Karen Winter, ESWRA Chair
Lecturer in Social Work, Queens University, Belfast

I am engaged in social work research that is organised under four main themes: children and young people in care; children’s rights; communication and relationships; vulnerable families and their children. The focus of my research is to improve outcomes for children and young people by research that: raises awareness about children’s rights and barriers that hinder opportunities for their engagement in rights; develops practice models; and evaluates programmes and services to ensure that children are benefiting and that service delivery achieves social justice by effectively addressing inequalities and discrimination. Research projects of which I am a team member are underpinned by both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and are multi-disciplinary. My work has contributed to the profile of high standard social work research as indicated through journal publications, research reports. My work is engaged with by practitioners regionally, nationally and internationally in their work with children.

Elena Cabiati, ESWRA Secretary
Relational social work research group, Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy

I’m a researcher and my main research interests are: Intercultural social work, Social work education and Child protection. I completed my Phd in 2014 with a doctoral thesis about child protection social workers. From the beginning of my academic pathway I’ve participated in national and internal research projects, including teaching periods abroad. At the moment I am teaching Methodology of social work and Intercultural social work at the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work programs at the Catholic University in Milan. I’m a social worker with more than 10 years’ experience in Child protection services, both as practitioner and manager. I’ve published several articles in international social work journals.

Koen Hermans, ESWRA Treasurer
LUCAS, Centre for Care Research and Consultancy, KU Leuven

Section Social Policy and Social work, Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences

Koen Hermans is assistant professor Social work and social policy at the Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven. He is also project leader at LUCAS, Centre for Care Research and Consultancy. His research interests are social work research methods, homelessness, discretion and social work as a human rights profession. He has been involved in many policy- and practice oriented research projects. He is the Chair of Cost Action 15218 ‘Measuring homelessness in Europe’. In Flanders, he is the chair of the Platform ‘Strong social work’, a cooperation between a variety of social work actors to strengthen social work.

Dr María Inés Martínez-Herrero, Vice-chair
Lecturer at Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) in Spain

Originally from Spain, where I qualified and gained working experience as a social worker, I have recently returned to my home country and joined the Spanish UNIR University after about 10 years of teaching social work and research methods in the UK (Durham, Northumbria and Essex Universities). I am passionate about social work research (particularly international, comparative, and critical theory and human rights-based research) and have done a PhD on the topic of human rights and social justice in social work education (Durham University, UK). Whilst I am an early career researcher, I have a growing record of publications both in English and Spanish and I am part of established social work research groups and networks in the two countries I have developed my academic career (England, Spain). I have been involved in UK, Spanish and International social work organisations (including the UK Social Work Action Network and the IFSW) for more than 10 years, attending regularly and/or helping organise their conferences and events. In 2018, I joined the ESWRA Resources Committee and in February 2020 I was elected as an ESWRA board member. I am willing to bring ESWRA my experience and a truly international perspective on social work research and collaboration in the profession, alongside a great deal of enthusiasm, dynamism, and hard work.

ResearchGate profile:


Dr. Marcin Boryczko, Chair - Member Services and Research Resources Committee
Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Science, Institute of Education, Department of Social Pedagogy, Gdańsk University, Poland

Marcin Boryczko is an associate professor at the University of Gdańsk/Poland where he teaches at the Social Work BA and MA. He is a member of Board of experts of Polish Federation of Social Workers and Social Service Employees Unions (Polska Federacja Związków Zawodowych Pracowników Socjalnych i Pomocy Społecznej) and Human Rights Commissioner in the European region as a member of International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). His main research interests include social work education, critical thinking in social work, safety in social work practice, neoliberal governmentality in social work, and social workers’ protests.

Web profile:


Inge Bryderup, Chair, The Prizes Committee
Professor in Social Work, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University.

I am head of a Social Work Research Program that includes more than researchers. I have a long research record in the field of social work and social policy and especially social work with children and young people. I have experiences as head of several research projects funded by the EU and the Danish Government. I am the author of more than 40 books and more articles, where some appear in the main European journals. I am a member of the editorial board for Nordic Social Work Research. I have been a reviewer for several books on Social Work and reviewed submissions on behalf of Journal of Social Work, European Journal of Social Work, Qualitative Social Work and Young. Next to research, I have developed and headed both a Master in Educational Sociology for Social Workers and a Master in Social Pedagogy. I teach and supervise on social work programmes (BA, MA and Ph.D. school).

Liz Frost, Chair - Special Interest Group Development Committee
Associate Professor, Social Work.

