SPARC Program

The deadline for the next review cycle is now May 15, 2018.

SPARC Program Purpose: To "spark" IASWG members' innovative practice, education, training and research projects through endorsement and small grants to advance the IASWG mission.

2017 is the IASWG SPARC Program’s 5th year of operation.  We are proud of all the IASWG SPARC Projects Endorsed and Funded during our first 4 years of operation, and encourage IASWG Members to submit proposals for the current review cycle ending on May 15, 2018

You must be a current member of IASWG to apply. Potential applicants should review the Application and SPARC Project Agreement.

Since 2013, we have had 9 SPARC Program review cycles, and the IASWG Board has endorsed 30 projects, 18 of them with funding totaling $13,370.00. Our current funding levels range from $250 to $1000 per grant. Thus far, we have SPARC Projects on three continents! Information on our previous awards is available below.

See Videos from IASWG SPARC Awardees, talking about their SPARC Projects, why they applied to SPARC, and their advice to new applicants.

Applications are reviewed twice per year, in advance of the IASWG Board Meetings, generally held in June and November.  The next deadline is May 15, 2018, and awardees will be announced in June at the IASWG Board Meeting. 

The committee members are: Carol Cohen, Barbara Muskat, Zaneta Smith and Brian Kelly. Please contact Carol Cohen ( for further information.


SPARC Projects include:

  • Initiative to expand support group work services and training with media capabilities.
  • Dissertation study of factors in the commitment to group work practice.
  • Project to compile case studies for group work teaching and training.
  • Research to study authors' trajectories following their group work related dissertations.
  • Training to expand staff expertise in providing diverse group work programs.
  • Innovation to expand knowledge and competency to more effectively serve an under-served population.
  • Dissertation study of school social workers' perceptions of grief counseling groups for adolescents.
  • Development of group work programs to better serve youth and young men of color.
  • Large scale research study to examine and work more effectively with diversity in group work throughout stages of development.
  • Implementation of an innovative book discussion group with members with multiple sclerosis.
  • Evaluation of small group activities within online learning environments.
  • Research and training in group work supervision.
  • Advocacy for the use of group methods in social work and allied fields.
  • Examination of the linkage of summer camp programs and the development of social group work.
  • Establishment of a think tank & action network to challenge and eradicate the oppressive social structures threatening young Black males.
  • Implementation of a stigma focused group program, collaboratively developed for and with parents living with HIV.

IASWG members are welcome to submit proposals to the SPARC Program, requesting endorsement with or without funding, for special projects (e.g., training, research, and practice) consistent with the mission of IASWG.

All proposals should be sent as an email attachment to Please feel free to contact Carol S. Cohen at the above email address or by phone at +516.877.4427 to discuss the Program with a member of the SPARC Committee.

Information you need will to apply:

IASWG SPARC Bi-annual Reports:


Reports from Past SPARC Projects: