Alessandro Sicora PhD, ESWRA Chair
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. Currently he is president of the Italian Society of Social Work. 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:


Jon Symonds, ESWRA Vice-Chair
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.

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.

Emilio José Gómez Ciriano, ESWRA Secretary

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


Dr. Marcin Boryczko, Chair, Nomination and Election 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, Lead, ESWRA Journal Development Group
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).

Elena Cabiati, Chair, The Prizes and Sponsorship Committee
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.

Liz Frost, Chair, Member Services and Research Resources Committee
Associate Professor, Social Work.

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

Professor Ephrat Huss, Chair, Country Representation Committee
University of the Negev. Israel

Prof. Ephrat Huss is a professor of social work at Ben- Gurion University of the Negev where she chairs an innovative MA in Art therapy for Social Workers. She has published extensively on arts in social work and on arts-based research in social work research. She is now working on an Israeli Science Foundation grant on using arts-based research to understand and also intensify coping of impoverished Bedouin youth. She is presently researching arts as embodied pedagogy in social work, autogenic coping through arts, and she has set up and researched an arts-based youth group for Arab and Jewish youth in the south of Israel. She is at present researching psychosocial interventions with refugees in Lesbos, and editing a book on arts to transform society and on arts-based research in social practice.

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 María Inés Martínez-Herrero, Chair, Special Interest Group Development Committee
Social Work Lecturer and Researcher, Centre for Social Work, University of Essex, UK

I am a social work lecturer at the University of Essex and have been teaching social work and research methods at UK universities since 2011. However, I am originally from Spain, where I qualified and gained working experience as a social worker. 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 in England and Spain (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 (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.

University web profile:

ResearchGate profile:

Judith Metz, Ph.D., ESWRA Chair
Lecturer Social Work, University of Applied Sciences, Academie Mens en Maatschappij

For almost twenty years, I work as an academic researcher in practices. Characteristic for my research is that it occurs in the intersection between social sciences and social practices on the issues of social work, participation, professionalization and volunteering. My ambition is that my research makes a difference to society. At this moment, I am professor Urban Youth Work within the School of Social Work and Law at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In collaboration with youth workers, lecturers, students and researchers I work on the professionalization of Dutch youth work practice by the development of a body of knowledge with attention to youth work methods. I started my academic life with women studies social sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen. My master thesis on sexism and social culture in the autonomous movement in the Netherlands was published in 1998 as: Het gekraakteideaal [the broken ideal]. I did my PhD in Humanistics on the relevance of volunteer support for citizen participation (2006). Afterwards, I published various books, articles and reports on professionalization issues within the field of social work, social policy, practice research and youth work methods like open youth work, detached youth work, individual support and social group work. Just published is: Volunteering and youth services; Essential readings on volunteering and volunteer management for social work, social policy and urban management (2014).

Further information:

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Karen Winter
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.

Dr. Ozan Selcuk, Co-chair, PhD & Early Career SIG, Member ESWRA Journal Development Group
Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Turkey


Florian Spensberger, ESWRA Doctoral, Co-chair, PhD & Early Career SIG, Member: Country; Country Representation Committee
Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Germany

Currently I am a PhD candidate in the Learning Sciences in an international doctoral program at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). My primary research interests are scientific reasoning and argumentation, evidence-based practice, critical thinking, decision making and social work education. I teach BSW and MSW classes, especially in social work theory. As a practitioner, I´ve worked in youth work, probation services, social services for the homeless as well as child welfare and protection. I am especially interested in bridging the research-practice-gap and in contributing to the development of international networks for doctoral students, especially regarding social work education and research collaborations.