About the TFEL Project

Our Goal

The goal of the project is to integrate research and practice in the preparation of the next generation of social workers by developing partnered research training initiatives, both within academia and across the public and not-for-profit sectors, that enhance student research practice knowledge and applied skill development.

Our Objectives

The partnership has five objectives:

1. To transform social work field education by bridging the gap between research and practice through joint training initiatives, projects and other forms of multi-stakeholder engagement and integration;

2. To strengthen the recognition of the importance of social work practice research by building knowledge and skills among students, postdoctoral fellows, and current and future practitioners;

3. To train and mentor students and postdoctoral fellows through new partnered research training initiatives that build the research capacity of current and future social work scholars, practitioners and policymakers;

4. To support the development of sustainable models of field education through engaging students and postdoctoral fellows in research on promising practices in social work field education across Canada; and

5. To engage students and postdoctoral fellows in partnered knowledge mobilization and the multi-directional exchange of knowledge in Canada and internationally on promising practices for sustainable field education and practice research.

Project Overview

An overview of the TFEL project and the three streams of activities are captured in a digital story put together by student research assistants Nozipho Moyo and Jayden Wickman.

Our Book

Transforming Social Work Field Education: New Insights from Practice Research and Scholarship

Read here: https://press.ucalgary.ca/books/9781773854397/

This TFEL open-access book encourages the adoption of research and scholarship into the practice of social work, especially field education. It offers current theoretical concepts and perspectives that shape social work field education and provides case studies of practice research grounded in the experiences of diverse communities and countries. Highlighting cutting-edge research and scholarship, each chapter addresses critical issues in social work practice and their implications for field education.

Suggested citation:

Drolet, J. L., Charles, G., McConnell, S. M., & Bogo, M. (2022). Transforming Social Work Field Education: New Insights from Practice Research and Scholarship. LCR Publishing Services. https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/115579

TFEL Publications

Impact of COVID-19 on social work field education: Perspectives of Canadian social work students

Read Here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14680173231162499

Suggested citation:

Au, C., L. Drolet, J., Kaushik, V., Charles, G., Franco, M., Henton, J., Hirning, M., McConnell, S., Nicholas, D., Nickerson, A., Ossais, J., Shenton, H., Sussman, T., Verdicchio, G., Walsh, C. A., & Wickman, J. (2023). Impact of COVID-19 on social work field education: Perspectives of Canadian social work students. Journal of Social Work, 0(0). https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/10.1177/14680173231162499

Canadian social work field education during a global pandemic: A comparison of student and field instructor perspectives

Read Here: https://websok.uis.no/index.php/JCSW/article/view/406

Suggested citation:

Ossais, J., Drolet, J., Alemi, M.I., Collins, T., Au, C., Bogo, M., Charles, G., Franco, M., Henton, J., Huang, L.X., Kaushik, V., McConnell, S., Nicholas, D., Shenton, H., Sussman, T., Walsh, C.A., & Wickman, J. (2021/2). Canadian social work field education during a global pandemic: A comparison of student and field instructor perspectives. Journal of Comparative Social Work, 16(2), 113-140. https://doi.org/10.31265/jcsw.v16.i2.406


Transforming the Field Education Landscape: National survey on the state of field education in Canada

Read Here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02615479.2022.2056159

Suggested citation:

Walsh, J., Drolet, J.L., Alemi, M.I., Collins, T., Kaushik, V., McConnell, S.M., McKee, E., Mi, E., Sussman, T., & Walsh, C.A. (2022). Transforming the Field Education Landscape: National survey on the state of field education in Canada. Social Work Education: The International Journal. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2022.2056159


The Shifting Landscape of International Social Work Field Education

Wasif Ali, Julie Drolet, Kamal Khatiwada, Emmanuel Chilanga, and Yassannah Mussah wrote this article based on a review of the literature to trace the shifting context of international practicum over the past two decades since 2010.

Read here: https://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijsw/article/view/19129

Suggested citation:

Ali, W., Drolet, J., Khatiwada, K., Chilanga, E., & Mussah, Y.M. (2022). The shifting landscape of international social work field education. International Journal of Social Work, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v9i1

Beyond the Challenges: New Insights and Innovations in Field Education

Julie Drolet, Mohammed Idris Alemi, and Tara Collins discuss the challenges facing field education programs and provide an overview of the TFEL project, with a focus on how the partnership is addressing those concerns.

Read here: https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/10.1142/S021924622100005X

Suggested citation:

Drolet, J., Alemi, M.I., & Collins, T. (2021). Beyond the challenges: New insights and innovations in field education. The Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, 55(1/2), 39-52. https://doi.org/10.1142/S021924622100005X

Social Work Field Education in Canada: Learnings from Three National Studies

Dr. Julie Drolet (PhD) and Vibha Kaushik (PhD), co-wrote this article for the Fall 2021 Perspectives magazine on the numerous nation-wide research studies that TFEL has conducted, including the State of Social Work Field Education Survey, the Field Challenge Survey, and the Virtual Dialogue Circles project.

