Reflections on navigating the PhD journey as a social work practitioner

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Practitioners who undertake PhDs find themselves in a unique research position. They have a dual role of being a researcher, a doctoral candidate and also a practitioner. This paper describes my reflections on the journey of doing a PhD as an experienced social work practitioner. First, I describe my study which designed, developed and evaluated a psychoeducational intervention for foster carers in Ireland. Then, I discuss my reflections on my position in the research and how I theoretically framed my study in a pragmatist approach. I discuss the challenges I experienced as a practitioner and doctoral candidate. I conclude that my position as a practitioner and doctoral candidate was likely to have enhanced my research and the contribution it has made to social work practice.




Lotty, M. (2021). Reflections on navigating the PhD journey as a social work practitioner. Qualitative Social Work, 20(3), 851–865.

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