Stepping into the unknown: Reflections and learnings from the journey from social worker to researcher


  • Stefanie Doebl Registered social worker


Social work, practitioner-researcher, PhD journey, research, reflection


Whilst social workers have skills and experiences that could be well suited to a research environment, moving from frontline social work to research can be daunting. Drawing from my own journey, I reflect on initial misconceptions and provide potential reflection points for others interested in undertaking research. I also suggest a selection of resources which may be relevant to social workers. By sharing my experiences, I offer an example of a journey from social worker to researcher. Future opportunities to expand this conversation are necessary and could be pursued by the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers.


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How to Cite

Doebl, S. . (2022). Stepping into the unknown: Reflections and learnings from the journey from social worker to researcher. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 34(4), 91–98. Retrieved from