Read here: https://bit.ly/3pYFTWM

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Kaushik, V., Drolet, J. (2021). Social work field education in Canada: Learnings from three national studies. Perspectives, 12-13.


Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships

Dr. Vibha Kaushik (PhD), TFEL Project Postdoc., received an innovative postdoctoral fellowship, for her work in translating her research results into a societal impact. Dr. Kaushik’s research expertise is in the area of settlement and integration of skilled immigrants. Her recent study is one of the few to focus solely on immigrants chosen under the Federal Skilled Workers Program. This research identifies specific challenges and opportunities for improving immigrant services and supports, as well as invites advocacy from social justice professionals for skilled immigrants

Read here: https://bit.ly/3GcYUue


We’re Ready! Community Disaster Preparedness Workshop

An article on the We’re Ready! (WR) Community Disaster Preparedness workshop, led by TFEL Project Postdoc., Dr. Evalyna Bogdan (PhD), is featured in the October 2021 newsletter of the Psychosocial Disaster Network. We’re Ready! focuses on neighbourhood and community-level preparedness, rather than individual and household preparedness which has been the main focus in Canada. The WR! Plus design and research is part of the Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) Project, directed by Dr. Julie Drolet (PhD), which aims to identify field education models with sustained capacity, including those that address practicum shortages and interprofessional collaboration.

Read here: https://bit.ly/3jkkRxD

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Bogdan, E. (2021, October 15). We’re Ready! community disaster preparedness. Psychosocial Disaster Network (PDN). Newsletter (p.3).


TFEL Postdoctoral Scholar Prepares Students to Strengthen Society’s Resilience to Disasters

Dr. Evalyna Bogdan (PhD), of the TFEL Project, speaks on her work and research surrounding disaster preparedness in Alberta communities. Dr. Bogdan joins UCalgary as one of 32 Eyes High Postdoctoral Scholars.

Read here: https://bit.ly/3Bi8rgt

Suggested Citation: Allford, J. (2021, October 6). Postdoc prepares students to strengthen society’s resilience to disasters. University of Calgary. UToday newsletter.


Social Work Field Instruction: A Scoping Review

The scoping review aims to offer an overview and understanding of the contemporary field education empirical literature, focusing specifically on field instruction.

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Bogo, M., Sewell, K. M., Mohamud, F., & Kourgiantakis, T. (2020 Online). Social work field instruction: A scoping review. Social Work Educationhttps://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2020.1842868


The Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development: The Importance of Creating New Partnerships

Penned by post-doctoral scholar, Wasif Ali and TFEL project director, Dr. Julie Drolet, this article focuses on environmental change and a need for new partnerships in social work.

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Ali, W. & Drolet, J. L. (2021). The social dimensions of sustainable development: The importance of creating new partnerships. International Journal on Engineering Technologies and Informatics 2(3), 68-69. https://skeenapublishers.com/journal/ijeti/IJETI-02-00015.pdf

Integrating Practice Research into Social Work Field Education

This article discusses how practice research can be integrated into social work field education by drawing upon a training module designed for this purpose by the Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) partnership. Implications and recommendations for practice research and field educators are provided.

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Traber, D. K., Collins, T., Drolet, J. L., Adamo, D. J., Franco, M., Laban, K. M., McConnell, S. M., Mi, E., St. George, S., Wulff, D. (2021). Integrating practice research into social work field education. The Field Educator 11(1), 1-12. https://fieldeducator.simmons.edu/article/integrating-practice-research-into-social-work-field-education/ 


A New Partnership: Transforming the Field Education Landscape

This paper, by TFEL project director Julie Drolet, focuses on the intersections of research and practice in Canadian social work field education and outlines the goals of the TFEL project alongside the supporting literature.

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Drolet, J. (2020). A new partnership: Transforming the field education landscape. The Field Educator 10(1), 1-18. https://fieldeducator.simmons.edu/article/transforming-the-field-education-landscape/


A Conversation on a New Canadian Social Work Field Education and Research Collaboration Initiative

This publication is an interview between the Editor-in-Chief of the Field Educator, Kim Harriman, and TFEL project director Julie Drolet, who discusses the background of TFEL, its goals, and the need for it in response to the crisis facing field education.

Suggested Citation (APA 7): Drolet, J., & Harriman, K. (2020). A conversation on a new Canadian social work field education and research collaboration initiative. The Field Educator 10(1), 1-7. https://fieldeducator.simmons.edu/article/a-conversation-on-a-new-canadian-social-work-field-education-and-research-collaboration-initiative/

Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, practicum students, and postdoctoral scholars are involved in all aspects of TFEL.

Are you a student or postdoctoral scholar? Click here to learn more about how you can participate in the partnership project!


The TFEL partnership is supported in part by funding from a SSHRC Partnership Grant (Talent).  The SSHRC talent program aims to support students and postdoctoral researchers in order to develop the next generation of researchers and leaders across society, both within academic and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.


The TFEL project would like to acknowledge Julie Drolet, Linda Kreitzer, and Don McSwiney for some of the photos featured on the website.


The robot logo was designed by Emily King, a 17 year-old high school student living in Edmonton, Alberta. The robot logo represents the transformative experience of students engaged in training and mentorship.

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