The Schools of Social Work and of Communication and Information at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, are establishing the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work to support technology-infused social innovations and interventions, enabling the delivery of social work in a digital age. The institute will:
Establish an integrated team of communication and information and social work professionals;
Engage relevant communities and stakeholders in defining a development agenda and principles for innovating social work;
Develop, test, and support ground-breaking digital innovations in social work;
Support the evaluation of the efficacy and legitimacy of innovations and interventions;
Provide opportunities for faculty research teams, doctoral, and post-doctoral researchers;
Establish certificate programs that complement and support academic programs in both schools;
Build external partnerships that will broaden the creative team, add capacity, and stimulate innovation.
Digital innovation involves technical, professional, social, organizational, and institutional change. Some current examples include the following, but each year will bring new puzzles and opportunities:
Revamping training opportunities (e.g., designing simulations for a range of therapeutic interventions, simulated internships, podcasts to support learning-on-the-go, virtual field work experiences interacting with avatars).
Transforming approaches for assessment and intervention (e.g., real-time assessment/ feedback/intervention, improve the client experience with social services, real-time tracking of interventions via wearable tech).
Rethinking/reshaping the professional-client relationship and the way service is delivered (e.g., different ways of communicating and connecting, reimagining the experience of the professional relationship, new evidence-based ways of training best practice).
Enabling new community-based prevention efforts and improving access to specialized populations (e.g. in health promotion, domestic violence, child welfare, and mental health; applying games and gamification technologies for behavioral health purposes, using communication advances to provide a range of therapeutic encounter possibilities).
Inventing novel applications of emerging technologies along with the socio-technical infrastructure that enables successful implementation (e.g., artificial intelligence, natural language generation, text mining, digital storytelling, data analytics, mobile technology, social media, robotics, gaming/gamification, virtual reality, augmented reality, wearable technologies, and the quantified self).
Developing methods and principles of organizational leadership, change management, and inter-organizational collaboration to contend with the realities of new media environments and the associated complexities of organizational change and technology implementation and management.
Enabling social entrepreneurship efforts (e.g., businesses choosing social investments, social enterprises that create embedded commercial activities).
The successful candidate will be the first director of the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work and therefore will play an important role in shaping its development and ensuring that its work is world-leading in envisioning digital innovation and its positive impact on the quality of social work in society. The successful applicant's expertise and interest may be grounded in social work or communication and information but he or she will be a leader who will foster robust collaboration among these disciplines and build a global center for innovation in theory and practice. Most importantly, we seek a scholar who is creative, dynamic, and energetic, who is excited about leading a diverse and dynamic team of colleagues, and about engaging in national and international arenas. Responsibilities of the position include undergraduate and graduate teaching assignments in communication, information, and social work, an active program of research in the candidate's area of scholarly expertise, and service contributions in accordance with university policy.
Home Location Campus: College Ave (RU-New Brunswick)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state's preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to turning knowledge into solutions for local, national, and global communities. As it was ...at our founding in 1766, the heart of our mission is preparing students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate and postdoctoral; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement. Rutgers is New Jersey's land-grant institution and one of the nation's foremost research universities, and as such, we educate, make discoveries, serve as an engine of economic growth, and generate ideas for improving people's lives.