University of the West Of England, Bristol, Department of Health and Social Sciences

PhD, Professor Florin Lazar, External Relations Committee
University of Bucharest, Romania, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Department of Social Work

I am full professor of social work (2016), at University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work starting academic career in 2001. I teach social policy, social work research methods, advanced social research and supervise doctoral students (habilitation in Sociology and Social Work). I carried out more than 25 research projects using qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods financed by EU, UNICEF, Government of Ireland, UNFPA, or Ministry of Education. Recently, I carried out research on adoption, HIV stigma and social work profession. Before joining academia, I worked for 12 years as a social worker with people living with HIV and vulnerable children and youth. I am member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Social Work and executive editor of Revista de Asistenta Sociala (Social Work Review). I am president of the Social Work Research Commission and member of the Executive Board of the National College of Social Workers from Romania (the national professional organization), founding member of the National Association of Schools of Social Work (since 2010) and member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (since 2017).

Further details:

Dr. Ozan Selcuk, Chair - Nomination and Election Committee, Co-chair - PhD & Early Career SIG
Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Turkey

Ippokratis Efstathiou, Co-chair, PhD & Early Career SIG
Department of Social Work, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

Ippokratis Efstathiou is a PhD candidate and adjunct Academic Staff in the Department of Social Work at the University of Western Attica, Greece. He holds an MSc in Social Discrimination, Migration and Citizenship, and a degree in Social Work from the Technological Educational Institute of Patras. As a Social Worker, he has been engaged in fieldwork projects related to homelessness, migration, community work as well as mental health units. As a professional, he has also participated in Crisis Intervention missions in Ukraine, Turkey, Mati, and Northern Evia area in Greece. He has also been involved in research regarding mental health, homelessness, community social work and crisis interventions.

Alessandro Sicora PhD
University of Trento, Italy

Alessandro is associate professor at the University of Trento where he teaches at the Social Work BA and MA. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW) from 2011 to 2015. He is a Marie Curie Fellow and Research Associate of the Department of Social Work, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His main research board interests include: methods of social work, reflexive practice, professional mistakes and comparative social policy. His publications have concentrated on reflective practice and social work.

Web profile:


Emilio José Gómez Ciriano, PHD, BL, BSW Associate professor Castilla-La Mancha Universit

PhD, BL, BSW. Faculty of Labour Law and Social Work, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

I am Associate Professor accredited by the Spanish National Accreditation Agency. My academic background is bachelor in laws, bachelor in social work and have a PhD. In Cultural and Social Anthropology. I specialized in European Studies at the College of Europe where I also did some of my research. Prior to my teaching I worked in several NGO´s related to migration and Human Rights. Since 2005 I work at Universidad de Castilla-la Mancha.

My main research interests have to do with anti-oppressive social work, social services, economic, social and cultural rights, citizenship, identity, and intercultural competence. I have authored or co-authored more than 70 publications. I also have coordinated research projects funded by the EU and the Spanish Government. I am a member of some editorial boards of journals related to social work. My knowledge of the EU institutions at Brussels level provided me with good abilities in lobbying. I am fluent in Spanish and English and a have a reasonably good command of French and a good understanding of Portuguese and Italian language. I am very intuitive and also I am accustomed to team working

Further information: HERE

Jon Symonds
Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bristol, UK

I am a Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bristol where I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Social Work and Childhood Studies. My research interests include supporting families where there are concerns about children’s welfare, engaging and working with fathers for the welfare of their children, and developing practitioner skills in communication. I have collaborated on research focused on engaging fathers to parenting programmes, fathers with learning disabilities, the wellbeing of children in care and assessment practices in adult social care. I have been a member of ESWRA since 2014 and was a doctoral member of the Board from 2014 – 2016 before joining the Board again in 2018 as a general member.

More information HERE.

Prof. Dr. Melinda Madew
University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg, Germany

Melinda Madew is Professor of International Social Work, at the University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg, Germany. She has years of experience working with international aid organizations in Asia, Africa and Europe as social development consultant. She has done fulltime teaching in countries such as the Republic of Fiji, Philippines and Germany and enjoys doing guest lectureships in various European universities. She has conceptualized and led inter-university projects funded by the European Union including joint degree programs and curriculum development initiatives. Her teaching and research is in postcolonial social work. She currently serves as external examiner in development studies for the graduate school program of the University of South Africa in Pretoria. She is a research associate in gender and postcolonial studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Sarah Vicary, Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University, United Kingdom

Sarah is Professor of Social Work and Mental Health at The Open University. Her research interests lie in the generation, dissemination and application of legal roles in Mental Health Social Work (MHSW) at the forefront of explorations of regulatory practices that restrict human behaviour. Underpinned by professional registration as a social worker Sarah provides sustained authorship of field-leading outputs offering MHSW expertise and guidance impacting on government, regulatory policy makers and practitioners.

Dr Sarah Vicary | OU people profiles (