About us

Located within the Faculty of Social Sciences and discipline of social work at the University of Helsinki, the mission of Helsinki Practice Research Centre (HPRC) is to promote well-being, participation and equality. We do this by producing practice relevant social work research together with various stakeholders and by supporting the use of research in practice.

Our aims are to:

  • carry out high-quality research
  • support interactive knowledge transfer
  • develop practice research methodology
  • support social workers in conducting research as part of routine practice
  • bring together stakeholders interested in practice research

HPRC builds on the Finnish-speaking Heikki Waris and Swedish-speaking Mathilda Wrede Institutes’ 20-year   practice research in social work. HPRC integrates research conducted in these two institutes and creates a new research environment that operates in three languages. The centre continues the institutes’ long-term academic-practice-collaborations and aims to advance practice research both in Finland and internationally.

Approach to research

In the heart of HPRC are close academic-practice-partnerships. Research projects are planned and conducted with researchers and practice stakeholders such as social workers, service users, service leaders and civil society actors. The aim of research is to use research results in improving social work practice and promoting sustainable wellbeing. The dialogue between researchers and practice stakeholders play a major role in defining research questions, conducting research, interpreting the research results and transferring them to practice. We connect research to proposed and existing change efforts and topical phenomena and identify emerging research issues directly from practice. The research is methodologically pluralistic and involves multiple perspectives. The centre promotes interdisciplinary collaboration.