doctoral study.

Pathway to PI – This programme is aimed at Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who having been awarded their PhD in a social care focused research area and who are now contemplating taking the next step and applying for their first grant funding as a Principal Investigator (PI).

Pathway to Professor – For mid-career researchers who have worked in social care research for several years.  The programme links participants with a mentor who is a senior academic in the social care field.   Regular meetings over a six-month period will provide an opportunity for participants to think about their longer-term career goals and formulate those goals into a plan. Research Methods Masterclasses – The above programmes are underpinned by the Research Masterclass Series.  The research masterclasses are an ongoing series of presentations by experts in the use of particular research methods.  Using practical examples, the sessions provide not just an overview of a particular methodological approach but outline how it can be applied within the context of social care research.


This is an ongoing study.

Contact us –

Lead Person

Principal InvestigatorProfessor Donald Forrester

Academic Staff

Research FellowDr Martin Elliott
Related SchoolsSchool of Social Sciences
Related partnersN/A
FundersHealth and Care Research Wales
Related publicationsN/A
Related linksResearch Capacity Building Programme – CASCADE (
Related documentsN/A