Be a part of the Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) to:

  • Think deeply, boldly, and creatively about our society’s future and social work’s role in shaping that future.
  • Develop and implement strategies that bridge the gap between research and practice in social work.
  • Take proven, evidence-based approaches to scale in critical areas.
  • Collaborate with researchers, practitioners, and colleagues in related disciplines to create transformational, lasting social change.
  • Achieve greater impact in your own research and practice.

How Can I Participate?
Everyone can sign up for the GCSW email list and connect with the initiative through social media including:

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Up4theChallenge to connect your social media posts and Tweets to the broader Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative. And, we invite you to help build out the GCSW Wikipedia article, adding your/your school’s Grand Challenge related work!

You can also learn more about the Grand Challenges via our YouTube videos.

Going Deeper

If you’re a dean or director of a school of social work, you can:
  • Host/sponsor a Grand Challenges conference or symposium (perhaps in collaboration with other schools/departments on campus)
  • Develop a fellowship/scholarship program related to one or more Grand Challenges
  • Offer courses/conduct curriculum change to reflect the Grand Challenges
  • Identify and promote Grand Challenge-related field education sites
  • Offer a Grand Challenges speakers’ series (again, perhaps in collaboration with other schools/departments on campus)
  • Establish awards to recognize faculty and students for Grand Challenge-related teaching and research
  • Connect your research to Grand Challenges in manuscripts, posters, presentations and grant proposals
  • Support the GCSW by becoming a Sustaining Sponsor
  • Open a Grand Challenges Center or Institute
If you’re a social work faculty member or researcher, you can:
  • Lead or participate in a Grand Challenge network
  • Incorporate Grand Challenge information into your courses
  • Join and upload your Grand Challenge-related course syllabi and teaching materials
  • Connect your research to one of the Grand Challenges in manuscripts, posters, presentations, even grant proposals
  • Establish Practice-Based Research Networks around Grand Challenges
  • Join and collaborate with SSWR Special Interest Groups on Grand Challenges
  • Post information about your or others’ work related to a Grand Challenge on the GCSW Facebook Group or through your
  • Twitter feed using the #Up4theChallenge
  • Create your own Grand Challenges discussion group or brown bag lunch series on your campus
If you’re a student, you can:
  • Find new collaborators in groups or activities connected to one or more Grand Challenges
  • Participate in one or more Grand Challenge networks
  • Host an #Up4theChallenge event on your campus or in your class
  • Build a coalition centered on one or more Grand Challenge
  • Post information about your or others’ Grand Challenge-related work on social media using #Up4theChallenge
  • Create your own Grand Challenge discussion group or brown bag lunch series
If you are a practitioner, advocate, or policymaker, you can:
  • Connect with social work researchers doing cutting edge science related to your work, organization, coalition or initiative.
  • Engage with schools of social work, community members, and policymakers to host a policy briefing, evidence-based practice seminar, community symposia or other meeting/event related to a particular Grand Challenge
  • Lead a Practice-Based Research Network related to one or more Grand Challenge areas
  • Host a ‘Grand Challenge Day’ highlighting practitioners and organizations working on Grand Challenge issues
  • Apply to host undergraduate and graduate internships in Grand Challenge-specific areas
If you’re a funder:
  • Encourage grantees to link their work to a specific Grand Challenge
  • Support existing GC work through a direct contribution
  • Create a new funding program for GC-related projects or collaborations

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Contact us
If you are working on one of the Grand Challenge issue areas—from any angle or discipline—and want to collaborate on a project or share information with social workers addressing the issue, please let us know! Contact one of the lead authors of any of Grand Challenge working papers or email questions to

Grand Challenges for Social Work Invites You to Go•Grander!